Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Removing Exterior Brick cladding

Wax1973's picture

Any tips/suggestions for removing exterior "firebrick" bricks? I've attached a picture of the house. Air chisels? I have some access to get behind the bricks due to the simple plywood sections under the windows. Can I use a crowbar to get behind the brick and mortar and rip everything out - sheating, mortar and bricks? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Top/down (post #200336, reply #1 of 3)

Remove the trim from the windows.  Insert a panel of plywood or osb to protect the glass-doesn't have to be too thick-1/4"/3/8'ths.

Should leave you enough room to get at the sides of the brick with something like a Hilti rotary hammer (in the chisel function).

Break a couple loose and then work your way down.  Pulling off the whole thing I don't think would be wise-you'll have to break it up a bit to move it anyway.  You should be able to knock off a couple rows at a time.  Be ready for brick ties-should be evenly placed by the row.  Separate the sections there.

With the way they stickout, steel angle there at the bottom?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Not clear what's holding that (post #200336, reply #2 of 3)

Not clear what's holding that brick up in the first place. 

Is there a metal brick ledge under the bottom edge?

If there's no brick ledge, or it's on the flimsy side, there's a danger that once you get started it'll all come down in a "wumph" when you least expect it.

My strictly amateur thuimb suck would be to start at the top, 3-4 rows at a time, using a masonry blade in an angle grinder.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

removing brick veneer (post #200336, reply #3 of 3)

If it is installed as brick veneer is aroung here, the top couse extends just beyoud the bottom of the soffit.

Take a cold chisel to the motar joint of the first / top couse. It should pop lose with very little effort. Then just work your way down. You don't need to remove the panels. Don't try to pry the bricks away from the wall.

As your confidence grows, you may be able to take more than one couse at a time. Especially since the column of brick is no wider than it is.

As has been previouly stated, you may encounter brick ties, but that should not be a problem if you remove just a couple of couses at a time. The will be a problem if you attempt to remove it in large sections or in one big section.