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How to tear down a masonry brick wall

Updated July 19, 2017

Tearing down an old outdoor brick garden wall is very labour-intensive, and requires strength, patience and a little know-how. Old garden brick walls relied on the strength of the bond to keep the brick together and therefore come apart easier than block walls. Hits strategically aimed at the joints will usually have the bricks flying. If your wall is old and contains antique brick, you can resell it to the brick yards and recoup your costs.

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  1. Use a concrete blade with a worm drive saw to cut score lines into the wall two feet apart. Set the saw to 12 mm (1/2-inch) deep. Cut along the mortar grooves. The saw does not have to go all the way through the brick and mortar.

  2. Start smashing into the wall with the maul at the top near or on the score line. The brick wall will not always break along the score lines. Keep smashing away at any new cracks that appear

  3. Break the wall into manageable chunks. If the brick is reinforced with steel, use a saws-all with a metal blade to cut the rebar.

  4. Use a cold chisel to remove smaller portions of the wall when you are in a tight area and cannot use the maul or larger pieces could damage something. Place the chisel in the joint and hammer it. This method can be used for the whole wall if you want to sell the bricks back to a brick yard, but it takes longer.

  5. Rent a jackhammer for the footing. Jackhammer the footing into manageable chunks of concrete.

  6. Rent a skipto place all debris in. Check with the rubbish hauler for regulations. Size will depend on the amount of brick you have. Consult with your hauler for the right size for your job.

  7. Haul all debris to the low boy using a wheelbarrow. Make a ramp out of two planks side by side so that you can run your wheelbarrow up to the edge of the low boy and dump. Loads will be heavy, so place dirt and bricks under the planks for support.

  8. Tip

    Use cracks and deteriorated mortar joints to your advantage. These are weak areas in the wall and if found, strike with the maul at the cracks and the brick will come apart. Safety glasses, leather gloves, steel-toed shoes and a hard hat are recommended for this project.

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Things You'll Need

  • Maul
  • Worm-drive powered saw with concrete blade
  • Cold chisel
  • Hammer
  • Jackhammer
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Low boy trash bin

About the Author

Vern Hee

Vern Hee started writing professionally in 2009. He works as a reporter for the "Pahrump Valley Times." Hee taught elementary school for eight years and worked in the landscape construction field for 20 years. Hee holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California Berkeley and is a veteran of the United States Navy.

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