How to Remove a Section of a Brick Wall

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If you have a brick wall in your home or in an outside landscaping structure and want to make an opening to install a wall air conditioner or make a pass-through, you can remove a small section of bricks without having to demolish the entire wall. Because bricks are set in mortar and each brick is surrounded by mortar joints, it's possible to remove a small section. The best method is to do this by hand, rather than use a saw, so the removal is more precise.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam plastic
  • Grease pencil
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Cold chisel
  • Hand-sledge
  • Clear everything away from the brick wall and spread foam plastic out over the ground or floor below the wall to catch any falling brick or mortar pieces.

  • Mark an outline around the section of bricks along the mortar joints with a grease pencil. This will give you a visual template to follow, preventing you from accidentally removing too many bricks.

  • Put on safety goggles and a dust mask. Hold a cold chisel against the drawn template line on the mortar joints. Strike the cold chisel with a hand-sledge, cutting into the mortar joint. Move the cold chisel around the first brick's mortar joints, striking it repeatedly until the brick comes loose.

  • Pull the first brick away from the wall once it's loose. Go to the next brick inside the drawn template line and begin to chip away the mortar joint with the cold chisel and hand-sledge until the next brick comes loose, then pull it out of the wall.

  • Keep chiseling away mortar joints with the hand-sledge until you have removed all the bricks inside the drawn template. This will be a long, arduous task but the most precise manner of removing a section of a brick wall.

  • Chisel away any remaining mortar with the cold chisel and hand-sledge, if necessary.

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References

  • "Ultimate Guide to Home Repair & Improvement"; Creative Homeowner Press; 2006
  • "Renovation"; Michael W. Litchfield; 2005
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