How To Remove Brick Veneer

Brick veneer is one of the most popular exterior home finishes because it’s cost-effective, easy to install and looks great on almost any home. If you’ve recently bought your home or are planning to sell at some point, however, you might not be so keen on that brick veneer after all. But the good news is that removing brick veneer doesn’t have to be a complicated task. Depending on the type of brick you have used (and whether or not it’s been painted), there may be several different ways to remove this type of exterior finish. It won’t take long to remove brick veneer if you know exactly what you want to achieve and how best to do it. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about removing brick veneer.

What to Know Before You Start

If you’re planning to remove brick veneer, there are a few things you should know before you get started. First, you should be aware that there are two types of brick veneer: solid brick and brick over building paper. There are a few differences between the two types of brick veneer, but the main ones to consider are that you can’t remove a brick veneer over building paper without destroying your home’s foundation, and that a solid brick veneer is much easier to remove than a brick veneer over building paper. Also, if you’re removing a solid brick veneer, know that you can remove the bricks and the veneer at the same time. If you’re removing a veneer over building paper, however, you should partially remove the bottom row of bricks so you can lift the veneer away from the top of the foundation.

Sledgehammer Method (For Solid Brick)

The most obvious way to remove a solid brick veneer is to simply remove the bricks. This is best done with a sledgehammer and a pry bar. Method Step Tools What To Expect First, cut open the mortar joints. You can do this with a pry bar, a cold chisel, a masonry bit or a concrete cutter. Be careful not to damage any underlying structures. Once the mortar joints are cut, you can lift the bricks out of place. This method is best if you want to reuse the bricks or re-use the space they were occupying.

Chemical Peel Method

The chemical peel method is a great option if you want to remove the veneer without destroying the original look of the underlying bricks. The chemicals you can use for this method will depend on the type of brick veneer you have. If you have brick veneer over building paper, you’ll have to find a way to lift the veneer off the top of the foundation without destroying it. Method Step Tools What To Expect First, wear your safety gear and thoroughly clean the area where you want to remove the veneer. Next, apply the chemical peel solution. Be careful not to get it on anything you want to keep. Let the chemicals do their work for about 30 minutes. You’ll know it’s time to remove the veneer when you see the top layer start to peel. Remove the veneer in large pieces. This method is good if you want to keep the original look of your home’s bricks but give the exterior a fresh new finish.

Steam Method for Veneer Over Solid Brick

If you have veneer over solid brick (not the other way around), you can use steam to remove the veneer while keeping the bricks intact. Method Step Tools What To Expect First, wear your safety gear and thoroughly clean the area where you want to remove the veneer. You can use a pressure washer to clean the surface, but you have to be careful not to spray the bricks themselves. You can also use a chemical peel solution if you want. Next, start a steam cleaner and direct the steam at the veneer until it starts to peel. This method is great if you want to keep the original look of your home’s bricks but give the exterior a fresh new finish.

Dumpster or Shredder Service Method

If you’re removing a solid brick veneer and you want to completely destroy the bricks so they can’t be reused, you can hire a dumpster or shredder service to crush the bricks and haul them away for you. Method Step Tools What To Expect First, wear your safety gear and thoroughly clean the area where you want to remove the veneer. Then, hire a dumpster or shredder service. These services will take care of the rest. This method is best if you want to completely destroy the bricks so they can’t be reused.

Concrete Chipping Service

If you have a concrete chipping service remove your veneer, they’ll chip the bricks into smaller pieces and haul them away. This is another good option if you want to completely destroy the bricks so they can’t be reused. Method Step Tools What To Expect First, wear your safety gear and thoroughly clean the area where you want to remove the veneer. You can use a concrete chipping service to remove veneer over building paper but you’ll have to chip it off the top of the foundation. You can also use a concrete chipping service to remove only the veneer and not the bricks underneath. This method is best if you want to completely destroy the bricks so they can’t be reused.

Final Words

When you’re ready to remove brick veneer, you have plenty of different options. The best method will depend on the type of veneer you have and whether it’s over solid brick or building paper. If you have veneer over solid brick, you can use the steam method or chip the bricks into smaller pieces with a concrete chipping service. If you have veneer over building paper, however, you’ll have to use the chemical peel method or hire a dumpster or shredder service to remove it. Whatever method you choose, remember to wear your safety gear and thoroughly clean the area before getting started.

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