Last edited 18 Nov 2021

Dismantling of bricks for reuse

There are different ways to dismantle bricks for reuse. Factors influencing how the dismantling can be done include:

  • The type of brick and mortar: The features of the brick such as hardness effect on how easy the brick is to dismantle.
  • Surroundings and space available for demolishing: Using big machinery such as an excavator requires space while dismantling the bricks by using hand tools doesn’t.
  • Intended use of demolished bricks: For example, how intact the brick should be and what kind of durability is needed for the intended use
  • Timetable: The dismantling method should be chosen within the timetable of the project as different methods can take different lengths of time.

Bricks can be dismantled individually by using a chipping hammer or in bigger elements by knocking down the wall with an excavator.

Removing bricks one by one using a chipping hammer is slow but breaking the bricks is easier to avoid. Dismantling is done by drilling holes to the mortar joint surrounding the brick. Any leftover mortar is cleaned from the brick. This is done using a chisel.

An electronic saw can be used when knocking down a brick wall. Larger numbers of bricks comes off at once which makes the demolishing faster, but it is more likely that some of the bricks will break. The bricks are collected and mortar may be removed by using a chisel. With this method collecting bricks is slower compared to when the dismantling is done by using a chipping hammer.

Demolished bricks should be piled up on pallets and secured with strong plastic wrap or straps to keep the bricks from falling. Brick pallets are moved by using a forklift and transport to the storage or straight to the intended reuse location. Bricks should be stored in a sheltered place protected from water and temperature fluctuations as these might harm the bricks.

Demolition of bricks can cause some dust and loose particles may occur. Personal protective equipment should be used.

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