Last edited 14 Sep 2021

Dismantling of bricks for reuse

There are different ways to dismantle bricks for reuse. Many factors influence how the dismantling can be done.

Some of the factors include:

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 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 last different lengths of time.

Bricks can be dismantled individually by using a chipping hammer (1) or in bigger elements by knocking down the wall with an excavator (2).

  1. Removing bricks one by one using chipping hammer is slow but breaking the bricks can be better avoided. Dismantling is done by drilling holes to the mortar joint surrounding the brick. Any leftover mortar is cleaned from the brick. This is done by using a chisel.
  2. Electronic saw can be used to ease the process when knocking down a brick wall. Larger amount of bricks comes off at once which makes the demolishing fast, 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 are recommended to 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. It is recommended to store the bricks in a sheltered place protected from water and large temperature fluctuations as these might harm bricks.

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

Designing Buildings Anywhere

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