A section of exterior brick veneer on our 1920s home must be replaced. Our favorable option is to salvage the existing brick and reuse. Can mortar be completely removed without damage to the brick? If so, what is the method?
I have had the best luck removing mortar from brick using an air chisel. Its an inexpensive pneumatic tool (assuming you have an air compressor). The rapid impact causes mortar to separate from the brick cleanly without damage to brick in good condition, and the relatively small size of the tool allows precise impact. You will have some breakage, but for dismantling the wall as whole as possible, and cleaning the brick, this is the best method I have found. Think of it like using an ultrasonic tool to clean teeth, but if the brick is rotten or in poor condition, the whole thing will come apart no matter what method you use.
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