recycling &removing old mortar

by Tom
(West Salem, WI)

from old house to new garage

from old house to new garage

Great info here, thanks! We recently constructed an attached garage to our 1880's red brick farmhouse and want to brick it to match. I know new bricks that look old can be bought for about $1.20 each in our area. We need about 6,000. However we have permission to salvage bricks from a nearby abandoned house. Old mortar chipping I've mastered. A third are "clean" but the others will need a mechanical cleaning or a "sanding" to finish off the thin balance of stuck mortar. I'm thinking a motorized wire wheel...but has anyone set up an operation to remove and clean a large number like this. I've figured even with a small hired crew, some of my time, trucking and delivery I'll only be into it for $1500 or so. Plus the "feel good" part of repurposing building material and another story to tell about our house. Here's a shot our our project. Any thoughts?

Comments for recycling &removing old mortar

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 08, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
old farmhouse to new garage
by: Anonymous

Thanks guys for all your suggestions. It was quite the 'summer project'. It's done and I post a picture under "New / Old garage" So, from abandoned farmhouse to new attached garage. I did not do the masonry...didn't have the courage but lended a helping hand where ever they needed it. Plus didn't want to mess up all my hard work salvaging the bricks. Have several hundred leftovers. Maybe I'll build an outside bar on the patio.

Aug 06, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
RECLAIMED BRICK
by: F.J.N.

On your computer type in (gobrick)go to technical notes Access "salvaged brick" notes #15.Sand blasting would work however DO NOT do the faces exposed to view or weather.Method 2 if wire brushes are used make sure brushes are brass or stainless steel- regular steel WILL leave black carbon deposits on brick. The last step after either of 2 previous ones wolud be to wash bricks with a solution of 5 parts water 1 part muratic acid (gogles&gloves)rince liberaly.

Jun 16, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
recycling underway
by: Tom

Have 12 sections of scaffolding in place and 1500 bricks on the ground...only 4,000 more to go. Starting above the facia boards we're battling years of bird nests and misc debris. But after that it seems to going pretty well. Chipping mortar and "dropping" onto large poly tarps, the weed grown under the tarps helps cushion the brick's fall. Only broke a handful so far. Will be setting up assembly line to wire wheel the fine mortar that can't be chipped off. Sore forearms and wrists the only casualties to this point.

Apr 15, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
another idea
by: Tom

Just to clarify, the house pictured is being torn down and the source of our brick. These bricks will be removed, cleaned, palletized and trucked to our new garage. Another idea is to construct a simple double sided eisle 5'long x 16" tall atop saw horses with a bottom lip so I could lay out 30 bricks or so (maybe 4 rows high and 5 or 6 wide) at a time and hit their faces with with a wired wheel angle ginder. When one side is done, slide them to the top, flip over to do the other side. Sandblasting sounds OK but would require a whole new catagory of tools for me. Let's hear some more ideas...project begins next week!

Apr 15, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
RE recycling & removing old mortar
by: Masonryworktools.com


Awesome House, we appreciate your comments. We strive to provide quality info for a wide variety of masonry applications. It looks like fun to rebuild an old house like that. I haven't ever tried a grinding wheel, but I don't think its out of the question, but maybe keep in mind it could change the texture quite a bit. My first thought as far as cleaning the brick was to focus on one side of the brick so you don't spend too much time on the side that will be covered, and maybe sandblast off the residue after chipping off the bulk mortar by placing them on the ground all side by side with their faces up. Sandblasting will also help in blending in the brick you get from your neighbor with the ones currently on the house. Also a good vapor barrier and some brick ties placed 16" o.c. both ways would help it stay on the house for many years. Just a few thoughts, and I hope others will give some good ideas too. Thanks for visiting www.masonryworktools.com

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 1.