How to Remove the Exterior Brick

Genae Valecia Hinesman

Exterior brick, also called "facing" or "veneer" is a layer of thin bricks or flat, simulated bricks used as decor on homes or buildings. This material gives the appearance of mortared brick blocks at a fraction of the cost.

Exterior brick facing is easily applied and removed

Exterior veneers usually cover the front of a structure or are seen in only one or two sections for architectural interest. People who select exterior brick veneer later opt to remove it as a quick way to alter their home's appearance. Depending on the amount of exterior brick you want to remove, this project can be completed in about one day.


A small crowbar is a helpful, optional tool for prying away stubborn sections of mortar.


Take care that you begin using the mallet with relatively light pressure, gradually adding more force until you are able to determine the level of effective effort needed. Using more force than necessary increases the chance of damaging the underlying wall, leading to more costly repairs and unwanted delays.

  1. Cover your eyes and hands with protective gear (goggles and gloves) before you begin. Locate the center of one of the upper rows of brick veneer that you wish to remove. Place the tip of the chisel on the brick at this center point, keeping the hand that holds the chisel in the center of the tool, away from the brick's surface.

  2. Use a large mallet or hammer (with a wide striking surface) to strike the head of the chisel sharply, using only as much force as is required to crack apart the brick and the surrounding mortar.

  3. Repeat until all of the brick veneer that you wish to remove has fallen away. Use the wire brush to abrade the surfaces exposed by the removal of the brick and mortar. Vacuum any residual brick dust and mortar fragments.

  4. Rinse the newly exposed area with plain water, until the surface is as free of loose grit as possible. Use a hose or a large spray bottle filled with water.

  5. Allow the area to dry completely before applying any new surfacing material.