How To Remove Cinder Block From Basement Wall [Single Block And Rows Of Blocks]

Cinder block removal from a basement wall can look like an intimidating task. One wrong move can send a section or the entire wall to crash. So how can you remove a single cinder block from a basement wall safely? Also, how can you take out a row of blocks properly? We researched for you and here’s what we found.

Cinder block removal operations are different depending on the amount of masonry work to remove. Remove a single block by following these steps:

  1. Mark and trace the mortar surrounding the block to remove.
  2. Cut the interior and exterior sides of the mortar with an angle grinder.
  3. Remove the cinder block with a sledgehammer.
  4. Use a hammer and chisel to clean the area.

As for removing a row of cinder blocks, here are the steps:

  1. Use a marking tool to indicate the mortar surrounding the row of cinder blocks to take away.
  2. With a diamond saw, work your way around each block to remove the surrounding mortar.
  3. Take out each cinder block and inspect the wall’s structural integrity.
  4. Continue removing the other blocks if the wall still seems structurally sound.

It’s also essential to know the potential reasons for cinder block basement walls to deteriorate faster than expected. Keep reading as we talk about the sources of cinder block deterioration. We’ll also discuss the ways to remove cinder blocks from basement walls in greater detail.

stack of gray cinder blocks against a brick wall. How To Remove Cinder Block From Basement Wall [Single Block And Rows Of Blocks]

What Causes Cinder Blocks To Deteriorate?

Cinder blocks generally need replacement because of damage. The deterioration can come from different sources, such as:


Water is one of the most common reasons for deteriorating basement cinder block walls. Heavy rainfall and leaks from the plumbing system may deliver the right amount of force to deface concrete blocks.

Moisture can also invite a myriad of other problems, such as efflorescence and hard water stains. Learn more about waterproofing a finished basement by reading our post on that topic.

Poor Soil Grading

Poorly-graded soil can redirect water to the basement because of its permeability. In turn, rainwater can travel from the lawn to the basement, pushing the cinder block wall. This incident can cause the façade to bow and eventually break if not remedied quickly.

Bad Manufacturing

Mixing concrete and coal cinders will typically create the standard cinder block. Using poor-quality ingredients to create the masonry blocks will result in quick deteriorations and increased susceptibility to potential hazards.

Cart to bring concrete blocks to prepare for building walls, houses, buildings.

How Do You Remove Cinder Block?

A single cinder block removal requires careful handling of the masonry work. Poor treatment can promote heightened risks of damage, which may lead to the basement wall crumbling.

Prepare for this task by wrapping plastic sheets on nearby objects and surfaces for dust and other small particulates will become airborne. Next, wear gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask for your protection.

After making the necessary preparations, you can continue with this project:

What You’ll Need

  • Sledgehammer
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Marker
  • Angle grinder with a diamond blade

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Use your marker and trace along the mortar joints surrounding the single block you want to remove.
  2. With the angle grinder, cut along the traced area. Make sure to cut the interior and exterior parts of the basement wall.
  3. Remove the offending cinder block by whacking it with the sledgehammer.
  4. Clean the area with the chisel and hammer.

A hole in the wall of a large tiled building.

How Do You Remove A Concrete Block Wall?

First, check your home's blueprints to inspect for plumbing and wiring that might be hiding underneath the cinder block basement wall. Cutting through the electrical or plumbing framework can lead to more expensive repair and remodeling costs than usual.

Proceed to remove any wires, pipes, and machines beneath and close to the concrete wall. Consult certified professional services if you don’t know how to handle these systems.

Also, think about protecting the rest of the house by blocking the basement’s entryway with a wooden partition. Cover the partition with plastic to prevent dirt and dust from flying into the rooms above ground.

You can also read our post on how to create a wooden framing for the basement if you need assistance in creating the partition.

Once you complete these preparations, and you have your safety equipment ready, you can proceed to the next step:

What You’ll Need

  • Angle grinder
  • Jackhammer or concrete breaker
  • Sledgehammer
  • Power saw

Check out this concrete breaker on Amazon.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Remove the mortar around the cinder block wall with the angle grinder with a diamond blade attachment.
  2. Take away stubborn sections with a jackhammer or concrete breaker.
  3. Cut the metal rebar supporting the wall with a power saw.
  4. Smash the wall with a sledgehammer. Start from the top and work your way to the bottom.

Don't forget to clean the area after you demolish the wall. Use a concrete trolley or wheelbarrow to transport the leftover concrete from the basement to a nearby disposal area.

Also, the following videos will help you gain a better idea of how to remove an entire cinder block wall from your basement. Take note that the gentlemen working in these clips aren’t dealing with basement walls. Nonetheless, the practice is fairly similar to taking away a concrete block wall in a basement.

How Do You Remove A Row Of Concrete Blocks?

Before proceeding to remove a row of concrete blocks from a basement wall, take a few moments to look at the façade’s overall structure. Plan the removal process properly for taking away masonry works haphazardly may put the wall at risk of collapsing.

Furthermore, make sure that you have the permits to proceed with the work. Consult your local government about the appropriate certifications to continue with this renovation project. If you don’t, you might pay expensive fines.

old cinder block wall with hole on the bottom left side and broken blocks and other rubble within

Once you secure the building permits, you can continue getting rid of a cinder block row from your basement wall as dictated by some homeowners’ community members:

What You’ll Need

  • Marking tool
  • Sledgehammer
  • Diamond saw

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Mark the mortar surrounding the cinder block row you want to remove.
  2. Cut the mortar around each cinder block. Ensure that you’re cutting one area at a time.
  3. Remove cinder blocks with a sledgehammer one at a time. Monitor the wall for signs of collapse. If so, stop the operation immediately.
  4. If you deem it safe to continue, proceed with the removal of the other blocks in the row.

Keep in mind that it's typically advisable to remove cinder block rows from the top of the basement wall. Taking away masonry works at the bottom may reduce the wall's structural integrity, putting it at risk of falling.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Cinder Block Wall?

Cinder blocks cost aproximately $0.95 per piece. However, homeowners need to prepare about $1,080 to $1,440 to build basement walls with these materials. The overhead can also increase if property owners take advantage of the services of professional contractors. If so, the expenses can intensify with an additional $570 on average.

Solid and hollow concrete blocks stacked on a wooden pallet. How To Remove Cinder Block From Basement Wall [Single Block And Rows Of Blocks]

Final Words

Taking out a single or row of cinder blocks from a basement wall needs careful handling of the material. Moreover, it might not be enough to remove and replace the offending blocks. Homeowners should tackle the source of the quick deterioration of the masonry work to reduce the risks of potential hazards.

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