Wall demolition is performed in various ways. Sometimes, the entire structure will need to be pulled down. At other times, partial demolition may be necessary.
Here, we’re looking at the processes involved in wall demolition. Before we begin, it’s important to note that demolition is a serious task and must be taken as one.
This means sitting back to plan for the procedure. Planning involves a whole lot of considerations.
You’ll need to consider safety, the best demolition approach to take, who to hire, getting the tools necessary, how to clean up the area after demolition among so many other things.
How To Demolish A Wall
If you wish to have your wall demolished, you’ll need some form of guidance. That’s exactly what you get from this article. Before walls are taken down, you’ll need to ensure that they aren’t load-bearing.
Load-bearing walls contribute to holding or supporting the weight of the structure.
Taking any of these (load-bearing walls) down automatically weakens the structure. Tearing down load-bearing walls should never be done as a DIY project. This is due to the risk involved.
You’ll need to get a demolition expert to assess the structure before any further action is taken.
Types of Walls
There are different types of walls in a building structure. Before demolition, you’ll need to know what type of wall you’re dealing with. These are basically in categories with subcategories under each.
The main wall categories include load-bearing walls, non-load bearing walls, cavity walls, and shear walls.
Others include partition walls, panel walls, veneered walls, and face walls. Knowing what wall type you’re dealing with enables you to plan properly for demolition.
With the types of walls sorted out, the next step to take involves preparation.
Preparing For Demoing A Wall
It isn’t enough to know the type of wall you’re dealing with. You’ll need to make necessary preparations for demolition.
Preparations for demolition include renting a dumpster truck, picking your preferred demolition approach, getting the tools, scoring the ceiling, and checking for plumbing and electrical fixtures.
Another preparatory action includes covering up before the commencement of demolition. Let’s take a further look at each of these preparatory actions.
i. Renting A Dumpster
Before demolition commences, you’ll need to have thought out how such demolition will progress right down to cleaning up the demolition area. A lot of debris or mess will normally follow a demolition procedure.
For such, cleaning up the area includes having a dedicated dumpster on standby for disposal of debris.
Debris can be reduced from the site as demolition progresses. Dumpsters are available at rental locations. These come in different sizes, hence the need to get the right size for your demolition work.
You won’t have to worry about this if the job is performed by a demolition contractor.
This is because most contractors also handle the cleanup of the demolition area. For DIY demolition, you’ll need to know what dumpster size best fits your needs.
ii. Picking Your Preferred Wall Demolition Approach
Here, choice plays a key role in how a wall demolition job will progress.
We’re talking about choosing between DIY or calling a pro. Wall demolition jobs (apart from load-bearing walls) can be performed by unskilled individuals.
However, you’ll need to follow a definite procedure such as those contained in this article.
The easiest and most reliable demolition method is that handled by a pro. Whether you hire a handyman or a demolition contractor, the job is mostly done better than when handled by an unskilled person.
So, why do people choose DIY wall demolition procedures over the services of experts?
It mostly boils down to cost. A lot of people want to save money on wall demolition costs.
As such, they adopt the cheaper route where they perform the job themselves.
However, this approach is most fraught with errors as well as risks. You’ll need to take extra caution to avoid all forms of injury.
iii. Getting Tools Necessary To Break Down The Wall
Certain tools are necessary for wall demolition. These range from drywall saw pry bar, stepladder, and straightedge. Others include a utility knife, reciprocating saw, and hammer.
With these tools, you’re almost ready.
iv. Scoring the Ceiling
You’ll need a sharp utility knife to score the ceiling area surrounding the wall. Here, the aim is to create less mess.
With scoring, you’re increasing the likelihood of the sheetrock coming out neatly. In other words, the sheetrock wouldn’t take down pieces of your ceiling with it.
v. Checking for Plumbing and Electrical Fixtures
You’ll need to find out what’s inside the wall before tearing it down. One of the easiest ways to know is by looking for outlets on such walls. Such outlets are mostly signs of electrical wiring within the wall.
If there are vents, you’ll likely find HVAC pipes and ducts.
Other walls may hold or support sinks, washers, dryers, or a tub. If you find such, chances are that you’re dealing with a wall having plumbing fixtures. Here, you’ll need to identify where these are.
Most times, it will be necessary to get these fixtures out of the way before work commences.
Of course, all utilities will need to be turned off before work begins. Sometimes, you might be faced with difficulties identifying what is contained within your walls. To find out, you’ll need to enlist the services of a pro.
Electricians and plumbers will easily identify what’s behind those walls.
vi. Covering Up
Your furniture and stuff around the demolition area need to be covered up with plastic sheeting. Before they’re covered, you’ll have to move them out of the immediate environment where demolition will take place.
With all of these completed, you’re finally ready to commence demolition work.
The actual process of demolishing a wall begins by laying down a tarp or plywood sheet across the floor, and have all vents covered with plastic sheeting and tape. Now, you’ll need some help performing this procedure.
Having a person on two makes the job a lot easier.
Of course, you’ll need to put on your protective gear. These include work gloves, goggles, as well as dust masks. Anyone helping out should have similar gear.
Create a Starter Hole
One of the easy ways to perform demolition is by creating a starter hole between studs from where to commence wall removal. Your sledgehammer will prove useful for this procedure.
If finding the studs proves challenging, you may want to use a stud finder to locate such easily.
Cut Out Drywall Section
This is where you’ll need your reciprocating saw. The saw is inserted into the starter hole and a rectangular cut is made between studs. It’s a much neater procedure to perform than having to knock down or pull down drywall.
This exposes the interior section of the drywall.
If there is Insulation, Have it Removed
At this point with the inner drywall section exposed, you’ll need to pull out insulation if there’s any. Not every drywall has insulation installed. If there’s none, it makes the work less difficult.
However, if there is, such insulation will need to be gotten rid of.
Repeat this Action Until Drywall is Completely Removed
The same removal process is applied along the wall until all drywall is removed. This leaves out the other section. You’ll now need to extend demolition to the other end.
Apply Procedure to Drywall on the Other Side
You won’t need to turn to the other side of the wall to remove drywall. Rather, it’s best to continue from where you are as it’s easier. Your reciprocating saw will still be needed here.
Cut through large rectangular sections of drywall like you earlier did.
This is repeated until all of the drywall is removed. At this point of the demolition, you’ll need to clear out accumulated debris. This makes final cleanup a lot easier.
Having a wheelbarrow or bucket around will be necessary as debris is taken out to the dumpster.
All hazardous items including those that could cause injury such as nails or sharp objects should be taken out.
Removal of Plates and Studs After Wall Knock Down
Structures left of the wall are studs and plates. At this point, your focus is to have them removed. Here, your reciprocating saw comes in handy. Using this tool, slice through studs at a horizontal position.
To force these out, you’ll need to tug each piece outward while forcing it out with your pry bar.
The plats should follow next. Now, you’re done, right? Not yet! You’ll need to consider your ceiling area exposed by the wall removed. This will need to be patched.
Drywall compound is the material used for such patching. You may need some help performing the procedure.
Call A Wall Demolition Contractor
DIY wall demolition isn’t for everyone. In other words, not everyone will want to get their hands dirty. For some, even if they wished to, they’ll hardly have the time.
Having a professional tear down your wall is the least difficult and most reliable way to go.
Wall demolition and removal follow all of the steps outlined above. You have options to choose from in performing this procedure. How you proceed is entirely up to you.