There are a lot of home improvement projects that you can tackle in your spare time, but removing drywall is not one of them. For starters, the stucco used in many wallboard textures will be quite tough to work with.
Not only that, but the thinner sheets of drywall are very susceptible to damage, so if you don’t know how to remove drywall the right way, you stand to damage or lose the drywall finish completely.
In this article, we’ll discuss several techniques for drywall removal and how you can tailor the process to the kind of wallboard you have, as well as the number of layers of drywall you need to remove.
What is Drywall?
Drywall (also known as wallboard or gypsum board ) is made up of a layer of gypsum sandwiched between two layers of paper. This lining material is used to create texture and definition in the seams on your walls, as well as acting as a barrier between the wall and ceiling.
Wallboard is a common material in the home improvement industry, and is especially popular in kitchens and bathrooms due to ease of installation, as well as its high cost.
Drywall is used in a lot of remodeling projects and home renovations because of its versatility, but it can also be quite challenging to work with.
Why Remove the Drywall?
There are many reasons for removing the drywall in your home, and your reasons will probably boil down to how old your home is and how many layers of drywall are currently installed in your walls.
In some newer homes, remodelers can install gypsum board directly over the existing drywall, but when you’re talking about older homes, you’re most likely dealing with multiple layers of drywall, each one contributing its own poor soundproofing performance to the walls of your home.
Older homes are also more likely to contain asbestos in the drywall, which can cause a long list of health issues in your home if it becomes airborne.
If you want to improve the soundproofing in your home, or want to make a significant change that will require new drywall installation, you’ll probably have to remove the existing drywall.
How to Remove Drywall Properly
How to Remove drywall isn’t such a hard job. All that’s needed is some planning and guidance. Just follow these steps and you won’t have any worries.
Step 1: The Tools for the Job
Removing drywall is a messy job, so you’ll need some tools to do it right. That means you must be heaving right tools then you start your job.
The following power tools should be present in your home workshop so you can remove any type of drywall from the walls in your home:
- Utility knife
- Flat bar
- Reciprocating saw
- Power drill or driver
If you don’t have the right tools you will be bothered by the mess and possibly affect your health. It’s important that you have what you need so you can work efficiently. You will also need a dust mask to protect you from the dust produced during the drywall removal process.
Step 2: Turn Off the Utilities
Turn off the utilities and turn off the power to any electrical outlets or circuit panels near where you will be working. This includes shutting off shutoff valves for water and gas, if you don’t want to risk them bursting out of their sockets.
If you don’t turn off your power to the circuit panel, you will run the risk of damaging the circuit boards or causing an electrical shock. So, you will have to shut off the electricity, water and gas line for at least a few hours before you start your project.
Step 3: Safety First
Any work that requires you to use power tools should be done with extreme caution, especially when it comes to drywall removal. Always wear safety glasses and a dust mask when you are working with drywall in your home. You never know what kind of materials the old drywall is made of. This can be a source of dust that you would not want to inhale.
Step 3: prepared the Room
Remove all the items in the room that you are working with. Put all the items on top of any tables, dressers or other places in that room. Have a trash bag handy when you remove each item from the room and put it into the trash bag.
You don’t want to drop anything that you remove from the room on a bare floor where you are going to be installing new drywall. This will make it easier for you to clean up when the project is completed.
Step 4: Remove the Old drywall
Now that you have the room prepared for removing the old drywall, you can start to remove it. You will usually find nails along the edges of the old drywall. Use your hammer and flat bar to remove all of these nails.
Once you have removed all of the nails, you will be able to remove all of the old drywall. Use your handsaw to cut along any old drywall that you are not able to rip off the wall.
Step 5: Preparing the Walls
Once the old drywall has been removed, you will notice that there are some very well-defined lines in the wall. These lines are called seams. You don’t want to break these seams by removing them in one piece. You will want to remove them in two pieces and then line up the seams appropriately.
If you didn’t install a new drywall, you will have to put in some soundproofing materials between the old and new walls. This is called an acoustical barrier. In order to prepare for this, you will be putting some spackling compound along the seams that the old walls make. You will then be able to smooth off this compound with a putty knife and then smooth out any ridges with a sandpaper block.
Note: The standard color for drywall is white, but you can also choose to use another color as long as that color does not make the noise isolation of the wall worse. To determine if a color is acceptable, you must get the approval from your local building code department.
Step 6: Preparing the Ceiling
The next step in your project will be to prepare the ceiling of your room. You will be doing this in the same way you prepared the walls, so you will need to cut along the seams of your ceiling and then apply some spackling compound. Remember to smooth out the ridges with a sandpaper block. Then, you are ready to install your new drywall.
Step 7: Install the New Drywall
Now that you have prepared the room for the new drywall, you are ready to install it. Start by placing a bead of flexible tape along the joint between each piece of drywall. This will help with when you install the seams. Then, use your handsaw to cut along all of the joints in the wall and ceiling.
It is important that you don’t cut into any of the seams. Then, use your reciprocating saw to cut along all of the seams in one direction. You will want to do this only in the seams between walls and ceilings. Then, use your handsaw or a hammer and flat bar to cut along all of the seams that still remain. You will want them in straight lines.
Step 8: Clear the Edges
Once you have all of the seams cut and removed, use your reciprocating saw to cut through the drywall at each joint. Use the saw so that you can get it under the edge of the drywall. Then, use a utility knife to cut around the perimeter of each joint.
After finishing the installation, you can use your putty knife to smooth out any rough edges on all of the seams that you installed. Once you have done this, use your sandpaper block to smooth out any remaining ridges from the spackling compound.
Step 9: Clean Up
The last step in your project is to clean up your work space. Use your handsaw to cut off any excess drywall and to remove any excess material from the floor. You can use your handsaw to cut out or saw away the extra drywall on all of the joints in the ceiling.
Then cleaning up any drywall dust that you find on any of the floors and ledges. You can vacuum up any drywall debris while you are cleaning up the edge of the work area. You can also wipe down any messes that you might find with a wet towel.
After finishing the cleaning process, you are ready to start using your new room and turn on the gas, water and electricity. The new drywall will give your room a fresh look, so be sure to clean up any mess from around the room that might cause future problems.
Safety Tips When Remove Drywall
Drywall removal is a simple job, but it can be dangerous if you don’t follow the rules. There are several things that you need to do in case of an accident.
- Work slow and don’t rush anything. You need to make sure that you don’t rush any of the steps in the drywall removal process. If you do, it might later on cause concrete damage when you put your new drywall back up.
- Make sure that you have enough light. You want to make sure that you have enough illumination in your house when you are removing the old drywall. If you don’t have enough light, it will be hard for you to see what you are doing.
- Always wear the proper safety clothing. It might be hot where you are working, so it is very important that you wear the proper safety equipment. Don’t wear any loose shirts or purses while you are working, because they could become a strangulation hazard.
- Use caution when removing the old drywall. If you use too much force when removing the old drywall, you could break or damage the tape or tools that you are using.
- Don’t remove more than one layer at a time. It might seem like a good idea to cut out all of the layers at once, but this could cause some damage to your walls.
- Don’t use any electrical equipment in a wet environment. If you accidentally get water on your electrical equipment, it could cause a shock or fire depending on what kind of equipment you are using.
- If you don’t have the proper tools for removing the old drywall, then it is very important that you don’t try to remove it by yourself. If you don’t have the right tools, you could end up hurting yourself.
- Always wear gloves when you are removing old drywall or installing new drywall. If a sharp object slices your hand while you work, then it will be very painful and it will bleed a lot. A cut like this could also become infected if you don’t treat it properly.
- Always make sure that everyone is out of the area before you start working on the wall or ceiling. Drywall can cause a lot of damage to people who are nearby, so you don’t want to hurt anyone.
- Make sure that your tools are sharpened or have new blades before you start cutting out old drywall or installing new drywall. If your tools aren’t sharp enough, then they might not cut through the old drywall and it will be harder for you to finish the job.
This is the most preferred safety tips in removing drywall. As you have learned on how to remove drywall, you should be safe working on your own home’s walls.
If you are looking for the best way to remove drywall, then this article should provide you with all of the information that you need. Remember that there are many ways to remove drywall, but they all consist of some very common and important safety tips.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this article and learned a lot about removing old drywall. My last tip is to always wear gloves when removing old drywall or installing new drywall.