How To Demolish Sheetrock Walls

Drywall is made up of a layer of gypsum plaster sandwiched between sheets of thick paper before getting kiln dried. Interior walls and ceilings of homes and buildings across the globe now use drywall construction, which is faster and safer than using plaster-based interior finishing techniques.  Drywall is also known as gypsum board, plasterboard, or wallboard. It is also called a Gibraltar board, ceiling lining, Sheetrock or rock lath.

Sheetrock is a brand of drywall manufactured by the United States Gypsum Corporation. Gypsum is a soft mineral with many uses. It is in the same category as alabaster. Aside from being an ingredient in the manufacture of drywalls, gypsum is also used in fertilizers and soil conditioners, blackboard chalk, Plaster of Paris, Portland Cement. It also an ingredient in mead and a coagulant used in the making of tofu.

When you have to demolish a Sheetrock wall, follow these steps.

  1. Make sure that you have the proper equipment such as sledgehammer, a smaller hammer, crowbar, steel-toe work boots and proper face and mouth covering.
  2. Protect the floor and the rest of the area with dustsheets and tarpaulin.
  3. Check if there is a Sheetrock recycling plant in your area and if your local waste management facility will handle Sheetrock Debris. If you live in the Washington or Las Vegas area, you can call the New West Gypsum Recycling and check what their procedure is for receiving Sheetrock gypsum boards for recycling.
  4. Turn off all electrical, gas and water mains in your house to avoid accident, as you will not know what is behind the Sheetrock walls until you have made a hole on it.
  5. Remove the wall paneling that covers the drywall. Place them outside the house in a neat pile. Make it a habit to clean as you go to eliminate possible hazards that can be fatal to your life and property.
  6. Use the sledgehammer to make a large hole in between the nail posts. From here, pry off manageable pieces of Sheetrock by using a crowbar to separate the drywall from the nailing posts. Use work gloves as the sheets and the screws are sharp. Remove screws and nails as you work. Some sheets may not come off easily by hand because of the layers of drywall mud covering them. Use your hammer and crowbar to pry the sheets loose.
  7. Hold large sections of the Rocksheet with your two hands and move the sheet back and forth to loosen them from the screws and nails. It is easier to clean up larger pieces than smaller ones. They will stack up better too and pack nicely for recycling or disposal.
  8. Be prepared to be covered in chalk-like dust as you work. Make sure that you wear a respirator to prevent inhalation of dust. This is not asbestos but is still made of finely ground minerals that can prove hazardous to your health when inhaled.
  9. Use the heavy duty contractor-grade trash bags that are very thick to pack the Sheetrock pieces in. Ordinary trash bags will easily tear because of the sharp edges.

Take care when you are working with materials that contain mineral. These have been ground to a fine powder and will be harmful if inhaled. Make sure that you use standard goggles, work gloves and a respirator, not just a facemask, to protect eyes, your hands and your lungs.


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