Whether you’re looking to fix a problem or to change the look of a home, there may come a time when you need to remove stucco from a house. Removing stucco can seem like an arduous task because of the consistency and sheer volume of the material, but this is entirely possible for a dedicated do-it-yourself homeowner.
Simple? Yes. Quick? No.
Stucco is not a complex material. If you need to remove stucco, there’s a chance that it is composed of a more traditional concrete blend rather than the more malleable mixture of materials used in newer stucco projects. This more conventional blend is more akin to the stucco homes of yesterday — a mix of concrete, water, and sand. Traditional stucco siding is designed to last a long time — some 50 years or more. So, the good news is that the removal process is relatively straightforward and typically won’t require any unique procedures. The bad news is that traditional stucco is exceptionally resilient and will require extensive manual labor to remove appropriately.
Start with Safety
Before beginning your stucco removal process, it’s crucial to consider all safety precautions. Oddly enough, some of the most hazardous aspects of a stucco removal procedure are not the use of tools, but being injured by the stucco debris. Because it likely contains sand and concrete, stucco will be quite hard and dense. When removing and clearing away, it is crucial to keep removed debris out of walkways to avoid tripping hazards. Because of its heft, it is also essential to avoid being beneath falling debris. Sheer exhaustion is another safety issue to consider due to stucco’s strength. Many demolition professionals would not recommend tackling stucco removal alone, suggesting asking a friend for assistance. The appropriate personal safety gear should be used to prevent injury.
Leave the Sledgehammer Alone
With a substance as hard as stucco, it can be tempting to pull out the sledgehammer and begin swinging. This is, however, the last thing you should do. Taking a sledgehammer to the side of a house you don’t intend on ultimately demolishing is rarely encouraged. Stucco removal is made more accessible and much more precise by starting with a series of small cuts with a circular saw set to the appropriate thickness of the stucco with the proper blade. Once the stucco has been cut, a hand-held hammer, chisel, or some form of pry bar will be better friends than a sledgehammer. Use a chisel to get beneath the stucco and begin to pry it loose. The cuts will guide where the stucco is most likely to come loose, and the prying will apply force to it from within, making the entire process much easier and more precise. Once loose stucco is removed, only then can you use a hammer on the surface to dislodge larger sections. A sledgehammer is still not recommended.
Cutting in Square Sections
Using the circular saw allows you to cut square sections out of the stucco material. Once a square section is cut, it can be dislodged with a chisel, pry bar, or even a well-placed shovel for added leverage. Cutting into manageable squares also makes the disposal of the stucco debris much easier. Once completed, it is important to appropriately remove and dispose of all stucco debris and adequately cover exposed areas of the house to avoid damage from the elements until new siding can be installed.
Consider a Professional Demolition Specialist
If removing stucco from a home or commercial building seems like a lot of work, that’s because it is. To save your back and your weekend, consider having a demolition specialist company tackle the job. Fortunately, the demolition specialists from DT Specialized Services can remove and dispose of stucco siding quickly and cleanly without emptying your wallet.