So you have lived with the same scene for too long and now you are ready for change. Remodeling is inevitable, especially if you own your own home. The part about remodeling a home that some people have the hardest time with is preparation. No matter what you already have on your walls, you must prepare them for what you are putting up. In some cases, this may mean removing stucco walls that have been there for years and has become outdated. You may simply be removing the stucco in order to make repairs to the walls underneath that are required to maintain a safe living environment. No matter what the reason is for removing it, stucco removal is a fairly messy process that may take a little bit of time to complete.
Removing exterior stucco is much simpler than removing interior stucco. To remove any exterior stucco in order to update your home, you simply need a tarp for easy cleanup, a hammer or small sledgehammer and something to remove the nails and assist in taking down any wire mesh that was used during the installation process. Once the ground is covered with a tarp, the hammer or sledgehammer is used to gently tap on the stucco to break it up. As it breaks away from the wall, it will fall in many tiny pieces, hence the tarp to make cleanup a breeze. It is best to remove as much stucco as possible using the hammer to make the job easier. Once you have finished getting rid of the easily removable stucco, a pry bar can be used to loosen edges and corners that haven't yet come loose. The pry bar should also be used to assist in removing any nails that are holding the wire lath in place on the exterior wall once all of the stucco has been removed. Once all of the stucco and wire are removed and the wall has been generally cleaned up, a moisture resistant cover should be placed on the wall to protect it from the weather until your project is complete.
Stucco on interior walls and ceiling is a bit messier and will take a little longer to complete. Protective gear should be worn to protect your face and clothes and plastic should be placed on the floor to protect your floors or sometimes furniture. Plastic can also be hung in doorways to protect the rest of your house from dust and debris. Stucco that has been sprayed on ("popcorn" ceilings) can be removed by spraying the ceiling with a spray bottle to moisten it and then scraping it off with a putty knife or something similar. The process is very dusty and creates a large mess, but once it is completed the ceiling will be ready for a new coat of paint or another coat of stucco. Some walls may also have sprayed on stucco and can be stripped in the same way. An actual stucco wall can be removed in almost the same manner as an exterior stucco wall.
There are also instances where stucco walls only need to be removed in order to repair or replace windows and frames or doorways. In this case the stucco must be removed around that area only and can be a little more complicated. In order to remove only certain sections of the wall, you must cut through the wall using a saw, being careful to continuously check and adjust the blade, to cut through the area that you are repairing and pry it away from the wall so that you can work. It is also best to chip away at the edges so that when the stucco is put back, a small area of the metal lath still shows through the cracks. This will help with the re-bonding of the stucco and also ensure that the new stucco looks seamless when completed.
Removal of stucco walls is not always a necessity, but sometimes they just get outdated or somehow damaged. Safety glasses, protective clothing and face masks for you and pry bars water, saws and hammers for the wall is the first step in taking care of your stucco walls or ceilings. With proper safety and work equipment and safe cleanup methods, removing stucco can be an inexpensive task that you can complete yourself. Whether you are removing it to inspect and repair possible damage, or changing the look of the wall entirely, by removing the stucco walls yourself you will save money and have the satisfaction of knowing that you did it without the assistance of professionals.