LESLIE: Ken in Pennsylvania, how can we help you today?
KEN: Yes. I have a question on how I can remove a plate glass mirror that has been attached to the wall by probably an adhesive of some sort. And I don’t know how to remove it safely. Can you give me any suggestions on what I can do to do that?
LESLIE: Oh, my gosh. I have the same thing going on. Next week a contractor is coming to do some work in our bathroom and I’m just petrified. Because you know, I know you would want to sort of get some sort of spatula underneath it and sort of start to pry it away. But I’m so convinced this thing is going to shatter and come flying out, I’m just letting somebody else do it.
KEN: Exactly. And I’m sure it will cause some serious physical damage.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah.
TOM: Yeah, it definitely could. How big is this mirror?
KEN: It’s about four feet high and probably about six feet wide.
LESLIE: Ooh. It’s not in panels? It’s one big piece?
KEN: It’s one big piece.
TOM: And you’re absolutely sure it’s glued on and it doesn’t have some like very thin fingers near –
LESLIE: Like a rail system.
TOM: – right – at the bottom or top that’s supporting it?
KEN: No. I think what it had – and I believe I remember how it was put up. It was probably put up with a mastic.
KEN: One of the quick-drying mastics.
TOM: Is it up against drywall?
KEN: It’s up against drywall.
TOM: You know, it’s probably going to be easier to pull the drywall out. Because you’re never going to get it off the drywall.
LESLIE: Well, Ken, since your mirror is quite large, generally, your arm span is not going to reach from edge to edge. But you might want to start from the top down with a long piece of piano wire, have a friend on the other end and sort of saw it back and forth behind the mirror through the adhesive. But be cautioned. You know, this is a big piece of glass. It could break. It most likely will break. So be very careful.
TOM: Yeah, at some point in time it’s actually going to separate from the wall. And also keep in mind, Ken, that what might happen here is you’re probably going to damage the drywall, which is no big deal because worse comes to worse, you just replace that. And in fact, it might be easiest if you got that piano wire between the paper and the adhesive because then it would come out, actually, rather easily. But that’s a way to do it. But be very, very careful. Because there is a risk that it could break, you may want to cover it with some plastic first just to collect any shards that fall off. But the piano wire …
LESLIE: And you can always hire a glass pro.
LESLIE: They’ll come and take it off for you and they know how to deal with flying shards of glass.
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
Ken, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.