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Removing Mirrors Glued to Drywall

  • Transcript

    Richard in Alaska, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    RICHARD: I started a law firm and we moved into a space that was occupied by a yoga studio.

    TOM: OK.

    LESLIE: Yay.

    RICHARD: Lot of good vibes here but there’s also a lot of mirrors on the wall.

    LESLIE: I’m sure. (Tom chuckles)

    RICHARD: The mirrors are about eight-and-a-half feet tall. They’re about a tenth of an inch thick and there are 30 feet of them on the main wall.

    LESLIE: Ooh.

    TOM: Oh, my God. Wow.

    RICHARD: They were glued directly to the drywall.

    TOM: Ugh!

    RICHARD: So my question is, is there a way for me to take these down. I’m relatively handy. Because the cost from the people that put them up is pretty silly. They want about 2K to take these mirrors down and that – they’re guaranteeing the destruction of the mirrors and the destruction of the drywall for the pleasure of the 2K.

    LESLIE: I’m pretty sure – I mean we have a good trick. Keep in mind that these are large mirrors. You are most likely going to break them so take every protective precaution as far as long sleeves, eye wear, everything so that you don’t get injured.

    TOM: And remember, Leslie, he is a lawyer. (laughing)

    LESLIE: You know, what we’ve done – and this has been in cases with smaller mirrors –

    TOM: Yeah, like 12×12 tiles.

    LESLIE: … or even, you know, like a 24×36 mirror that’s been glued to a wall – is you take a piano wire and you sort of stretch it out behind the mirror and start at the top and then one person is on one end and – well, with a smaller mirror you’d be doing it yourself in front of it, but you could take a friend and each go on either end and sort of use it as a saw through the glue behind the mirror. You’re most likely going to break that mirror. I mean you’re dealing with a pretty large piece of glass here, although it’s thick, and that’ll cut through. And you’re probably going to have to re-drywall over that anyway.

    TOM: Yes, I think that there’s going to be so much damage that’s going to happen in removing these mirrors that it’s going to absolutely impossible for you to preserve that drywall. Because the surface is very weak. You know, it’s only paper over plaster. And so, by the time you spend all of this time and aggravation trying to save the drywall, in the best-case scenario the surface is going to be so rough you’re not going to be happy with it and you’ll end up putting a second layer of drywall over top of that.

    In this case, with that massive amount of mirror, I would recommend you have the pros do it and walk away from this. I don’t think is a job you want to do yourself. If you want to do some of this work yourself, maybe you can do the rebuild by adding the drywall after the fact. Just make sure they agree to clean up all of the glass and all of the old drywall and leave it ready to be re-rocked for the number. I think that I would tend to hire pros for this rather than do it myself because that’s a really, really big and potentially dangerous job.

    RICHARD: Well, thank you so very much and we appreciate it from here in Alaska.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Richard. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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