My home has these on all the basement windows. As a result, there's a significant hazard in case of fire.

From the pictures, are these just held in place by beefy nails.

Would a crowbar be the way to go to remove them or would it make more sense to just use a Dremel or saw to cut the bars off?

I suppose both could work, but I may be missing something.

The bars

The connection

  • This is more a question of effort vs risk of damage. Cutting it is more difficult or time consuming while prying it out would be much faster and easier (if it works).
    – Ack
    Oct 31 '20 at 22:19
  • 1
    Angle grinder with metal cutting disk Cut heads off the anchors
    – Kris
    Oct 31 '20 at 23:46
  • Do the pins that hold the bars on appear to have a center that looks similar on the rest? Like it has a center hardened pin that did not damage while being driven? If they do, there is a way to remove them without grinding
    – Jack
    Oct 31 '20 at 23:59
  • Redhead hammer set anchors
    – Kris
    Nov 1 '20 at 2:27

I would say no don’t use a crowbar unless you are good at repairing/ replacing brick work. I would grind the head off that or burn it off with a oxy-acetylene torch.

I have put anchors up and use a torch to make it look like a rivet. In doing this it makes the bolt impossible to pull without cutting the head off.

Expanding anchors are usually used so pulling may blow the bricks out then removal and replacement will be needed.

Those look like drive in anchors notice the pin in the center. Again grinding or cutting the head off is the only way to do it without the possibility of blowing the bricks out.

  • Perfect for an angle grinder.
    – mark f
    Nov 1 '20 at 1:04
  • Two great answers. I accepted the one I went with
    – Dancrumb
    Nov 2 '20 at 15:32

enter image description here

If this is what you bars are held in place with, these can be removed with a nail puller

enter image description here photo courtesy Amazon/Estwing

The larger mushroom part of the pin assembly is soft lead, the pin in the center is a much harder metal. Drive the angled end of the nail puller forks around the center pin by digging into the lead "head", it will yield, and allow the harder center pin to be guided into the notch of the nail puller. Once a firm hold has been achieved, lever the head of the pin out a little. The larger part should and MUST remain in place. Once the center pin is pulled perhaps a 1/4", get a new hold with the nail puller and pull it out, perhaps as much as a 1/2". This will allow you to grip it with a pair or pliers and twist and pull out straight to remove the center pin completely. Do this with all 4 corners.

Next vibrate the bars at each corner by tapping the end of the horizontal bars to the left and right, and up and down if possible with a hammer. This should loosen the grip the lead had. The grab a corner and tug a little on each one, not enough to remove it completely, but enough to get it to move in and out. From there you should be able to grab the lead part with the pliers and finish removing the lead part by pushing the bars to the wall while pulling out the loosened pins. And, there may be a chance it will all come off easily after the tapping with the hammer. And I do mean tapping, no hard hitting, it simply needs to vibrate the lead parts after the pins are gone.

I use this very same technique to remove signs attached to concrete walls which is much more durable than some types of brick. For the signs, I pulled the pin and ripped out the lead part with no damage to the concrete. The TLC I wrote about should get past any fragile or brittle brick you may have.

  • Spot on, I use the same tool and just about the exact same method when I have to remove these anchors. I have also drilled out the soft metal once the pins are removed with a cat's paw, it's usually 1/4" and with the hard pin removed, the soft metal drills easily. Nov 1 '20 at 11:41
  • The ones I use are not lead they are some kind of dye-cast metal much harder than lead and the head is recessed. I use these all the time to hang plywood and framework for panel boards when. Have had to move things I have had good luck grinding I have tried a paw in the past but did some damage so I have always used a grinder after that.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 2 '20 at 15:45

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