I'm pulling down the ceiling and am having difficulty pulling down the drywall because it is 2 layers thick. I'm using a hammer and a wrecking bar but it is going a lot more slowly than I'd hoped. Is there a technique or tool I could be using to get this done more quickly?

There is nothing above the double-layer of drywall, just the floorboards from the apartment above ours. I won't be able to get access from there though.

  • How is it attached? Screws, nails, and/or glue? – BMitch Oct 28 '13 at 11:20
  • Sledgehammer – Tester101 Oct 28 '13 at 12:22
  • @BMitch It was nailed in, no glue. – Smegger Nov 4 '13 at 12:27

Interesting. I've always found drywall easy to remove: In fact it is frightening how little effort it takes to remove it considering the amount of work it takes to put it up and make it look good.

While getting a start on a sheet can be challenging, once three of the edges are free and clear, it usually comes down almost a whole sheet at a time.

To get started, I usually just take a regular (carpenter's) hammer and bash a straight series of small, closely spaced holes across the piece. Then stick fingertips, screwdriver, or flat pry bar in and start trying to make a gap big enough to get further behind the sheet. Then pull.

Usually the most frequent danger is getting bits of gypsum in the eyes. Bashing blindly at a wall without knowing if there are pipes or wires is another hazard. Don't beat hard until you know it is clear.

  • This is what I ended up doing, and it worked well. The board had been nailed up with a lot of nails so it took time, but once I had the system you talked about going, it was a lot quicker than my old method of bashing all over the place. – Smegger Nov 4 '13 at 12:38

If it is nailed/ screwed only to the joists without any furring strips between the joists I would use a Sawz-all or a reciprocating saw. Cut or hammer a hole large enough to verify there are no cables or plumbing between two joist. Run the saw blade along the inside edge of the joists and remove the drywall in the largest pieces you can handle. When the only drywall left is the pieces attached to the studs you have two choices. Hammer the dry wall until it crumbles then remove the nails or screws. Or you could run the saw blade along the bottom of the joist using a demolition blade cutting the nails or screws and let the drywall fall off.

  • Thanks for your answer, if I had the tools then this would definitely have been the fastest and easiest method. I accepted the other answer just because it's the best I could do without having the saw that you mentioned. – Smegger Nov 4 '13 at 12:40

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