Adobe wall removal

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-18-16, 12:31 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Florida
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Adobe wall removal

I want to remove an interior adobe wall. This is to open up my kitchen to the living area.

I have is a 100+ year old house in Utah, the wall in question is about 10 inches of abobe with plaster facing on both sides. I need to remove about 10 feet of the wall, leaving adobe walls on both sides. This is real packed earth adobe, after breaking through the plaster it is relatively easy to carve the adobe bricks out, they are just packed earth. I can figure out how to support while removing and how to build and install the beam. What I don't know is what's involved with removing the adobe.

What is the best way to cut the plaster and abobe? I don't want to use a water lubricated saw, that would be a big problem for the adobe.

Do I need to make sure the sides are well cut before starting to remove the center?

What should I expect when I start to remove the adobe? Will in come out in big chunks or just crumble?

I assume I will need to replaster the exposed ends of the wall left in place.

Any advice from someone who has done this or knows how to do it would be greatly appreciated. I'd sure like to know what I am getting into before starting. And I have tried the local contractors here, I can find people who know how to repair and work with adobe, but no one who has taken an old wall like this out.
 
  #2  
Old 02-18-16, 07:01 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Posts: 1,920
Received 14 Votes on 12 Posts
Is the adobe adobe blocks/bricks laid with mud mortar or is it rammed earth? That is a form was built then the mud packed into the form and compressed maybe mechanically or maybe by having sheep walk around on it. If it is blocks you can possibly take them out piece by piece

If it is easy to carve out the adobe I think use a diamond dry cut or abrasive blade and cut as deep on each side through the plaster and the wall then start in the middle of the area and see what happens. Maybe a chain saw to cut all the way through. I don't know if the chain saw is water cooled or dry cut. If it crumbles you will still have a place for it to stop -- the cuts. I think it will come out in chunks. Either way it will be very dusty. Are you living in the house now? Make sure you have the ceiling/roof supported and make sure you know how you are going to support it permanently before you demolate.

Put up some pictures once you get some of the plaster off.
 
  #3  
Old 02-18-16, 07:07 PM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,450
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This is specialized knowledge and it could be tough to get an answer except from a local engineer.

My first thought would be why is it easy to chip out the adobe after the plaster is removed? I would guess because the plaster was never intended to be removed.
Drywall for example is very strong but if you rip off the paper facing it's pretty much useless.

Edit: Maybe not tough
 
  #4  
Old 02-18-16, 07:27 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Posts: 1,920
Received 14 Votes on 12 Posts
Is the plaster adobe made with a similar mix as the wall? Is it gypsum plaster or Portland cement plaster? is there any mechanical support for the plaster? That is is there woven wire or expanded metal lath.
http://www.dickndebbietravels.com/wp...15_480x640.jpg

http://ksoutdoors.com/var/news/stora..._imagefull.jpg

About twenty years ago I did the exterior finish on this house. A pit was dug on site down to a clay layer and the clay and sand and an adhesive were plastered on galvanized metal lath nailed into the adobe with 8" gutter spikes. Once upon a time the interior walls were plastered with probably lime plaster. That has mostly fallen off and one can see the form lines on the insides of the walls.

This is at the Prairie Dog State Park at Sebelius Lake in Kansas. One of the most fun jobs I ever did.
 
  #5  
Old 02-19-16, 04:25 AM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Florida
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks!

No idea what the plaster is made of, but it is clearly something different from the bricks and mortar, it's a lot harder. There is no wire or metal lath. It does appear to be adobe brick with mud mortar, neither the bricks or the mortar seem to have much strength, I carved the hole in this picture mostly with a big screw driver by hand. It took a hammer to break up the plaster coat.

Hope this picture works.
Name:  IMG_0352=2.jpg
Views: 1252
Size:  34.9 KB
 
  #6  
Old 02-19-16, 11:06 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Posts: 1,920
Received 14 Votes on 12 Posts
It looks like adobe blocks. Is the plaster bonded to the adobe or does it separate easily? If it comes off easily I would cut the plaster with a saw. What a mess. then remove it so you can cut the adobe that much deeper then deconstruct it from the top down ,center out. I don't think it will be hard to take the wall out, other than the mess and had work carrying it out. I am a lot more concerned with what all that wall might be supporting. Make sure you don't have the ceiling/roof collapse.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: