How to Remove Stone Cladding

Lead Image
  • 24-48 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 150-200
What You'll Need
Safety goggles
Plastic or rubber gloves
Rubber mallet
Metal scraper
Pry bar

Stone cladding is one of the most popular options for decorating the exterior walls of a house. Cladding is a decorative form of siding that is installed over building surfaces for functional and aesthetic reasons. Stone claddings insulate the walls against external damage and also increase their aesthetic value. Stone claddings are preferred for their rustic look and maintenance-free exterior. Popular stone cladding options include claddings with marble, granite, limestone and slate finish.

Once installed, stone claddings are hard-to-remove and attempting to remove them can damage the stone cladding and the underlying wall surface. Use the following information to remove your stone claddings safely.

Step 1—Getting Started

Get started by preparing yourself with a pair of work gloves and safety goggles. Place a ladder along the cladding-covered wall. Place the wheelbarrow close to the wall to collect the removed claddings. Some stone claddings are secured over a metallic rail-like system that is screwed deep into the underlying wall. Here, the cladding is secured upon the underling panel with clips. Other installation systems use drywall screws and adhesives to secure the claddings. You need to loosen the edges of claddings and then disengage the underlying objects securing it. Never use a hammer for this because the impact can damage the cladding and the underlying surface.

Step 2—Loosening Stone Cladding Edges

Proceed by loosening the edges of cladding units. Edges of most stone claddings are filled with cement or mortar to secure the cladding and give it an authentic appearance. Using a chisel, scrape the cement/mortar linings along with the cladding units. Scrape the underlying adhesive lining with a putty knife. Use a pry bar to loosen the edges of the cladding. Now, push the loosened cladding against the wall and again, pry it a bit. Repeat this, three-to-four times to loosen the cladding.

Step 3—Removing Stone Cladding

Once the cladding edges are a bit loose, the clips/nails securing it to the wall should become partially visible. You need to loosen the clips/screws without harming any of the internal, installation parts. If the screw-heads are clearly visible, loosen them using a screwdriver. You need to disengage the clips. Release these clips using a flat screwdriver. Some of the metal clips might need to be pulled out. You can do this using a plier. Again, pry the stone cladding a bit and insert a chisel and push it outwards. Use your hands to pull-away the cladding from the wall. Carefully, place each cladding in the wheelbarrow.

Step 4—Clearing Stone Cladding Wall

As mentioned, claddings with the clip system are secured upon metallic panels that are in turn secured with bolts. Loosen the bolts with a wrench. Any underlying trace of adhesives/mortar can make the wall surface difficult to work with. You need to clean these surfaces with a rubber mallet and a metal scraper.