Demolition done right

9 tips to match tools to the task

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If your next home improvement project requires a little bit of demolition first, it’s nothing to be concerned about. Proper demolition requires choosing the right tools — most of which you probably already have in your toolbox — and using some simple safety precautions and a good dose of common sense. Here are some suggestions for matching the tools to the task at hand.

Personal protection: First and foremost, match your personal protective gear to the demolition work you’re doing. For any cutting operations, wear an approved pair of safety glasses. If you’re generating dust, wear a dust mask or a respirator. Use gloves for protection against sharp materials, and wear the proper shoes and clothing.

Carpet: Use a utility knife with a new, sharp blade to cut the old carpet into manageable pieces first. This makes it easier to handle, and easier to get up off the tack strip. Roll or fold the carpet to remove it from the room.

Rip the pad up by pulling it off the staples. Remove the staples from the floor with a staple removing tool, small pry bar or pliers, or just hammer them down. Use a flat bar to pop up the lengths of tack strip.