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Commercial Wallpaper Remover: A Step-By-Step Guide to Commercial Wallpaper Removal

Removing wallpaper from commercial properties can be a daunting and laborious task. The sheer size of the spaces, the age of the wallpaper, and the potential for stubborn adhesives can make the process seem overwhelming. However, with the right techniques, tools, and a bit of patience, commercial wallpaper removal can be accomplished efficiently and effectively.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of commercial wallpaper removal, providing you with the knowledge and strategies you need to tackle even the most challenging projects. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, this guide will equip you with the necessary tools and techniques to remove wallpaper like a pro.


The Pains of Wallpaper Removal in Commercial Properties


Commercial wallpaper removal comes with its own set of challenges. Expansive spaces, varying wall conditions, and the potential for multiple layers of stubborn wallpaper and residual paste make the wallpaper removal process more complex than residential projects. Additionally, commercial properties often have stringent timelines and budget constraints, adding pressure to complete the job efficiently and cost-effectively.


Expansive Spaces

Tackling wallpaper removal in cavernous commercial spaces like warehouses, retail stores or office buildings is a daunting task. These expansive open areas, long hallways, and soaring walls require extensive equipment like tall ladders and scaffolding. Maneuvering wallpaper removers, steamers, and supplies across such large floor spaces add significant labor.


Varying Wall Conditions

Commercial properties often have a mix of drywall, plaster, painted, and vinyl wallcovering surfaces requiring different wallpaper removal techniques, often necessitating tackling one wall at a time. This variation makes using a one-size-fits-all approach with removers and tools ineffective.


Multiple Layers

It’s common to find multiple layers of stubborn wallpaper built up over years of renovations in older commercial buildings. Removing these requires scoring each layer to reach the top layer and using a concentrated remover to penetrate through the tough adhesives and paste residue.


Stringent Timelines

Tight contractor schedules aim to avoid disrupting business operations. Delays in clearing walls of wallpaper can put the entire renovation timeline at risk for the next project like repainting or new wallcovering installation.


Limited Access

Narrow stairwells, service elevators, and hallways restrict how equipment and materials can be moved to and from the workspace, complicating wallpaper removal.


Hazardous Materials

Some legacy wallpapers contain lead, asbestos, or other hazardous materials requiring a careful removal process using special NIOSH-approved respirators and EPA-compliant disposal methods.


Budget Constraints

With costs multiplied over vast commercial square footage, labor expenses for wallpaper removal can skyrocket. Completing the job quickly using highly effective removers and stripping methods is key to controlling expenses.


Step-By-Step Wallcover Removal Guide for Commercial Spaces

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While commercial wallpaper removal may seem daunting, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and strategies to tackle the task with confidence. By following the step-by-step instructions and utilizing the recommended tools and techniques, you’ll be able to remove stubborn wallpaper with ease, leaving your commercial space ready for its next project.


1. Properly Prepare the Work Space

Carefully cover all flooring with canvas drop cloths or ram board temporary floor protection to safeguard against potential spills and messes. Construct plastic sheeting walls if required to fully contain and isolate the designated work area. Open up windows generously to establish optimal ventilation, as some wallpaper removers can emit fairly strong odors.


2. Thoroughly Score the Wallpaper Surface

Utilize a scoring tool or utility knife to methodically create a series of holes and perforations across the entire wallpaper surface. This crucial step allows the liquid wallpaper remover solution to deeply penetrate the material layers and effectively reach stubborn underlying adhesives for improved removal capability.


3. Carefully Choose an Appropriate Remover

Selectively choose a high-quality, professional-grade concentrated wallpaper remover formulated to powerfully break down tough commercial wallpaper adhesives and wallpaper adhesives. Also consider eco-friendly, low-VOC remover options, especially if working in tightly enclosed interior spaces.


4. Properly Apply the Remover Solution

Precisely follow product instructions to mix and apply the remover solution using a pump sprayer, roller, or brush. Liberally and evenly coat the entire pre-scored wallpaper surface, paying particularly close attention to firmly adhered seams and corners where adhesive buildup is most substantial.


5. Allow Sufficient Dwell Time

Permit the newly applied remover solution to thoroughly soak into the wallpaper for the full recommended dwell time period specified, as this critical duration helps maximize the dissolution of adhesives for the easiest possible removal. Dwell times can range from 15 minutes up to several hours depending on the product and wallcovering type.


6. Systematically Remove the Wallpaper


Utilizing a rigid putty knife, flexible wallpaper scraper, paper scraper, or scoring tool, carefully begin pulling and precisely peeling away the top wallpaper layers from the wall surface in manageable sections. Reapply remover as needed to stubbornly adhered areas requiring an additional solution.


7. Deploy Wallpaper Steamers for Extra Tough Areas

For any exceedingly difficult hot spots that remain, implement a commercial-grade wallpaper steamer that applies heat and pressurized steam to further soften for easy removal and help release incredibly stubborn adhesive patches from the underlying wall surface.


8. Thoroughly Clean and Properly Scrape Walls


Once all wallpaper has been fully stripped, clean and prepare wall surfaces by thoroughly washing with soapy water or hot water to remove any residual adhesive paste. Additionally, utilize sandpaper or stiff scraper tools as required to forcibly remove any remaining highly adherent glue patches if present.


9. Use Proper Safety Gear

When working with chemical wallpaper removers, particularly in enclosed interior spaces with limited ventilation, always be sure to wear appropriate personal protective equipment including gloves, and wear gloves, eye protection, and an approved NIOSH respirator.


10. Dispose of Waste Properly

Carefully dispose of all removed wallpaper waste, used removers, and project materials according to prevailing EPA regulations and codes for your specific location.

Persevere through this comprehensive wallpaper removal process using the right professional tools and highest quality removers to efficiently and safely strip away even the most stubbornly adhered wallcoverings from commercial environments. Take reasonable breaks as needed to ensure a thorough and successful final result.


Professional Commercial Wallpaper Removal Services

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While it is cheaper to remove wallpaper in commercial spaces, there may be a myriad of things that can potentially go wrong. Here are the benefits of hiring professional wallpaper removal services:


Expertise and Experience

Professional wallpaper removal crews have extensive training and experience tackling even the most challenging commercial wallpaper removal jobs. Their expert knowledge of processes, commercial wallpaper removers, and techniques allows them to work efficiently while preventing damage.


Industrial Equipment

The pros utilize heavy-duty equipment like powerful wallpaper steamers, high-pressure sprayers, and specialized scoring tools that homeowners typically don’t have access to. This equipment is vital for removing stubborn wallpaper adhesives and layers.


Access to Concentrated Removers

They use concentrated, commercial-grade removers designed to dissolve the tough wallpaper adhesives and glues found in older buildings. These highly effective removers easily penetrate through multiple wallpaper layers.


Proper Safety

Removing wallpaper from commercial spaces often requires working with hazardous materials. Pros follow EPA/OSHA guidelines, using NIOSH-approved respirators and safely containing/disposing of lead, asbestos, etc.


Time and Labor Savings

The commercial wallpaper removal process is extremely labor-intensive over vast wall surfaces. Hiring experienced crews means the job is completed quickly, minimizing downtime for your business operations.


Liability Protection

If removal damages drywall, plaster, or painted surfaces, you could face expensive repair costs. Pros are licensed, bonded, and insured against accidental property damage liability.

By utilizing professional wallpaper removal services with their specialized commercial removers, steamers, and tools, you benefit from proven expertise to efficiently and safely strip wallpaper without damaging underlying wall surfaces for easy preparation before your next wallcovering project.


The Bottomline

Commercial wallpaper removal can be a challenging task, but with the right tools, techniques, and a bit of patience, it can be accomplished efficiently and effectively. By following the steps outlined in this guide, including properly preparing the work area, scoring the wallpaper, using a high-quality commercial wallpaper remover, and allowing sufficient dwell time, you’ll be able to remove even the most stubborn wallpaper with ease. Remember to prioritize safety by wearing gloves, using proper ventilation, and following all product instructions carefully.

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