What is a wall anchor? Also known as drywall anchor. Used for a variety of purposes, from construction projects to home improvements it is really useful. It is an insert used along with a combined with an appropriate screw. It can create a firm mount in a drywall panel or to any similar hollow wall. As the name suggests, it is mainly used for hanging light to semi-heavy objects on a wall, such as a mirror, wall shelf, and frames. It is also helpful because you don’t need any stud to sink the screw on it, instead, you can virtually hang items anywhere.
According to history, the modern wall anchor was made back in the early 20th century. It was in 1911, when British engineer John Rawlings, invented the first wall anchor. It is called Rawlpug at that time. Back now to our times, most of the houses and buildings now are made of cement and bricks. And because those materials find difficult to install fixtures, then the beginning of using wall anchors again. With the help of this, we could not install a light-to-semi-heavy fixture without damaging our walls.
How does wall anchors work?
Before we discuss how to remove wall anchors, let look first how wall anchor works.
There are many different types of anchor walls, as per your requirement but all have the same purpose. Wall anchors are made of soft material like plastic., with a hollow and threaded interior that expands into the wall when attached to the fastener, you must first drill a small hole into the wall, then place directly the wall anchor over the hole and gently hammer it into the wall. After the wall anchor is inserted, you can now drive the fastener into it. The thread of the wall anchor will allow them to hold the screw securely. Slowly use a screwdriver, particularly a Phillips-head screwdriver to tighten the screw into the wall anchor. When the screw is properly fixed on the wall anchor, the side of the wall anchor will expand into the inside surrounding of the wall thus, holding hang items securely.
There are also many types of wall anchors. Like any tools or accessory, wall anchors are designed to serve their specific purpose or function. That’s why it is important to know as well the most commonly used wall anchors and functions before we know how to remove wall anchors.
1. Wallboard anchors – it is used for a variety of fixtures in drywall, it is a self-drilling anchor with a designed threaded rod, smooth dowels, and rebar.
2. Hammer-drive pin anchors – used in concrete, block, and brick for a permanent, tamper-proof installation.
3. Adhesive anchors – as the name itself, it has a high strength adhesive that can be used in a wide range of weather conditions.
4. Sleeve anchors – if you want to fasten steel, aluminum, wood panels, doors, framing, and shelves to concrete, then this is the one you need to use.
5. Wedge anchors – also called concrete wedge anchors, are used to fasten fixtures into concrete. This type of anchor will expand and wedge itself securely in the concrete. Thus the name wedge comes from.
6. Drop-in anchor – also for concrete but this one is preassembled with an internal expansion plug.
7. Hollow wall anchors – a lighter one, used also to securely anchor items to brick, concrete, and a drywall
8. Expansion shield anchors – also known as lag shields, are designed to embed items with high load applications into concrete and other masonry materials.
9. Spring anchors – are used with a combination of machine screws or eye bolts in drywall, paneling to secure extension spring while managing weight loads
10. Stud anchors – it is made from a steel road, wherein the one end threaded and the other necked is with a permanently attached clip. used to support blowers, pumps, and support racks.
11. Screw bolt anchors – used to secure wood, concrete, and masonry.
12. Toggle anchors – a heavy-duty hollow wall anchor that can be easily adjusted to accommodate wall thickness. Commonly used for installing handrails on a staircase.
Now that we know the different types of anchor walls and by taking into consideration the base materials, loads capabilities, environmental condition, and functionality we can now choose the right wall anchor we need. And if in case we need to remove our anchor bolt, here’s the procedure on how to remove wall anchors.
Before we begin take into consideration the following tips.
1. It is important to choose the right size of a drill bit. If you don’t have a full set of bits, at least you have one that is about two sizes larger than the opening for the wall anchor. Having the exact bit if might damage the wall anchor.
2. After removing the wall anchor It is important to put prime paint first on the patched area before painting again.
3. Before adding new drywall anchors, look for the type that can be removed easily once installed.
Now, here’s the step on how to remove wall anchors:
We have discussed how useful the wall anchors are for securing heavy items like shelves, mirrors, and frames in drywall. However, like any other material, it is weathered as time goes by. And removing them improperly might cause damage to your wall and even to the shelf or mirror attached to it. To avoid that, you can follow this simple step-by-step instruction on how to remove wall anchors.
Materials you need to prepare:
- Ordinary pliers
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Cutter or utility razor
- Drywall joint compound
- Putty knife
- Medium-grade sandpaper
- Self-adhesive drywall mesh (optional)
How to remove wall anchors the easiest way
1. Unscrew the threaded screw – before reaching the collar, some anchors have threaded screws that need to be removed. Use a screwdriver to loosen it and then remove it slowly.
If the screw has s cross slot on top, remove it with Philips- head screwdriver. This is the common type of screw used in drywall anchors.
2. Depends on the anchor wall that is attached if it is a metal collar, you can use also a drill to remove the screw from the anchor. Select a drill bit that is about two sizes larger than the diameter of the hole. The drill bit should touch only the collar edges around the screw hole without slipping inside the hole.
3. By using needle-nosed pliers, grip the underneath of the anchor. Grab the edge and slowly and carefully pull out the anchor. Try to avoid touching the drywall with the pliers. If the anchor is stuck or is very tight, place a flat head screwdriver under the head of the anchor for easy pulling it out.
4. Use a screwdriver to remove the wall anchor and to push out through. The screwdriver shouldn’t be larger than the diameter of the wall anchor to avoid making the hole bigger. You can also use a drill bit about ¼ inches to drill out the insert.
5. After that, the wall anchor wall should fall behind the drywall. You can use a Phillips-head screwdriver along with a hammer by gently tapping the Phillips-head screwdriver with a hammer, the wall anchor will be pushed slightly to the wall and eventually will fall.
6. Use a cutter or a utility razor to removed excess collar. Avoid pushing the blade toward the wall so as not to damage the surface of the drywall. Note that this method works only on plastic anchors and not on metal kinds.
7. Once the hole is clear, you can now proceed to patch it up. So that no one will notice that there was a wall anchor there before.
8. Apply drywall compound as per the manufacturer’s instruction. Using a putty knife wipe it back and forth over the hole until it is filled with putty. If the hole is larger than inches, cover it first with self-adhesive drywall mesh tape, you can find it in your local hardware store, l or any online shop like Amazon. Apply the compound over this tape.
9. Once the hole is full, smooth out the putty by wiping off the excess putty until it is even on the wall surface.
10. Sit to dry, again check the manufacturer’s manual for drying time.
11. Once the putty is completely dry, sand the surface using medium-grade sandpaper. Removing excess putty, keep on sanding until the surface is smooth. Wipe off the dust.
12. It’s painting time. Make sure that your paint is the same color as the wall paint. You can check with your local paint shop for swatches to see which color is the perfect match. If in case, you cannot found the exact paint color, you have the option to paint the whole area. Allow drying overnight.
If you are about to relocate the anchor near the original anchor, don’t try to pull it out. The new anchor may not hold up if it is close to the old hole. Instead, slowly push it up to the wall and plaster over it to ensure that the anchor will be flush to the wall.
And that’s how to remove wall anchors like a pro. You can do it by yourself if you are tight on budget. In just a few hours you are done with your project and will be proud of yourself for a job well done.