See this? It’s called lath and plaster. It’s what walls of many homes were made of back in the days of yore, until the 1950s came around and introduced its hipper, fancier, freewheelin’ cousin called drywall. Our Chicago bungalow walls are lath and plaster.
If you ever tear down a wall made of lath (the horizontal wood strips) and plaster (the hardened, icing-looking stuff – at least it looks that way from inside the wall – the whole point of the process is that it made for smooth, sturdy walls on the other side – the wall side) where was I? Yes, tearing them down is a gigantic, epic, filthy mess. You’re not just breaking off clean sheets. You’re pulling down 100 years of dirt and heavy, rock hard clumps of plaster and wood. Did I mention the dust? If you don’t protect yourself with the appropriate masks or respirators, well, I don’t even want to tell you what can happen. I sneezed once in front of an elderly woman and she made the sign of the cross.
Wear a mask. Ventilate the room. Get a ton of heavy duty 42 gallon contractor garbage bags. You’re gonna need ‘em.