How to Remove Sleeve Anchors

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Removing sleeve anchors usually requires filling in the resulting gaps or replacing the affected area completely.
Removing sleeve anchors usually requires filling in the resulting gaps or replacing the affected area completely. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Concrete sleeve anchors are used to attach objects to brick, concrete and other materials. The threaded portion of the anchor expands and locks into the material to ensure a strong grip. Unfortunately, this same strong grip makes removal of anchors a difficult task. Trying to pull out the anchor with brute force only results in badly damaging the material and risking injury. In cases where the anchored material cannot be cut and replaced, the anchor can be fully embedded in the material and subsequently paved over.

Unscrew the nut and washer from the anchor using a wrench or drill attachment if necessary. Remove the head of the anchor from the threaded portion.

Use a hammer to tap the remaining section of the anchor into the surrounding material as deeply as possible -- tap gently to avoid causing excessive damage. Use a hacksaw to cut off any remaining protruding portion of the anchor.

Mend the remaining gap with an appropriate product for the material. Apply an appropriately colored brick-mortar compound to cover gaps in bricks, or, if the brick is badly damaged, simply cut it out and replace it with a fresh brick and mortar. Moisten damaged concrete and then apply a small amount of wet concrete or an expanding-concrete sealant.

Drill future anchor holes twice as deep as the length of the anchor. This will make it easier to embed the anchors when they are no longer needed, typically removing the need for hacksaw cutting.

Tips & Warnings

  • Small anchor holes can be filled in with a colored caulk instead of mortar mix or concrete.
  • Severe cracks in concrete should be slightly expanded with a chisel -- a rougher surface provides a stronger hold for wet concrete patches. Clean any debris from the cracks before applying concrete or a sealing product.

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