The hot glue. Although I've rehabbed several houses now, this is the first one I've had that was totally put together with hot glue. I fully understand now why everyone says "Don't Use Hot Glue!". It cracks, leaving sharp splinters. When you try to pull away loose sections, it takes part of the wood with it, marring the pieces. It splinters, leaving shards all over the place. And as I said, pieces were already falling off. I think if you're a contractor who can lay down a perfectly even line of hot glue then maybe....maybe...it would work. But I'm not. I have had great success with Elmer's Wood Glue on all my houses for the structural parts, and Aileens, in different formulations, for everything else, so that's what I'll do with this when I get to the glueing back together.
Now, I didn't disassemble the entire house . .. but first I DID remove all those pieces that are loose, mainly the roof. I used a heat gun at it's lowest setting -- 500 degrees, heated the seam, then slowly pulled off the glue. Be careful! They don't call it a heat gun..and hot glue...for nothing! You can tell when the glue is removeable ..it turns from a dull tan or orange to a clear tan or orange, and then you can lift it out, and using a scraper, scrape away any more residue. I found it best to work in small sections at a time so I didn't things too hot and start a fire. I was also nervous about the wallpaper-- some appears to be a sort of plastic, and I didn't want to melt it and cause a further mess.
So now I have all the loose sections removed, as you can see in the pictures. I'm going to have to make a couple of new roof pieces. One was broken when I got the house; there is another missing altogether..
After removing the roof, with heat gun in hand, I went over all the other seams of the house. Whenever I came across a glob of dried up hot glue, or a seam glued together improperly, on went the gun, and the glue pulled out. This was mainly throughout the upper storey. The side of the house with the staircase and fireplaces is actually pretty sound, although I did find dribbles of hot glue running down everything. Again, I heated it up, waited til it turned clear (with only takes seconds), and carefully peeled away the hot glue. It will come off like hot chewing gum. I think I've gotten off all I intend to take off..for now. I may come across more as I get in to it, and will tackle it then.
I started pulling off some of the wallpaper. Some of the rooms have been painted, or partially painted, wallpapered on only one wall. Fortunately the back windows have only been painted..getting paper off them would be a challenge! But theres plenty of paper left for me to play with! I'm just pulling away paper right now, then will take to a sponge dipped in water, pressed on to the paper residue to soak a bit, then gently scraped away. So that's the next project -- getting rid of the paper.... let the scraping begin!