How to dismantle old slate from the roof

How to dismantle old slate from the roof

The portal wrote in detail about how to build a slate roof with your own hands. Now it’s time to talk about dismantling such a roofing.

To begin with, we strongly advise you to provide a safe working environment. Even if the house is one-story, working on the roof is dangerous! Follow these simple but very important guidelines:

  1. Never dismantle slate in rainy weather! A wet roof is an additional hazard. Choose a day when the roof is completely dry, without traces of dew and rain.
  2. Take care of comfortable work clothes and ammunition. Shoes should be chosen with rubber soles for less slip. Work gloves will be required, safety glasses and a respirator will definitely not interfere, because old slate, unlike modern counterparts, contains asbestos-cement particles that are hazardous to health.
  3. Make sure that the entire rafter system is reliable and will not fall under the weight of two or three people who will be working on the roof.
  4. Remove the waterproofing that is under the slate immediately after dismantling it so as not to fall through. Having removed the roofing material, which you most likely will also have to replace, it will be more convenient to move along the crate.
  5. Ensure the safety of others! If a sheet or piece of slate falls on someone’s head during work, it will be, to put it mildly, not very pleasant. Fence the area around the house with a signal tape, remove children from the site, warn neighbors if a house or other building is located next to their yard.
  6. Use safety ropes! Do not neglect this safety measure, which is always used by industrial climbers. The ropes should be firmly attached to the roof ridge..
  7. Use roof ladders that cling to the ridge and move across the roof. It will be more convenient and safer to work with them. In addition, such special ladders will distribute the weight of people working on the roof and prevent the slate from breaking underfoot..

It is clear that working together or three is more fun, faster and safer. Therefore, we advise you to call at least one assistant..

How to dismantle old slate from the roof

The easiest way is to dismantle the slate, which has finally become unusable and will not be used in the future. Such material can not be protected, broken, work roughly, but quickly.

In this case, dismantling looks like this:

  • We put ladders on the roof, along which workers will move. We provide easy access to the roof, for example, using a ladder.
  • We take with us a nail puller, a hammer and a knife to cut sheets of waterproofing, roofing material.
  • First, remove the fasteners holding the skate with a nail puller, remove it.
  • Remember that the slate is overlapped, so you need to remove the sheets, starting with the last one, in turn.
  • Protruding nails and other fasteners can be pushed on with a nail pusher. But, since in this case we do not need to preserve the old slate at all, we can hit the nail with a hammer, driving it deeper into the beam of the rafter system. Yes, the slate sheet is likely to crack after being hit. But removing individual pieces will be even easier..
  • The nail remaining in the bar itself can be pulled out later, before installing a new layer of waterproofing and roofing.
  • Pieces and remaining whole pieces of slate are simply thrown to the ground. Do not forget about fencing the territory and warning all household members! Make sure every time that there is definitely no one below!

That’s all, the remains of broken slate are taken out as construction waste.

How to dismantle old slate from the roof

How to dismantle old slate from the roof

It is more difficult to remove the slate if the owners decide to keep it. For example, for the roof of a barn, a summer kitchen, building a fence. In this case, you will have to act carefully:

  • Getting started and tools are generally the same. You should also start with dismantling the skate, remove the sheets in the opposite order of laying. However, this time we start from the bottom row, gradually moving up. So you don’t have to walk on the slate again, risking damage to it..
  • You need to work carefully! If the slate was attached to self-tapping screws, then you can turn them out with a screwdriver. But this option is rare, only on fairly new roofs that are not often dismantled. In the vast majority of cases, the old slate was fastened with nails, which should be carefully pushed on with a nail puller. As you can see in the photo above, so that the nail puller does not break the slate, which is valuable for us, during the work of the worker, it is necessary to put a plate under the heel of the tool.
  • Alternatively, you can knock out the nails from the inside – climb under the rafter system and hit the protruding tip of the nail with a hammer. If the end is bent, bite it off.
  • The hardest part is with ruff nails. They cannot be pulled out with a nail puller, you have to bite off each time, cut off the caps. Experts advise using a small grinder for this to speed up the process. You can, of course, take lever end cutters, but you will have to work with your hands long and hard..
  • Having carefully pulled out the fasteners of the slate sheets, we proceed to the important task – delivering them to the ground. It is very difficult to cope here alone! The work of the three looks like this – one assistant sits on a skate, helping to tie a sheet of slate with a rope and lower it. The second at this time is in the middle of the roof on the ladder, helping to hold the rope with the suspended load, and the third is standing below, under the house, accepting the falling sheet. If a person works alone, we advise you to put two, or preferably three, boards of the required length at an angle against the wall of the house. This will become a system of “crossing” the slate to the ground – the sheets are stacked on the boards and slide down along them, abutting against each other. You will have to go down to the ground when the entire length of the boards is occupied. In any case, we repeat, it is better to work with at least two people, so that someone downstairs accepts and stores the slate.

How to dismantle old slate from the roof

Video on how to lower a sheet of slate to the ground:

Video about dismantling the old slate:

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