How to remove the old slate from the roof: work order

In order to protect the safety of the roofers as well as the structure itself, removing old slate from a roof is a meticulous process that needs to be carefully planned and carried out. Slate is renowned for its strength and beauty, and with the right care, it can last for many years. However, knowing how to remove the old slate is essential when it comes time to replace or repair a slate roof.

Preparation is the first step in removing old slate from a roof. This entails evaluating the roof’s condition and making sure all required safety precautions are in place. In order to prevent falls, roofers usually begin by erecting scaffolding or using harnesses. It is imperative to examine the roof for any damage or structural flaws prior to starting any work.

The slate tiles must be carefully removed after the roof has been prepped. Roofers carefully pry each tile loose without breaking adjacent tiles or the underlying roof structure by using specialized tools like slate rippers or slate cutters. Patience and accuracy are needed during this process to prevent needless breakage or damage to the roof’s structural integrity.

Roofing professionals then concentrate on cleaning and examining the roof deck after removing the slate tiles. In order to provide a smooth surface for the installation of new roofing materials, any debris or leftover nails from the old slate need to be removed. Before laying new slate or using an alternative roofing material, roofers can find any underlying problems, like rot or water damage, by inspecting the roof deck.

Lastly, in order to finish the removal process, the old slate tiles must be disposed of properly. In accordance with local laws and regulations, roofers frequently make arrangements for the tiles to be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally responsible way. Roofers can safely and effectively remove old slate from a roof, readying it for the next stage of roofing installation or repairs, by following these methodical steps.

1. Assess the Roof: Inspect the slate roof to determine its condition and any potential hazards.
2. Safety Precautions: Wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and sturdy footwear. Use a stable ladder.
3. Remove Fixings: Carefully remove nails or screws securing the slate without damaging the underlying structure.
4. Start from the Top: Begin removing slate tiles from the highest point of the roof, working downwards.
5. Slide and Lift: Slide a slate ripper under each tile, lift gently to loosen, and then carefully remove it.
6. Dispose Responsibly: Handle removed slate tiles carefully to avoid breakage. Dispose of them responsibly, considering recycling options if available.

Safety precautions when dismantling slate from the roof

When removing the roof, it is important to follow these safety precautions:

  • The dismantling of slate roof is allowed only in dry weather, since on an old wet slate, in particular, covered with lichen, it is very easy to slip and fall from the roof;
  • Before starting work, you should check the strength of the rafter structure and make sure that the roof will withstand the weight of people working on it;
  • To avoid the hit of asbestos -cement particles that are dangerous to health, on the skin, in the lungs and eyes, it is necessary to use gloves, dense clothes with fastened cuffs and collar, respirator and protective glasses. Gloves will also protect their hands from random cuts on sharp chips of slate sheets;
  • Having removed a number of slate sheets, it is necessary to immediately dismantle the waterproofing membrane or roofing material to move along the crate, without risking accidentally falling;
  • shoes for work on the roof should be on soft rubber sole – it slides less;
  • It is important to strictly monitor that no one stands and does not pass in the place under the ramp where the reinstalled slate sheet can slip – the weight of the roof element exceeds 20 kg, and its fall even from a small height can cause a very serious injury and even kill a person;
  • To move along the roof, it is necessary to use boards with stuffed brings (ramps) to distribute a person’s weight along a large area – otherwise the old roofing material will break under the feet. The ramps are supplied with hooks for the hook for the horse;

  • Be sure to use safety ropes that will protect from injuries in case of falling from the roof. The rope should be securely fixed on the roof skate.

While working in groups of two or three is advised, if you pay attention to a particular piece of technology, you can manage disassembly by yourself.

Dismantling of the old slate from the roof

If the material is already unfit for use, removing the old slate coating by hand is the simplest method. The only tools needed for the task are a nail, a hammer, a knife for cutting waterproofing, a ladder, and a long staircase because traditionally, such a roof was installed using common or hazardous nails.

Initially, you must reach the roof skate and use a nailwater to undo the fastener holding the skate element, which can be made of sheet metal, roofing material, or wooden boards or bars.

This will free up the top portion of the slate’s upper row. The roofing material sheets are then taken off, beginning with the one that was laid last (this can be easily identified by looking for overlap on a nearby element).

Since it’s not necessary to maintain the integrity of the old slate in order to release the sheet, hammer sufficiently hard on the nail hats to lick the wood.

Holes appear where the sheet is fastened, allowing the sheet to fall completely or in sections. In addition, a nail is used to remove the fastener that is still inside the crate.

Schifer dismantling without damage to sheets

The roof needs to be disassembled if the old sheet material can be reused. In this instance, removing the ridge element is also the first step in the work. Next, the slate sheets are taken off in the roofing’s opposite direction.

The idea is straightforward: fasteners are removed with caution so as not to damage the sheet, and the removed roofing component is neatly lowered to the ground.

If the roof is fixed with self-tapping screws, you can remove the fasteners without any particular issues. When a fastener has a hexagonal head, a gaykort or a screwdriver with the appropriate nozzle (under a straight or cross-shaped slot) are used to unscrew them. However, this choice is only feasible if a sufficiently new roof is disassembled.

To prevent the leaf from cutting down under a point load, smooth nails are pulled out using a nail, under whose heel a plank must be laid.

There are two methods to remove a nail that bends at the tip and goes through the crate:

  • remove the layers of vapor barrier, insulation and waterproofing from the inside of the rafter system, straighten the free part of the nail and knock it out from the bottom up, and then pull it out with a nail from the outside;
  • bite off a nail hat with a suitable tool (lever ticks, mini-boltoresis, etc.P.) or cut a grinder.

Brand roofing nails are inexpressible fasteners by nature (they have unique corner notches on their bodies); it is impossible to remove them with a nail without breaking the nail or causing damage to the slate and crate. As a result, their hats are severed or eaten.

How not to damage the slate when renting to the ground

It is quicker and more convenient to take the three apart:

  • One person stands on the stairs or on the crate of that part of the roof where the coating has already been removed, and dismantles the fasteners;
  • The second person sits on the skate or is nearby, holding the sheet, helps to tie it with a rope and remove it, gently lower it to the ground;
  • The third assistant is on the ground, he unads the rope from the removed sheet and takes it to the side, carefully wares it.

It is more convenient to begin at the lower row’s extreme element when dismantling the roofing by hand when working alone. The sheet needs to be moved and twitched in order to release after the mounts have been removed.

Remember to cut off the waterproofing material right away so you can use the crate as a staircase to move along it with ease.

Using the ropes to describe the sheets is impractical because it is difficult to control the slate sheet, which weighs more than 20 kg on its own. To unscrew the rope, you will also need to descend the stairs repeatedly.

In this instance, it is required to install two or three long boards at an angle of between forty and sixty degrees, placing one end on the ground and the other on the cornice.

These parallel guides make it simple to lower the slate sheets to the ground, "accumulating" three elements sequentially as they rest against one another. You won’t have to descend to the ground as frequently, which will help you maintain your strength and cut down on your working hours.

Provide a "soft landing" for the sheets by placing rags, bags, or other soft materials at the bottom of the descent to prevent the slate from splitting!

It takes careful planning and execution to remove old slate from your roof in a safe and efficient manner. Plan the removal order and begin by evaluating the slate’s condition. This guarantees a smooth operation and lessens the possibility of any possible harm to the roof structure.

For the task, safety gear like goggles and gloves, as well as tools like a hammer and slate ripper, are indispensable. To start, carefully lift each slate tile, working your way down from the top of the roof. Avoid using excessive force to remove the tiles as this may cause them to break.

Examine each slate tile as you remove it for indications of wear or damage. This will assist you in deciding if the slate needs to be replaced or can be reused. To avoid breaking any of the salvaged tiles, carefully stack them, and dispose of any damaged tiles in an appropriate manner.

Examine the roof decking for any indications of damage or deterioration after removing all of the slate tiles. To guarantee a strong foundation for the new roofing material, replace any damaged sections. Lastly, give the workspace a thorough cleaning to get rid of any debris and make sure it’s safe.

"It is essential to follow a methodical work order when removing old slate from a roof in order to ensure efficiency and safety. The process starts with a comprehensive planning and inspection stage, during which safety gear and tools are set up for the task of carefully lifting and discarding old slate tiles while safeguarding the roof structure. Tasks should be completed in a proper order, such as working down from the top to preserve stability and reduce potential damage. This article provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to safely and successfully remove old slate from your roof, highlighting the significance of careful planning and constant attention to safety.

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Alexandra Fedorova

Journalist, author of articles on construction and repair. I will help you understand the complex issues related to the choice and installation of the roof.

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