How to use a slater's ripper
Once you have idenitified the broken or damaged slate on your roof, follow our steps using your slater's ripper:
Step 1 - Position ripper
Hold the handle of the ripper and push the hooked end underneath the broken slate, and to one side.
Make sure that you keep the ripper flat against the roof at all times, so that you don't break the slate into smaller pieces.
Step 2 - Move ripper
Move the ripper back and forth and from side to side until you can feel when it has hooked onto the nail that's holding the broken slate in place.
Step 3 - Tap ripper
Using an rubber mallet, firmly tap the flat portion of the handle. Tap back towards yourself, firmly and carefully.
Continue tapping until you can feel that the nail has been cut completely free of the slate and the slate starts to loosen.
There are different opinions as to how many times and how hard you need to hit the handle of the ripper. One view is that one sharp blow is better because it causes less stress to the surrounding slates. Another view is that a series of lighter taps to the hammer is preferable so that the nail is loosened gradually, with less risk of breaking the slate or the nail.
Also, if the nail is very hard to dislodge, you may need to make a number of hits.
Step 4 - Remove nail
When you have cut away the nails on one side of the slate, move the ripper to the other side and repeat steps 1-3.
Once the second nail has been removed, pull the ripper towards you and the slate will gradually come with it.
Keep pulling on the ripper until the slate comes away from the roof in one piece.
Using the notch on a slater's ripper
If part of a nail that is holding a slate in place breaks, you will need to use the notch at the tip of the slater's ripper to cut away the nail completely, so that you can then remove the slate.
Step 1 - Position notch
Keeping the ripper flat against the roof, push the blade up and under the slate, until the notch is resting up against the broken nail.
Hold the ripper in place with one hand.
Step 2 - Hit ripper
Using your other hand, take a small hammer or mallet and hit against the very end of the handle, aiming away from you.
Step 3 - Remove nail
Keep hitting the handle until the broken nail comes loose and is completely cut away from the slate.
Remove the ripper.