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What types of roof tile can you remove with a wrecking bar?

What types of roof tile can you
remove with a wrecking bar?

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What are roof tiles?

roof tiles, tiles, tiling, what is a tile, what is a roof tile, roofing, roofing tile, tiled roof, A tile is defined as a piece of durable material which is manufactured to cover roofs, floors, and walls. In the following three pages, we will be focusing on roof tiles. For information on how to remove wall tiles, see: How to remove wall tiles without breaking them
lerna, house of tiles, greece, classical architecture, BC, architecture, ancient history, ancient greece, house of tiles, Roof tiles have been used to cover roofs since as early as the 3rd millenium BC, where they were used in Lerna, Greece, on the House of Tiles. These tiles were made of terracotta, and each weighed about 30kg (66lb).
tile materials, roof tile materials, roof tiles, roofing tiles, tiles, The majority of modern roof tiles weigh an average of 4.3-5.4kg (9.5-12lb), and are made of concrete, slate or clay, but some styles are still produced in terracotta!
Proving that sometimes, the classics really are the best!

What are the different types of roof tile?

british flag, united kingdom, uk flag, flag, The types of tile most commonly used in the UK, and which this guide will teach you to remove, are:
interlocking roof tiles, roof tiles, roof tile,

Interlocking roof tiles

Interlocking roof tiles are also known as ‘pantiles’. Each interlocking roof tile is overlapped by the tile above and the tiles on either side of it, creating a watertight join. The ‘interlocking’ between tiles is created by manufacturing each tile with a wave pattern of ridges and valleys; these slot into one another, making it impossible for the tile to move side to side.

sandfaced tile, sandfaced, sand faced, sand facing, roof tiles, Interlocking tiles are usually made of concrete, and coated with paint or textured using a mixture of paint and sand; this is called ‘sand facing’, and the tiles are called ‘sand faced’.
plain tile, tiles, roof tiles, roofing tiles, rooves, roofs, plain tiles,

Plain tiles

Plain tiles don’t incorporate any interlocking or waterproofing features. Each plain tile is overlapped twice by the tiles above it, and the roof beneath protected with felt and flashing.

wrecking bar, slate roof, how to remove slate roof tiles, Plain tiles are usually made of concrete or clay, but may be slate. However, to remove slate plain tiles, you must use a slater’s ripper; a wrecking bar is not suitable for this task. If you need to remove slate tiles, see our guide: How to use a slater’s rippe
hanging tiles, hanging tile, tiles,

Hanging tiles

Hanging tiles are used to cover exterior walls, rather than roofing, but are still classed as roofing tiles. This type of tile is always nailed to the timber lath beneath, as, unlike roof tiles, there is simply no way to keep hanging tiles which are unnailed from falling.

hanging tiles, hanging tile, tiles, tiled walls, tiled exterior, Hanging tiles can be made of a variety of materials including clay, terracotta, or concrete.
feature tiles, feature tile, roof tiles, hanging tiles,

Feature tiles

Feature tiles are available in a number of highly decorative designs, which may sometimes be mixed or matched to create visual interest and variation.

reclaimed feature tiles, salvaged feature tiles, feature tiles, tiles, roof tiles, The methods for removing feature tiles are the same as the methods for removing other tiles, but replacements may be harder to find. If you need to replace a feature tile, try visiting a reclamation yard or roofing yard.

Why would you need to remove a roof tile?

You may need to remove a roof tile for several reasons, including if:
mismatched roof tile, roof tile, roofing tile, plain tile, The tile doesn’t match the rest of your roof tiles and needs to be replaced.
broken roof tile, roof tile, tile, broken tile, The tile is broken and needs to be replaced.
roof parts, roof joists, roof felt, roof tiles,labelled roof, You need to access the joists, lath, or roofing felt beneath the your roof tiles.
moss on roof tiles, moss, roof tiles, mossy tiles, moss on tiles, You want to perform general maintenance on your roof tiles, such as removing lichen or moss.
flashing, roof flashing, You need to remove or install a section of flashing, and a roof tile or multiple roof tiles are in the way.

Which wrecking bar is best for removing roof tiles?

crowbar, wrecking bar, flat shaft, Because you will be penetrating between tightly fastened tiles, and need to be gentle while doing so, the best type of wrecking bar to use for this task is one with a thin, flat shaft.
short crowbar, long crowbar, heavy duty wrecking bar, gorilla bar, flat wrecking bar, flat pry bar, crowbar, For greater control over your wrecking bar – enabling you to work with precision – choose one which is shorter rather than longer.
mini wrecking bar, wrecking bar, mini crowbar, crowbar, Note that this does not mean you should use a mini wrecking bar for the task – this would not be long enough to give you any leverage when lifting tiles.
roofing bar, gorilla roofing bar, gorilla bar, wrecking bar, Though the name of the roofing bar suggests that it should be the tool much preferred for this task, most tiles can easily be removed with a smaller, less expensive wrecking bar design. There is no need to spend the additional money on a roofing bar, unless you feel strongly that you will require the ability to fasten arrest equipment to your wrecking bar.
arrest equipment, fall arrest equipment, Only roofing bars feature a hole for attaching arrest equipment.

What else will you need?

wrecking bar, crowbar, For removing roof tiles, you won’t require any tool other than your chosen wrecking bar.
arrest equipment, tool lanyard, fall arrest, fall arrest equipment, tool arrest equipment, If you choose to use arrest equipment, you will need a tool lanyard and either a wrist strap or harness.

Removing nailed vs. unnailed tiles

every third row of tiles nailed, nailing practice tiles, tiles, how many rows of tiles are nailed, roof tiles, In the UK, it is traditional to nail every third row of tiles to the timber lath, leaving two rows unfixed between each nailed row. However, some roofs may have tiles which are fully nailed on every row.
wonkee guide, read the appropriate guide, tool guide, diy guide, how to, The guides on the following three pages will walk you through the process of removing both nailed and un-nailed tiles – simply pick the appropriate guide for your roof and tile type.

Wonkee Donkee Tools