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How to remove cedar shingles without destroying them

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Jun 12, 2013, 09:44 PM
SturdyNail
How to remove cedar shingles without destroying them
I really want to replace the cedar with Hardi, but I'm not going to be able to afford that again this year.
I do, however, need to replace most of the sheathing on my North wall. I'd like to reuse the shingles if possible (I don't want to buy more knowing that I'm going to replace them as soon as I can).
If my Dremel Multi-Max had a long (over 3 inches) blade, I think I could get in under the shingles and cut the nails. The Multi-Max blades are only about 1.5" long though.
Is there another flush cutting power tool available that has a blade longer than 3 inches?
Or, can you think of another way to remove the shingles without cracking them?

Thank you.
Jun 12, 2013, 10:01 PM
Frodo
sawzall


https://www.youtube.com/*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
Jun 13, 2013, 08:38 AM
Jaybee
I use a 12" to 16" long flatbar. The key is technique as the area of a cedar shingle where the nails are is getting very thin and can split easily.

Slide the flatbar up from the bottom of the shake, you may have to tap it lightly with a hammer. The goal is to have the notch of the flatbar blade hit the shaft of the nail. Give just a slight lifting motion, all you are trying to do it to pry the shake and the nail up by about 1/8" or so. If the nail is very far up, you may need to use a second flatbar or a thin strip of wood as a fulcrum.

Once you have moved the nail out by that 1/8", slide the flatbar out and pull the nail by placing the short end of the flatbar up under the nail.

This can be a fairly slow process but will give you most of the shingles undamaged. If you prefer to cut the nails, then get a 12" or longer sawzall metal cutting blade.


Jaybee
Jun 13, 2013, 08:55 AM
SturdyNail
Thanks Frodo and Jaybee.

I didn't think that a sawzall was capable of flush cuts.

I can try the flatbar method.
Jun 13, 2013, 08:59 AM
Sparky617
I'm curious, how could the sheathing be bad but the shingles still be good?

Shingles that have been on the wall for years are going to be brittle and I suspect you'll break a lot of them in the process of trying to save them.

Could you possibly do just the north side with Hardi this year and do the other sides next year?


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Jun 13, 2013, 10:10 AM
redoverfarm
quote:
Originally posted by SturdyNail:
Thanks Frodo and Jaybee.

I didn't think that a sawzall was capable of flush cuts.

I can try the flatbar method.


You can pick up a 10-12" bi-metal blade which should bend enough to allow it to lay flat against the shingle. 4-6" lack enough length to get that application.
Jun 13, 2013, 10:11 AM
SturdyNail
Good questions Sparky617.
The sheathing underneath is bad to begin with. It's that black, Homosote type, sheathing and it makes for a rickety wall. I've patched spots where the woodpeckers have gone right through the cedar and the Homosote. I have to do something with the old Andersen windows that are on that side of the house, because the sills are so rotted. If the windows cannot be salvaged, they need to be replaced. I just can't justify, in my mind, layering more new stuff on that old Homosote.
Easily a third of the shingles on that side are ones that I've replaced.
With respect to doing the one wall with Hardi, the short answer is that my wife doesn't like that idea at all. The longer answer is that the colors and styles would be really different. Even if we paid more for the Hardi shingle style, the reveals are much different (7" for Hardi and 14" for my current cedar). And, my current corners are "woven", so I don't see how I'd get that to match-up.
Jun 13, 2013, 11:39 AM
Sparky617
I suspect you're going to go through a lot of work and not come up with many salvageable shingles. Having said that, I've never worked with them before so I could be all wet.


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Jun 13, 2013, 01:14 PM
Frodo
as redoverfarmer said. use a 12" bimetal blade. it will flex enough to cut the nails.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,




https://www.youtube.com/*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
Jun 24, 2013, 10:26 PM
SturdyNail
I thought I'd follow up and let you know how it went.
As it turned out, in many places I was able to pry the shingles, nails and all, away from the backer board and the sheathing. In some places, I was able to get behind the backer board and pry 4 or five of them off at a time. One of the reasons I'm replacing the sheathing is that the existing stuff is so darned wimpy. But, that also meant it doesn't hold nails very well.

Still, the job was tedious. We were able to salvage maybe 85% of the shingles (my daughter helped by pulling the nails out of the shingles I removed). If I thought we were going to keep cedar for the long haul, I never would have bothered to try to salvage what was up there--it's too darned time consuming.

Here's a picture of the wall after removing the shingles.
North wall after shingles removed

Thanks Frodo, Jaybee, Sparky617, and redoverfarm for your help.

Now that the shingles have been removed, I have some questions about installing the new sheathing. I'll start a new discussion for that though.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: SturdyNail,