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Slate Roof Installation – Replacing a Broken Slate

In this segment we will show you two methods to replace a broken slate.

Replacing a broken slate properly is important to the service life of all slate roofs. Slate repairs are often done incorrectly and carelessly. A slate should never be face nailed and or caulked in place.


  • How to remove slate roof tiles?

    You will need a slate hammer and slate ripper. A slate ripper weighs 3 lbs and is made of carbon steel, including the handle it is 30.5” long. Once you have identified the piece of slate to be removed, slide the ripper under the slate tile. You may need to hit the ripper’s handle to reach the nails to be cut with the hook at the top of the ripper. Once the nails are cut, you will then be able to slide the slate out. Check out 3 TOOLS YOU SHOULD INVEST IN WHEN INSTALLING AND MAINTAINING A SLATE ROOF

Methods For Replacing A Broken Slate

The first step is to remove the slate and nails to allow the new slate to easily be installed. Using a slate ripper slide it under the broken slate and move it around until you have hooked one nail, then strike the slate ripper handle with your hammer until you have pulled the nail free, repeat on the other nail and remove the broken slate.

There are several methods to secure a new slate in place. Today we are going to show two. The slate hook method and the nail and bib method.

The slate hook method uses a manufactured copper or stainless-steel wire. Lay the slate hook end at the location of the butt and mark the location of the nail end. Pre-drilling will make the installation much easier. Tap the nail end in the hole. Then slide the new slate over the hook. Using the ripper pull the slate down to engage the hook.

To replace a broken slate with the bib method, slide the new slate into position, secure the slate with a nail in the joint between the upper rows. Then make a bib that is an 8” x 3” piece of copper that has short cuts on both sides and is slightly bent. Push the bib up the joint until the nail is covered and the bib is 2” to 3” above the butt end of the upper course. I hope this helped you understand two ways to replace a broken slate.

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