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Tool for Removing Metal Roofing

Billy McCarley

Metal roofing is installed in one of two ways: it is fastened with nails or screws. In order to remove metal roofing from a roof after it has been installed, you will need several tools to make the job go quickly. A screw gun with a driver bit, a flat bar and a hammer will suffice in the removal of most roofing metals.


The primitive method of attaching a metal roof required the use of a hammer and nails. The nails---with or without washers--were driven into the high ribs of the metal in order to prevent water leaks. In order to remove this type of metal, you must use a pry-bar--either rounded or flat--and a hammer. Pound the flat edge of the pry-bar underneath the nail head and pry the nail free of the metal. If you wish to preserve the metal, then place a scrap of wood between the pry-bar and metal before you place pressure on the nail. Once all of the nails have been removed, slide the metal off of the roof and proceed to the next piece of metal. Be careful not to stand on a sheet of metal that has had its nails removed. Without the support of the nails, the metal will slide freely off the roof, taking you with it.

If your metal has been attached using screws, then you will need to remove the screws before the metal will release. Use a drill or screw gun to remove the screws. Place a 1/4" bit driver into the drill chuck in order to remove the screws. The bit driver may also be 5/16 ", as well as 3/8", depending on the size of the screw head. Any drill or screw gun will work; however, try to stick with the cordless models if possible. It is most difficult to drag an extension cord across a metal roof when using a power cord drill or screw gun. And finally, when working with any metal, wear gloves and eye goggles to prevent injury.