How to Remove Clip Lock Roofing? Follow These Steps

Clip locks are very convenient when doing metal roofing. Once they are installed on top of the roof beams, it’s very easy to put the sheeting in place. The absence of screws makes the whole thing even more waterproof. On top of that, it’s also easier to lift the roofing up in case you need to perform maintenance or some type of renovation activity.  Thus the question: how to remove clip lock roofing?

In this article, we’ll learn that it’s quite a simple activity. It requires basic tools that every DIYer has in his tool’s arsenal, such as a screwdriver, a claw hammer, a crowbar, and something to leverage on, such as a piece of wood beam. We’ll describe the actual steps in the following paragraph. I’ll also include some tips to get the job done without too much of a hassle.

We’ll also talk about safety! When working on top of a roof, it’s very important to take all the precautions needed.

Before we start talking about removing clip lock roofing, let’s spend two words on the system to understand its main characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.

What is Clip Lock Roofing?

Clip lock roofing is characterized by the use of the so-called “clip locks” to keep the sheets in place. Sheets are made of ribs and pans. The ribs are placed alongside the pans; they are clipped one on top of the other. No screw is utilized during the installation process. This has 2 main advantages:

  • The resulting roof is allegedly leak-proof. At least, there’s less chance of leakage and corrosion around the screws.
  • Roofing is easier and faster to install. Once the clips are put in place, sheets only need to be positioned and pressed in place.

Clip locks are ideal for roofs with a minimal slope, down to just a couple of degrees. The resulting roofing is more stable in the case of wind than a screwed one. The clipping method can also be applied to vertical walling. Clip locks should be spelled as “Klip-Loks”, which is the name given by the manufacturer. There are two different versions of the system, the Klip-Lok 406 and the Klip-Lok 700, which is an evolution of the first one. Clip locks are placed on the wood beams; the roofing sheets are then placed on top of them and secured by applying pressure until you make them click in place.

If you were to do some maintenance, you might find it difficult to remove the roofing. With screwed metal roofs, the process is straightforward. With clipped sheets, the thing is quite different. Let’s address that in the following paragraph.

How to Remove Clip Lock Roofing

Now that you have a clearer of what clip lock roofing is about, it’s time to discuss how to remove it.

  • Get yourself the tools needed for the project. As I mentioned before, you’ll need a screwdriver, a claw hammer, a couple of crowbars, and a piece of wood beam.
  • Now you are ready to start. The most difficult part is creating a starting point. To do that, insert a screwdriver in the end roofing, between the ribs, to lift up the upper sheet. Put it under the top of the rib to do less damage to the top sheet. You’ll be working on the edge of the roof, so be careful with this step! A big, flat-headed screwdriver is my go-to choice. Feel free to use similar tools you have if they seem more suited for the job to you.
  • Once there’s enough of a gap between the ribs, slide the crowbar under the upper rib, on the side. At this point, take your wooden beam and place it under the crowbar. It will prevent damaging the metal sheets, and it will create leverage for the bar.
  • Push the crowbar down until the clip lock pops. If this doesn’t work, insert another crowbar at a certain distance, and use them both to lift the rib.
  • Once the first clip is unlocked, you can move along the rib by lifting it with your hands. It should come off pretty easily at this point. The most efficient way to do this is by placing yourself on the sheet you are unclipping and pulling it towards you. The sheet will rollback. If it’s large, don’t make it roll all the way or you might bend it. Leave a couple of ribs and lift them from the other side.

Safety Tips When Removing Clip Lock Roofing

how to remove clip lock roofingWorking in a high place carries along with it a lot of dangers. That’s why I figured I’d also give you some tips about that. I hope you’ll find them useful.

  • Since you’ll be working on a roof, you need to take all the needed precautions against falling. Make sure the ladder is firmly placed on the ground, so it doesn’t move around when climbing and getting down. Your ladder should always extend at least a couple of feet over the roof so that you have something to hang on to when getting down. If the roof is very high and you don’t feel secure, get a pro to do the job for you. You don’t want to get on a roof if your mind is not set for it.
  • Don’t forget to wear safety gear. Wear shoes with a good grip, so that you don’t slip. Make sure their bottom is clean from dirt for the same reason. Glasses will protect your eyes from flying debris when pulling the sheets up. Most importantly, make sure to wear gloves to avoid cutting yourself with the sheet’s edges. It’s tempting to don’t use them since it will be easier to fit your fingers under the rib, but I strongly suggest you don’t do that barehand.
  • Always be aware of where your feet are. Position yourself in a way that ensures you always have solid roofing under yourself.
  • Try to keep yourself low when working. It will minimize the chances of losing balance and falling.
  • If you want to be super safe, consider using roof safety gear such as a safety harness. These kits commonly include all the components needed to protect yourself against falling.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, some simple steps to follow on how to remove clip lock roofing. As you can see, it can be done with affordable tools and a bit of patience. However, the most important thing is to work carefully! The safety tips I gave you should help you in this sense.

Keep also in mind that pans are very large, plus these days they use very thin metal so that they can rollform it easily. That might not be the case if your roof is quite old since they used thicker steel back then. In any case, when walking on the roofing, be extra careful to avoid damaging it. This is true especially if you intend to perform just some maintenance and not remove the sheets for good. You don’t want indents to form, where water will sit and form rust.

Furthermore, do not use screws on clip lock roofs. It defeats the purpose of such installation, and it makes the roof very prone to leaking.

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