How to remove clapboard mid wall?

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TexasRed
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How to remove clapboard mid wall?

Postby TexasRed » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:08 am

Howdy neighbors :wave:

It has been a flurry of projects at our house this last month. Finally addressing some of the overdue exterior wood repairs.

We have a few places we would like to replace a row of clapboard siding ... in the middle of the wall (of course) :?

Since each clapboard is nailed through 2 layers, we are trying to think it through before we act. Would rather not remove multiple rows from the top down to get at the repair level.

Anyone have advice or suggestions how to successfully remove 1 row without damaging the one above and/or below? And then the next question; how to install the replacement ?


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Re: How to remove clapboard mid wall?

Postby GibsonGM » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:20 pm

Sure you wanna know, Tx?? Ok.....

You'll need a hammer and 1 or 2 pry bars, as thin as you can get, but strong enough lift the claps to pull the nails. This kind: http://visual.merriam-webster.com/house/do-it-yourself/carpentry-nailing-tools/pry-bar.php

At times I also use a painter's 5 in 1 tool...it can be used to grab nails as you lift claps.

Cut any caulk lines on the clap you want to remove so it's not "glued" to anything. And on the one above it, also. This is mandatory, you'll break things if the board can't move. Gently get the long part of the pry (or 5 in 1....I often start w/that) under the row ABOVE your subject clap. Just enough to pop the nail...move to the next nail over the subject clap. Pop as many as you need, and you can work back and forth to get them high enough to grab w/prybar or hammer claw to remove. Use pry block if needed to not dig claw into your clap...go slow and easy.

If the nails flex back into their holes all the time and won't come out, you have to reach up with the 2nd pry bar and push the nail away from its hole as you allow it to sag back into the house...so the house kind of pushes it out as the clap snaps back....it's a technique that takes practice. The upper (keeper) clap can flex a little, but don't over-do it...remember the tongue up under the NEXT clap that you want to not break...

You DO have to disturb the row above to remove a clap....the one you want is nailed thru by it.

Once you have the area above free of nails, next remove them from the subject clap. This is easier as you can destroy this clap with no hurt feelings, lol. Remember that the one BELOW it is also secured with those nails, tho, so go easy so as to not break the fine tongue of the lower clap as you remove subject clap. Once all nails are out of the subject clap, you can slide it down and out pretty easily. If it won't go...look for stray nails. Sometimes they put one in a place you wouldn't expect, like up under the next row...to hold it in when starting or something.

If you are only trying to do ONE clap and think that's it...and you haven't done this before...I highly recommend you find a carpenter that's done it, give them $50 to remove it for you. This is surgery. You can EASILY wind up having to change 5, 6 pieces of siding if you're new and dive right in. They are delicate, and require a finesse that you have to LEARN, can't just pick it up. It's a system to learn like any other, at first it seems senseless but later you're like "OH, I GET IT"... But you might be able to get it down, who knows?

There are vids on Youtube about this, too, but usually on new houses where nothing is utterly stuck..

** Prime all 6 sides of new clap, and butt end of old claps before re-installing..... ** You'll be sorry if you don't, ha ha.
Last edited by GibsonGM on Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to remove clapboard mid wall?

Postby GibsonGM » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:26 pm

Replacement is easy....measure the length you need accurately, cut new clap about 1/8" short of that. Prime ends of any claps you're going to mate to....put a piece of tar paper about 2" wide under the joint in case any water gets in the joint. Stop the paper short of where it would hang out under the joint.

Slide new pre-primed clap up and in, get its horizontal and vertical spacing right (1/16" space at each end)....tack with a siding nail (2 1/2" stainless siding nails are great, look like little flooring nails (ridges)) on each end where the old ones were....tack on above in the original holes (or next to them if they are too big). When primer is dry, caulk gaps with quality caulking. You can fill nail holes...the holes from the ones you removed may be huge and ugly, requiring this. Prime them first tho so when the filler comes out in 10, 50, 100 yrs, it's not exposing bare wood.

Refinish after 24 hrs.

** If you have old weathered siding, a NEW clap may call itself out big time. Mine do. I've learned to live with it...but be aware of that, maybe finish and hold one up to see what it'll look like. If you can find some old siding to use, you'd be in good shape, tho it may be harder to work with. Make sure it's not split length-wise....you should have the 'reveal', something like 3.5" or 4" you see, then a tongue that goes up under, 1" or more in length. So siding is really 5", 6" wide.

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Re: How to remove clapboard mid wall?

Postby Gothichome » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:14 am

Hummmmm, could some thing like this save a bit of work. A slaters ripper, just slide it under the clap, feel for the nails and give it a whack with your hammer, shearing your nail. To reinstall, slid the clap back in, hammer in new finish nails, set the nails, fill and paint.
http://www.tfortools.co/shop-by-categor ... 33736.html

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Re: How to remove clapboard mid wall?

Postby Mick_VT » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:40 am

Gothichome wrote:Hummmmm, could some thing like this save a bit of work. A slaters ripper, just slide it under the clap, feel for the nails and give it a whack with your hammer, shearing your nail. To reinstall, slid the clap back in, hammer in new finish nails, set the nails, fill and paint.
http://www.tfortools.co/shop-by-categor ... 33736.html


I have cut clapboard nails with a sawzall (with a long metal blade) in a similar manner. My nails are square iron cut nails so a bit hard to remove most of the time, though they snap quite well
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Re: How to remove clapboard mid wall?

Postby GibsonGM » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:24 pm

I think I'd go for the sawzall (sideways force) faster than a ripper; if you mess up the clap above, you're replacing that one, too...and so on...but I'm the type that goes for 'feel' over ease...it'll tell you before it snaps (usually).

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Re: How to remove clapboard mid wall?

Postby TexasRed » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:38 am

Gibson, much obliged! I really appreciate the detailed explanation. We will put the info to good use this week. Your "slow & steady" approach fits husbands personality - he is very patient and mindful. I didn't mention that we found a good stash of old claps in the garage, should have plenty to do the replacements. Should I still prime 6 sides since it's old wood? Or is Blop enough?

Gothichome - I have never heard of a "Slatters Ripper" until now - thanks for suggesting it. It looks like it would be a handy tool to have around. Could have already used it on a couple of projects as well as the current clapboard replacement. I love all the tools and techniques I learn about on this forum.

Mick - A Sawsall - of course. :doh: Why didn't we think of that!?! Adding that to the tool bucket for this project. Great idea!
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Re: How to remove clapboard mid wall?

Postby GibsonGM » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:47 am

I would prime all sides, yes...even tho the wall is probably not back-primed. Just good practice and only takes a minute!

The only fear I'd have with a sawzall is that you can 1) punch thru the clap above/snap it up high due to the vibration, or 2) damage whatever paper might be behind the claps. That is probably not a huge issue if one is careful, though.

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Re: How to remove clapboard mid wall?

Postby Mick_VT » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:10 pm

GibsonGM wrote:I would prime all sides, yes...even tho the wall is probably not back-primed. Just good practice and only takes a minute!

The only fear I'd have with a sawzall is that you can 1) punch thru the clap above/snap it up high due to the vibration, or 2) damage whatever paper might be behind the claps. That is probably not a huge issue if one is careful, though.


Real slow with a short blade is the key - using a variable speed one of course - YMMV as I was cutting iron square cut nails, I dont know how well it would work on modern wire nails. I have also had success in just punching them right through into the siding, but that would very much depend on the state and brittleness of the wood. these are coping mechanisms for cut nails which tend to hold REALLY tight
Mick...

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Re: How to remove clapboard mid wall?

Postby GibsonGM » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:23 pm

Mick_VT wrote:.... these are coping mechanisms for cut nails which tend to hold REALLY tight


They SURE DO, don't they?? It's easy to break claps when trying to get 'em out. I speak from experience. Going very slow and working them little by little, across the upper board, is the only 'sure' way for me (sort of sure, anyway).

Old carpenter showed me...the biggest part of the 'trick' is to push the nail away from its hole (or against it) after you can move the upper clap out a little, so when you push it back, the nail pops up. They tend to just go back in the hole and not pop up otherwise, which will drive you nuts...very easy once seen.


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