Q: Is there a special tool for removing siding nails?

— Ches, Columbia, South Carolina

A: Tom Silva replies: There is a special tool you can use, and I believe it's called a "slater's bar," because it's also used to remove roof slates. You should be able to find one at a commercial roofing store. The tool can be anywhere from 18 to 36 inches long, and very thin. The way you use it is — and I assume you're talking about wood shingles — you slide this bar up under the shingle that you want to remove, underneath the overhanging shingle, finding the nail and hooking the tool over it. With a hammer you hit the other end of the bar and it grabs the nail head and pulls the whole nail right down and out. When you've removed all the nails holding a shingle in place, you can then just slide it out. It's not as easy as it sounds, but it is pretty easy.
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