how to remove tongue-in-groove paneling

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Old 03-18-08, 07:43 AM
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Question how to remove tongue-in-groove paneling

We have tongue-in-groove wood paneling in a finished basement, but there's a leak somewhere behind the paneling along one wall. In order to see where the leak is coming from, we need to take down some of the panels, but since it's tongue-in-groove, I'm afraid there's no way to take them down without damaging them, unless we take them all down. We want to avoid taking the whole wall down if possible, but we also don't want to damage the panels, so that we can hopefully just put them back up after we seal the leak. Is there a trick to removing tongue-in-groove panels that will avoid splitting the wood, especially along the tongues? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-18-08, 08:56 AM
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It's hard - but not impossible... Remove the base molding from the offending section. With a pry bar, pull out the paneling in the middle of a panel enough to get the nail heads exposed. Pull out the nails and continue cautiously prying the paneling until you can get enough "bow" in the panel to pull out the tongue/groove section. More than likely, you'll have some repairs to make when you're done - but if done carefully and slowly --- sometimes it will work.
 
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Old 03-18-08, 09:16 AM
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Thanks. I've got the molding off, so step 1 is done. Makes sense to try to get the nails out before bowing the board, so thanks for that. I'll keep my fingers crossed (though not while using a crowbar).
 
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Old 03-19-08, 03:39 PM
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Hopefully the paneling isn't attached with adhesive too. You may (will) pull some of the drywall off too, if that's the case. Not a big deal if your going to replace the paneling. As long as the drywall above it isn't damaged - so be careful of that.
 
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