4 Steps To Tearing Off Old Shingles To Prepare For A Roof Replacement Project

Posted on: 9 May 2016

Replacing your roof can be an expensive project to take on, but it is often needed as part of regular maintenance of your home. Most roofing contractors recommend that the old layers of shingles be torn off before a new roof can be installed, which is one of the costliest parts of a roof replacement. If you feel comfortable doing some of the work yourself, you may want to tear off your own shingles yourself to save on reroofing your home. Here are the steps you will need to take to tear off those old layers of shingles:

1. Gathering The Tools And Materials Needed To Tear Off The Shingles

Before you can get started tearing off the old shingles on your home, you will need to have some basic tools. The tools you will need include the following:

  • Hammer—to tear off shingles, bend nails, and do basic repairs.
  • Nail Puller or Flat Bar—for pulling shingles loose and getting under nails to begin tearing off shingles.
  • Flathead Shovel or Snow Shovel—to remove large sections of shingles quickly and slide them down the roof, as well as to clean up any mess from the project.
  • Nail Pouch—To carry and save any nails and fasteners that may need to be used later, such as for mechanical boots and other features.

These are the basic tools you will need for this project. In addition, you will want to have safety gear such as gloves and boots, as well as a ladder to get on the roof. An old foam cushion can be another good tool to get around the roof and protect your knees from the granules on shingles.

2. Starting By Tearing Off The Ridge Caps And Exposing The First Rows Of Shingles

The ridge caps are the narrow tabs of shingles that cover the top of your roof or ridge. These are where you will want to start with the tearing off of shingles. To remove the ridge caps, look for one that is visibly above the others. Remove it and then remove the rest in either direction. Once you do this, you can use your flat bar or nail puller to begin working the first layer of shingles loose. Once you get a few rows of shingles loose, you can start using the shovels to remove the shingles in larger sections.

3. Renting A Dumpster To Throw All The Materials In And Have Them Hauled Off

Dealing with debris from your roofing tear off is something that you will face. If you have a pickup, you may want to take the materials to the landfill in loads, which you will have to pay a fee for each load. A better option is to rent a roll off dumpster to dispose of the materials. Most of these services charge a onetime fee to deliver and pick up the full dumpster. This can be a more affordable solution, but you will want to make sure you get one that is big enough for your project, so you do not have to have several delivered.

4. Removing Flashing, Doing Any Needed Repairs, And Drying In Your Home

First, remove any flashing to expose the wood decking beneath, which with metal flashing that is worn, there may be hidden water damage beneath. Complete any repairs to rotten wood before you are ready to dry in your home. Drying in your home means covering it with a tarp for a temporary solution, or installing the flashing and felt paper underlayment to protect your house from water leaks. If it is going to be a while before the shingles can be installed, you may want to install the felt and tarp on your roof to ensure your home is protected from potential leaks while you wait for the new roof to be installed.

Tearing off your old roofing is a simple, but labor intensive job that can save you on your roof replacement. Once you have the old layers of roofing off of your home, you can contact a roofing contractor to finish the job by installing the new shingles. For more information, contact a professional like Hazelmere Roofing LTD.

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