Tearing Off Old Roof Shingles

When you need to remove the old shingles from your roof whether from age or damage, it can usually be done pretty quickly. Commonly referred to as a ‘tear off’ removing the shingles creates a lot of debris.

Renting a dumpster makes clean up easier, if you position it just right you can throw the old shingles and waste directly into the dumpster from the roof. If this is not an option for you, there are other methods that make clean up easier.

Spread tarps in the yard and lean plywood sheets up against the house to protect your shrubbery, windows and siding. Place wheelbarrows on the tarps to also catch debris from the roof. Another option is to buy or rent a strong walk behind magnet on wheels to pick up the nails that will invariably land in your yard.

Steps involved for removing the shingles:

• Starting at the top, remove the ridge cap with a pry bar.
• Using a pitchfork or roofing shovel tear off the old shingles and felt paper.
• Remove any flashing, salvaging any reusable pieces.
• Pry up any remaining nails and sweep the deck with a broom.

Once the shingles are off the roof, you can inspect the sheathing for any signs of damage. Now would be the time to make any repairs to the deck before the new shingles go on.

You may want to consider hiring a roofing crew to do the tear off; it can be tough, dirty work, with the cost of the tools and your time you may not come out that far ahead if you do it yourself.

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