Spring is just around the corner! That means it’s time for some serious spring cleaning. Out with the old and in with the new, so they say! And if you are anything like us, that means it’s time for a new roof, as well.
Many aspects of roofing are challenging, messy, and time-consuming. Removing your existing shingles is certainly one of them. However, it is also one of the few roofing tasks that the average homeowner can do on their own without the help of a roofing professional.
Have we caught your attention? Then, you are in the right place. If you’ve been Googling “how to remove shingles from roof,” we are here to answer all the questions you’ve been searching for, including:
- What tools do you need?
- When is it time to install new asphalt shingles?
- At what point should I call on a professional for help?
Keep reading to learn all of that and much more!
Signs You Need New Shingles
Before you start the shingle removal process, it’s important to take a hard look at your existing shingles and determine whether or not a roof removal is actually necessary.
That said, if you aren’t a roofer, you may not even know what you are looking for. Here are some clear signs that your shingles are on their last leg:
- Age – Age is one of the most obvious considerations when it comes time to decide to remove your old roof shingles. While different roofing materials have different lifespans, asphalt shingles will only last around 15-20 years before needing replacement. If you’ve been neglecting your maintenance, it may be sooner rather than later.
- Missing Shingles – It’s not unusual for a shingle or two to blow off during severe weather. However, if you’re finding that shingles are regularly falling off of your roof, it may be time for a roofing tear-off.
- Granule Loss – As they age, asphalt shingles naturally loose some of their granules. However, if you are finding asphalt shingle granules in large quantities in your gutters and on your driveway, it may be time to consider replacing them.
- Damaged Shingles – A cracked or dented shingle may not seem all that worrisome. However, the truth is that any amount of damage can allow water to seep through to the underlayers of your roof. In severe cases, this could lead your roof deck to rot, which is a hugely expensive repair. It is much more affordable to replace damaged shingles directly.
How to Remove Your Roof Shingles in 5 Steps
Ready to take the DIY route? Follow along to our comprehensive guide on removing old shingles from your roof.
1) Gather Materials
Before you start climbing your ladder, you’ll want to make sure that you are fully equipped to handle the job in front of you. That means making sure that you have the right tools. Here are the materials you’ll need to do the job correctly:
- Safety harness system
- Safety glasses
- Work gloves
- Pry bar
- Push broom
- Extension ladder
- Cat’s paw
- Roofing shovel
- Adjustable roof jacks
2) Prep the Area
Start by preparing the area around your house for the tear-off. The last thing you want is falling debris damaging the exterior of your home! You’ll want to be sure to cover all bushes and shrubbery with tarps, as well as board up any windows you are worried about damaging.
We also recommend renting a trash container that you place near your house so that you can dispose of the roofing debris directly into it.
Before you start tearing off the shingles, install your roof jacks onto the roof, along with a 2×10 board. This will help prevent the roofing material – and you – from sliding off of the roof.
3) Remove Roof Shingles
You’ll want to start at the top roof ridge caps of your home. Use a roofing tear-off shovel to dig under the topmost layer of shingles and pry them off of the roof deck. The loose shingles can then slide down towards the roof jacks, where they will sit until you are ready to dispose of them.
4) Remove Flashing
As you make your way down the roof, you will want to carefully inspect your roof flashing. Most of the time, you’ll be better off replacing the flashing in order to ensure a better water-tight seal. You can remove the flashing with a pry bar. Be sure to remove the flashing carefully if you are hoping to reuse it.
5) Clean and Cover
Once all of the material is loose, you can begin to carefully toss the shingles into your dumpster. Keep in mind that asphalt shingles are heavier than they look!
Once all the shingles are removed, be sure to carefully remove any stray nails with a hammer before thoroughly sweeping the area.
Before you finish for the day, be sure to securely cover your roof in order to ensure that the roof decking does not become damaged by any stray rain. In fact, if you have time, we recommend installing the ice and water barrier that day for an added layer of protection.
Get Professional Help for Your Roofing Needs
While we support any homeowner who is looking to try a DIY project, we also understand that it is often easier – and safer – to leave it to a professional. With First American on your side, you can count on your shingle removal to be fast and efficient. Contact us today to receive your free estimate!