Monthly Archives: March 2023

5 570x342 - A Guidebook on Properly Removing Old Roof Shingles

A Guidebook on Properly Removing Old Roof Shingles

Removing old roof shingles is a crucial step in the roofing process. Doing it right will save you money and make the next job of installing new shingles a breeze.

You should begin by working your shovel or fork under the ridge caps-the shingles at the peak of the roof-and prying them loose. Work your way down the roof, removing shingle courses in 2 to 3-foot sections.

1. Safety First

When removing old roof tiles, it’s essential to do so safely. This is important not only for the safety of your family, but also to avoid damaging your home’s structure and the landscaping around it.

First, make sure that you’re wearing the appropriate protective gear. This includes work gloves, safety glasses and a hard hat. You should also use a harness when working on the roof, especially if you’re going up on the eaves or on a ladder.

Once you’ve gathered your tools and equipment, it’s time to start preparing the area where you’re going to be working. This will help to keep nails and other debris out of your yard, reduce the amount of cleanup you’ll need to do and preserve your landscaping.

Before you start removing the old roof tiles, it’s important to inspect your home for signs of damage that might require more serious repairs in the future. This will ensure that your repair is done properly and will save you money down the road.

For example, look for missing shingles, curled edges, or a lot of smooth dark spots where the granules have worn off. You can also check the flashing (the thin pieces of material that direct water away from your house) for wear and tear.

It’s best to replace the flashing as soon as you spot any damage or if it’s getting close to its replacement age. Otherwise, you might have to go through the hassle of repairing it later, which will be more expensive.

After ensuring that all of the old tiles are safely removed, it’s time to get to work on your new roofing. The process of re-shingling isn’t too difficult and can be done by most people, so long as you follow some simple guidelines.

For this process, you’ll need a brick trowel and timber wedges to hold up the overlapping tiles that will need to be removed. This will help to hold them up so that they don’t slide off your roof while you are removing the tiles. It’s also a good idea to use a spirit level and apply a generous bead of adhesive along the top of your hip and ridge tiles to ensure that they are correctly aligned.

2. Start With the Ridge Caps

Ridge caps are a critical part of any roof – without them, rain would enter the attic and shingles would tear away from the top. They also prevent ice damming, a common cause of roof leaks.

In general, ridge cap shingles are thicker and more robust than regular shingle shingles and are pre-bent so they can bend over the ridge of your roof. This makes them much easier to install than the old three-tab shingles they replaced.

Most shingle companies offer a range of colors for their ridge cap shingles, so you can match the new ones to your existing roof. Some shingle companies also offer impact-resistant ridge capping.

When installing a ridge cap, roofing professionals will first create a cement mortar bed where the ridge cap will be placed. They use a mixture of three parts builder’s sand to one part cement to ensure the bed is strong and firm. This cement will provide the perfect base for the ridge cap to rest on, and fully waterproof your home.

They will then place the ridge cap on the mortar bed and nail it down. This is the best way to make sure your ridge caps look great and last for many years.

To install a ridge cap, it is crucial to remove any moss, algae or mildew that may be present on your roof. Moss, algae and mildew clogs your shingles and can cause leaks.

It’s also a good idea to replace your ridge caps before they completely wear down. The sun and wind can take their toll on ridge caps more quickly than the rest of your roof.

You can also help keep your ridge caps clean by spraying them with a solution of bleach. This will destroy any fungus or bacteria that might be on them and prevent it from growing back.

After cleaning the ridge caps, you can then start to remove any old tiles and mortar that may have been damaged or worn away by the abrasion of the removal process. You will also need to sweep up any accumulated dust that is still on the roof.

3. Remove the Old Flashing

When you are removing the old roof tiles, it is important to be careful. You must avoid damaging any existing structures such as chimneys, skylights, dormers or exterior walls.

If the flashing on your roof is damaged, it will not be as effective and will cause leaks. To make sure your flashing is in good condition, you should check it before you start tearing off the old roof. However, it’s more advisable to hire a roofing contractor for the entire residential roofing installation process.

Some roofing professionals prefer to preserve and reuse metal flashing, especially when it’s in good shape. However, if your flashing is rusting or cracked, it may be best to remove it and replace it with new metal.

This will help you avoid the costly and time-consuming process of replacing a damaged flashing.

Using a garden fork or notched roofing tear-off shovel, strip the shingles off one section at a time, starting from the peak and working down to the valleys. This can take a while, so plan your schedule accordingly and work with a team that is experienced in shingle removal.

Once all of the shingles are removed, you should remove the flashing from the valleys and over the plumbing vent pipes. This will make it easier to remove the remaining shingles and install the new ones without any damage.

You should also remove the step flashing that is on your home. This is usually a piece of metal bent at a 90-degree angle on the edges where the roof meets the wall.

When removing the old flashing, it is important to keep your hands safe and wear work gloves and sensible closed-toe shoes. This is because you will be handling heavy and sharp tools that could hurt you or someone else if you are not wearing the proper protective gear.

After you’ve removed the old shingles, use a notched shovel or garden fork to remove any remaining nails on the flashing that is still on your roof. Afterward, you should slide the flashing off your roof and place it in a trash bin.

Ideally, your trash bin should be located near your house or another readily accessible area where it is easy to get to and move around. Alternatively, you can rent a dumpster to handle the bulk of the debris and then dispose of it properly.

4. Remove the Shingles

5a - A Guidebook on Properly Removing Old Roof Shingles

Before you begin removing the old roof shingles, make sure you have all of the necessary tools and materials. These may include a ladder, hammers, nails, a pry bar, adjustable roof jacks and tarps to lean against.

Start at the peak and work your way down in sections of 2 to 3 feet wide. You will need to remove the shingles from a section of the roof about every 2.5 to 3 ft.

As you pull the shingles off, they will roll up and form a ball. Once the shingles are free, push them down to the roof jacks.

You can also use a fork to loosen the shingles as you work down the roof. This will make the process easier and faster. However, be aware that some nails will come up with the shingles and others will not.

To avoid this problem, you should not try to get all the shingles off at once. Instead, remove them in smaller sections and dispose of them before they pile up too much.

The shingles are heavy, so it’s best to take small armfuls in each trip to the dumpster or disposal container. This will help to prevent accidents and damage to your property.

Another advantage to removing the shingles is that you can assess the condition of the underlayment and the roof deck, two elements that can affect your home’s overall structural integrity. If any of these are in bad shape, you’ll need to have them repaired before putting the new shingles on.

If you’re unsure whether a project like this requires a permit, talk to your city office to find out. If you do, you’ll need to obtain one and pay the fee.

Once the shingles are removed, go over the entire surface and inspect it for protruding nails or signs of damaged materials. You should also inspect the flashing – the thin pieces of material that direct water away from your home – for signs of wear.

If the flashing is in good condition and is directing water properly, it is likely safe to reuse. You should check the flashing around valleys, chimneys and plumbing vents for signs of wear, too. If you see any signs of rust or cracks, you should remove it and replace it with new flashing to protect your home’s interior from water damage.