Removing That Old Roof

There are a number of do it yourself home repairs that a homeowner can do on their own to save a lot of money. Often, however, when someone thinks about replacing their roof, they automatically assume it is out of their reach. However, this does not need to be the case and there are at least some parts of a roof replacement that can be done with little or no direct roofing experience.

With that said, it is obviously important to never do anything out of your comfort zone and there are many dangers associated with replacing a roof, largely because it is done on top of the house and there are falling concerns. So, you should only consider replacing your own roof if you feel comfortable working with heights, are mechanically inclined, like do-it-yourself projects, and don’t mind learning as you go.

One of the first steps of a roof replacement is removing the old roof, which also is usually one of the most difficult steps. From a strictly technical standpoint, it is rather easy. All the old shingles, nails, and other things on the roof must come off and it needs to be stripped to the plywood base. However, aside from perhaps carrying the new shingles up to the roof, it is often the most physically demanding part.

Removing the shingles is easiest with a special type of shovel called a tear off tool. This has a end that has a number of teeth that can be used to pry off nails and is angled so that it can be slid under the shingles. In older times, roofers would often just use a flat head shovel and this can still be done, but work will go much faster with a tear off tool.

When doing a roof, it is a good idea to just rent a dumpster, rather than trying to haul off the trash on your own. Even discounting all the new trash you will generate, you will still have quite literally tons of debris, like old shingles and possibly wood. To avoid having to make a number of trips, you can rent a dumpster instead, with a number of companies offering a flat fee and leaving it for several weeks at no additional charge.

If at all possible, position the dumpster so that you can throw trash from the roof directly into it and as you are removing shingles, try to toss them into the dumpster, instead of onto the ground. After you have been doing it for a little bit, it will begin to go much quicker and it is often possible to remove large sections of shingles at once, by prying part of them up, moving slightly, and prying some more.

When completed, all of the old roof, including the felt paper, must be removed from the roof. This includes nails and staples, which would damage the new shingles and felt paper if left.’

You may also find water damage from a leak, so do not be surprised if you must replace some wood or other parts of your roof.