Removing Shingles

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 21, 2018)

Removing shingles is one of the best ways to prepare your roof for a new roofing job. While it is not strictly necessary to always remove the old shingles before installing the new ones (some local codes will allow you to have up to three total layers), it never hurts to remove the old stuff. In fact, removing the old shingles before you place the new ones will give you the opportunity to inspect the roof and see if there is any other problems that need to be taken care of.

Keep in mind that this method is all about removing shingles, not about replacing them. As such, the only details listed here will be how you remove the shingles, and what you should do immediately afterwards. We will not be going into how you replace the shingles, and do your own roofing jobs in this article.

Tools needed:

  • Roofing knife
  • Flat pry bar
  • Roofing shovel
  • Roofing pitchfork
  • Claw hammer
  • Broom
  • Very large dumpster

Procedure:

  1. Preparation is key. Before you begin climbing up onto your roof and tearing everything out, you need to take a little time to do some preparation work. In this instance, the biggest thing that you can do is to get a very large dumpster to put all of your garbage into. On the average, a 1,500 square foot roof will produce enough garbage to fill an entire 20 cubic yard dumpster. When you have the dumpster at your property, have it placed under one of the eves of the roof so you can simply slide all the garbage into it. Other wise you will find your self removing the garbage from the roof as well as from the ground.
  2. Start at the top. Starting near the top of your roof, work a roofing shovel underneath the shingles. Get the shovel or pitchfork as tight against the sheathing as possible, and begin pealing off the shingles in as large of chunks as possible. As you begin removing shingles, work on your roof in sections where you remove all of the shingles before you move onto the next area.
  3. 3, Remove any flashing. As you work your way down towards the edge of the roof you will invariably come across some flashing around vents, skylights, and chimneys. When you do, remove this flashing as you would any other shingles.
  4. Work on the ridge. Save the ridge of the roof for last area to remove your shingles. The reason for this is that by leaving the shingles there you will have some protection against any possible rain that could come along.
  5. Remove all nails. Once you have removed all of the shingles, it is time to begin on the nails. Go over every square inch of your now bare roof, and look for any nails that you may have missed. If you find them, go ahead and remove them and properly dispose of them.
  6. Inspect the sheathing. Before you are finished you still need to do one more thing. Check the sheathing that was under the shingles. As you check it, make sure that you are looking for any damage or indications that the sheathing may no longer be any good. If it is damaged in some way then remove it and replace it with something that will work better.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Winterizing a Car

Considering how much havoc the winter season can play on both your car and your wallet, it only makes sense to take some ...

Discover More

Where to Use Climbing Plants

Climbing plants can add a touch of elegance and whimsy to just about any landscape design. However, in order to get the ...

Discover More

Baking Italian Meatballs

Meatballs are so easy to make, it really is a wonder that more people don't make their own. Here is a great tasting ...

Discover More

MAX Power! A powerful lithium-ion drill/driver that delivers 0-to-650 RPM and 115 inches-per-pound of torque in a lightweight, easy-to-use package. An anti-slip soft grip and LED worklight makes this tool a delight to use. Check out Black & Decker 20-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Repairing Shingles

Repairing the shingles of a roof is, or can be, a fairly scary prospect for many people. Well, fear no more, since you ...

Discover More

Cleaning the Chimney

There are professional chimneysweepers available to deep clean your chimney, but if you are up to the job yourself, here ...

Discover More

What is Roof Flashing?

What is roof flashing? Unless you have done a bit of roofing work in the past, or simply like to read a lot, chances are ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two minus 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)