Tearing Off an Old Roof

Every building owner knows that the roof is one of the most important structural aspects of any building. When the roof sustains any sort of damage, the entire integrity of the home or business building is potentially at risk. As such, the time may come when it’s time to tear off the old roof so that a new roof can be installed in its place. While a professional Monmouth County roofing contractor is always ready to help, handy building owners may be able to save a bit of cash by removing the old roofing themselves.

Removing old roofing material is long, hard work. Investing in a few tools meant for roof work can make the work a bit easier and much faster. The first recommended tool is a tear-off shovel made specifically for removing shingles. Next, a hammer-tacker makes installing new felt paper easy and quick. Finally, a broom magnet will help building owners ensure that all nails are removed from the site once the tear-off is complete. Additionally, building owners will need a large trash container to hold all of the debris and old roofing material that will be torn off from the building.

The first step to removing old roofing materials is to to tear up the shingles using a tear-off shovel. When beginning the job, it is recommended that you start at the farthest point from the trash container, which will save trips across the roof as the work continues.

Once the ridge caps have been removed, the shingles and the felt paper should come up with a bit of elbow grease.

While it is usually recommended to replace the flashing around skylights and chimneys, flashing that is in good condition can be reused. To remove the flashing without causing damage, the nails should first be removed. Next, the flashing can be bent upwards away from the shingles with a tool called a pry bar. Put the flashing to the side, and the shingles underneath can then be removed. Step flashing, if in good condition, can also be saved and reused.

Once all of the shingles are removed, old valley and vent flashing should be pulled up. This flashing usually has the same lifespan as the shingles, so it is recommended that this flashing be replaced.

Once the roof has been stripped of its old shingles, the deck needs to be completely stripped of all nails and be swept clean. If there is damage to some of the sheathing, the damaged sections need to be replaced. After the deck has been cleaned and inspected, it should be protected with an ice and water barrier and a layer of asphalt-saturated felt. This will protect the deck until new shingles can be installed. Have a question regarding roof repairs or new gutters? Ask a roofing professional from Fortified Roofing of Monmouth County NJ.

Roofing term courtesy of Fortified Roofing, Monmouth County NJ:


Roof flashing is a material usually made out of glavanized steel or aluminum that installed in the building’s joints. The flashing prevents water from seeping around the shingles and into the structural components of the roof.

Question and answer from Monmouth County roofing contractor Fortified Roofing:

When should I replace my roof flashing?

Flashing installed around skylights, chimneys and exterior walls can be reused if they are in good condition and if they are difficult to replace. However, any flashing that shows signs of rust or cracks should be tossed out and replaced. Flashing with any damage will not last long and may cause weak spots in the roof.

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If you would like to ask a question regarding roofers, a new roof installation, roof leak repairs, skylight options or gutters and downspouts please contact Fortified Roofing today!

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