Tips For Easy Asphalt Shingle Removal

If you need a new asphalt shingle roof, then you may be thinking of installing the roof yourself. You also may be thinking about cutting costs by removing the shingles from the roof and then asking a professional to do the new roof installation. If you do this, then you should know that shingle removal is hard and difficult work. However, there are a few tips that you can follow to make the job a bit easier. 

Start At The Top

Before you start climbing on your roof, you will need to purchase the right tools for the shingle removal job. One of the most important is called a shingle remover. This tool is a handled instrument that looks a bit like a narrow shovel with a zig-zag along the blade. A ripping bar with a sharp and angled end and a spade shovel are good tools to purchase as well. 

When you are ready with your tools, start at the top of the roof ridge. While it may seem like it makes sense to start at the bottom of the roof, you will have difficulty removing the shingles. Also, the weight on your shovel will be difficult to move. After all, a small bundle of shingles can easily weigh well over 100 pounds. 

The roof ridge cap will be secured with either roof cement or roofing nails. Place the edge of the shingle remover underneath the cap edge and shimmy it down the length of the cap. When one side of the cap is released, start working on the other side. The top shingle layer will be exposed at this time. Use your ripping bar to release the nails from the first row of shingles. Do this from the top down. Keep in mind that there will typically be four nails per each three-tab shingle, so keep count of the nails that are released as you work your way from one shingle to the next.

Work the bar underneath the shingles to release the first two to three rows until you can comfortably stand on the exposed deck. You will have enough room at this time to start maneuvering your shingle remover under the shingles and nails. You can reach two rows down with this tool and release two three-tab shingles at a time. 

Get A Dumpster And Clear Nails Later

If you prepare your area properly before you start working on shingle removal, then you will be able to force most of the old shingles into a dumpster. Rent a dumpster that is large enough to hold all the old shingles from your roof. The dumpster size will depend on the size of your roof and the number of squares of shingles that cover it. A square is 100 square feet, so make a rough estimate of the size of your roof and divide the number by 100 to figure out the squares. In most cases, you will need an 8 or 10 yard dumpster that corresponds to a roof that is between 20 and 25 squares in size. 

Place your dumpster on the ground, lengthwise, and towards the middle of your home for easy use. Use your spade shovel to move the old shingles into the dumpster as they are removed. 

You may want to concentrate on placing the vast majority of your debris in the dumpster to keep things as clean as possible. However, it can take some time to make sure that all nails and smaller debris are forced into the dumpster.

If you want to make your job easier and get off your roof as soon as possible, place tarps around the exterior of your home. Do not pick up every nail you see or make sure that nails make it into the dumpster. You can allow them to fall on the tarps and the tarps can be rolled up and thrown out afterwards. If you clean up in this way, then make sure that you also purchase a magnetic tool to retrieve the nails from the ground. There are several different devices that you can purchase that include rolling magnet sweeps and simple strong and handled magnets.