What Happens With A Residential Roof Tear Off

9 March 2023
 Categories: , Blog


When it's time to get a new asphalt shingle roof put on your home, the roofer will probably start by doing a roof tear off. This is the process of removing all the old roofing materials so the roofer has a clean surface to attach the shingles. Here's why the roofer needs to tear off the old shingles and how it's done. 

Why Your Roofer Needs To Tear Off Old Shingles

People sometimes have new shingles put over old ones, but your old roof has to meet certain criteria first. Plus, your roofer might not think a second layer of roofing is a good idea since that might shorten the life of your roof. One reason old shingles need to come off is so the roofer can check the entire deck carefully. If they find a spot that has moisture damage, that part of the deck will be replaced with dry decking.

Also, if your old roof has a lot of shingle damage and the shingles aren't flat, it's necessary to put new shingles on. Even if your old roof is in pretty good shape, you may prefer to have a residential roof tear off done so you'll have all new materials on your roof.

How The Roofing Crew Tears Off Old Shingles

The roofer preps the area first. They'll park a dumpster close to your house if possible. If they can't get the dumpster close enough, they'll put down tarps and throw the shingles on the tarp and then transfer them to the dumpster. The roofer might also place a board on the roof with jacks that creates a way to stop nails and loose shingles from sliding off the roof.

When prep work is done, the roofer starts at the top corner of your roof and pulls up shingles with a roof rake or other roof tear off tool. Some nails will come up with the shingles and some will still be stuck to the deck. The roofer will go back later and remove the nails.

The roofer also checks flashing. The flashing in the roof valley and the flashing and rubber boot around the plumbing vent will probably need to be torn off. Other flashing might be left on the roof if it's in excellent shape.

Once all the shingles, flashing, and nails are gone from the roof, the deck is fully exposed. The roofer can then walk the deck to feel for soft spots that indicate water damage that has to be repaired before new shingles are put on the roof.

Speak to a contractor to learn more.