Get A Free Consultation
arial view of contractor removing roof shingles

No one likes to think about having to replace their roof. Unfortunately, it is something that most of us will have to deal with at one point or another.

When it comes to home projects, people usually fall into one of two categories:

  • The “Please do not even mention a screwdriver in my presence, the thought of it stresses me out” people
  • The “I’ve never met a challenge I didn’t like, of course I can conquer this project” people

If you fall into the latter category, we know that you are already scouring the internet for articles on how to remove roof shingles. Welcome, because you’ve come to the right place! Today, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about removing your own roof shingles safely and properly.

Signs It Is Time to Install New Shingles

Before you put on your tool belt, it is important to identify whether or not you actually need to replace your old roof shingles. Here are some of the signs that you are in need of a new roof:

missing shingles photographed on roof before shown how to remove roof shingles
  • Missing Shingles – It isn’t uncommon for roofing shingles to occasionally detach from your roof. This is usually due to extreme weather conditions, such as high-speed winds. While even a single missing shingle isn’t great, multiple missing shingles typically mean that you are in need to replace your old shingles.
  • Roof Leaks – Have you been dealing with frequent or reoccurring roof leaks in your home? This is a clear sign that your shingles are no longer providing a sturdy barrier against water. Roof leaks aren’t just annoying, but they can be hugely damaging to the structure of your home.
  • Cracked or Curling Shingles – Asphalt shingles can be damaged in a number of ways. Falling branches, hail, or even just time can make them break down. Broken shingles may not look all that threatening, but they can still allow water to enter your home.
  • Granule Loss – As asphalt shingles age, they will naturally lose some of the granules. However, as they get older, you may find increasingly large amounts of gritty black material on your driveway or in your gutters. Too much granule loss means that it is time to replace roof shingles!

Can You DIY Your Shingle Removal?

The question of the hour! Can – and should – you remove shingles from your roof by yourself? The answer? It depends.

The best part about asphalt shingle roofs is that they are very beginner friendly when it comes to roof maintenance. In the grand scheme of things, asphalt shingles are easy to install and not that difficult to remove.

However, your roof is a vital part of your home, and incorrect roof maintenance could create huge problems. Additionally, any work that requires you to be that far off of the ground comes with a fair amount of risk. We always recommend calling on a qualified roofing professional to help you with any roofing projects that you do not feel 100% confident tackling on your own.

7 Steps for Removing Roof Shingles

Ready to get started? Carefully read through our list of steps to remove roof shingles for a smooth process!

1) Collect Tools

Before you pull out your ladder, you’ll want to make sure that you are properly equipped to take on the job. Here is a list of some of the tools you’ll want to have on hand before you begin:

  • Safety equipment – This includes a harness, protective eyewear, work gloves, and proper clothing
  • Adjustable roof jacks
  • Extension ladder
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Push broom
  • Broom magnet
  • Cat’s paw
  • Roofing shovel
roof shovel used to remove roof shingles

2) Prep the Area

Removing shingles is a messy task. You don’t want the exterior of your house to have to suffer because of it. A little prep work will go a long way.

Be sure to cover the area underneath your roof with a tarp, including any plants or shrubs that you want to protect. We also recommend covering your windows and appliances, like an air conditioner with plywood so that they aren’t broken by flying shingles.

You’ll also want to be sure to rent a dumpster. Ideally, you’ll have it placed near the roof so that you can dispose of your shingles directly into it.

3) Strip the Roof

It’s now time to dive in! Starting at the very top of the roof, you’ll want to use your roofing shovel to begin to tear away the top layers of shingles. You’ll want to use your shovel like a pry bar, slipping underneath the shingles and slowly loosening the nails. Work your way down the roof, until you get the roof’s edge.

4) Toss Shingles

Wanna know a little roofer’s secret? Shingles? Way heavier than they look!

Once you’ve reached the edge of your roof, you will want to toss your old shingles in or as close to your dumpster as possible. Be wary of any nails that may be poking out!

5) Replace Flashing

Next, you’ll want to examine the chimney, valley, vent, and step flashing on your roof. Most of the time, it is a good idea to replace the flashing in order to ensure the best water-tight seal.

If you choose to keep your existing flashing, be sure to remove any shingles that may be trapped underneath it.

6) Clean the Roof

Once all of your flashing has been replaced, it is time to clean off the roof! This means that you will want to use a pry bar to remove nails. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean the roof deck with a broom.

7) Cover the Roof

Obviously, you won’t be installing a new roof in a day as a team of one! However, before you call it a day, we recommend making sure that your roof is fully protected from the weather. That means installing your ice and water barrier and being sure to tarp your roof for the night.

Get Installation Help!

When it comes time to install your roof, you don’t need to go it alone! Instead, call on the expert team at Best Exteriors. Whether you are looking to remove old shingles, repair a roof, or get a full roof replacement, we can help. Contact us today to set up your free consultation!

Drew Paetow

We’ll have you love your home project so much that people will drive by and comment on how good it looks. That is our promise to you.

Recent Articles

Work with Best & Forget the rest