How To Remove Asphalt Shingles

What You'll Need
Large tarp or dumpster container
12-foot stepladder or wall-supported ladder
Pry bar or specialized shingle ripper
Wide stiff bristled broom with long handle
Claw hammer
Tape measure
Eye goggles
Hard hat
Work gloves
Rubber-soled safety-plated boots
1 assistant on the ground

Removing asphalt shingles is an easy task for the average homeowner, and requires little equipment. Follow the procedure outlined below to remove shingles, and take all the safety precautions noted when working on the roof of your home.

Step 1: Climb Carefully to the Roof

Climb onto the roof via the ladder you have available. When climbing a ladder, always have an assistant on the ground to hold and balance the ladder, and to go for help should you fall. The assistant can also bring tools up to you as you need them. Wear a hard hat, eye goggles, rubber-soled safety-plated boots, and work gloves whenever you are removing asphalt shingles.

Step 2: Find the Area of Shingles You Want to Remove

There may just be a small area of shingles where a leak has developed, or you may want to remove all the asphalt shingles to replace them with a different type of roof surfacing. Start at the highest elevation where shingles need to come off and work downward toward the eaves of your house. Move the dumpster or the tarp to the area where you will be working, to catch shingles as you remove them.

Step 3: Pry Off Shingles With the Pry Bar

Put the pry bar or shingle ripper under the bottom edge of damaged shingles and push it until you strike the nail holding the shingle on. Pull up on the bar gently to remove the shingle. Pull the shingle off with your hands, wearing work gloves to prevent cuts. Use a claw hammer to extract the nail holding the shingle in place. If you cannot remove the nail, hammer it into the roof sheathing, flush with the surface. Check the whole roof to look for curled and damaged shingles that have not yet developed leaks under them, and remove them as well.

Step 4: Push the Shingles into the Disposal Container

Use the wide bristle broom to push the shingles into the tarp or dumpster for disposal. Sweep the area where shingles have been removed and push waste material into your disposal container.

Step 5: Inspect Flashings and Roofing Cloth

Check the flashings in areas where you want to put new shingles. You will have to replace roof flashing if you have removed shingles around it. Inspect the waterproof roofing cloth as well, to make sure it has not sprung any new leaks.

Step 6: Sweep Area Where You Have Removed Shingles

Sweep the area where you have taken shingles off the roof. Don't allow debris or broken nails to tear the waterproof roofing cloth.

Step 7: Measure the Areas Needing New Shingles

Measure the areas where you have removed shingles, and calculate how many replacement shingles you will need. If you have marked more than half of your roof for replacement, remove all the shingles and upgrade the roof covering completely. Choose asphalt shingles or another roof covering type.