Replacing a Flat Asphalt Roof

What You'll Need
Shingle remover claw
Flat shovel
Push broom
Roofing membrane
Roofing nails
Roofing drip edge
Protective eye wear
Work boots
Work gloves

A flat asphalt roof can develop problems over time. The asphalt can become cracked and water can seep through the gaps. The water leaks can cause the wood beneath the asphalt to rot and fall apart. You can replace your flat asphalt roof with the right tools and materials. This home improvement project will take about two days to complete. Be sure to check the forecast for a couple of days of good weather. Work on day when the temperature is at least 45 degrees F.

Step 1 – Safety

Be sure to put on your protective eye wear, work boots and work gloves before you begin to prevent any injuries while you are working. Be careful moving up and down the ladder. Have at least one friend or family member with you while you working. Always be cognizant of the edges of the roof while you are working. Be sure to take a break from the job if the weather conditions change.

Step 2 – Removing the Existing Roof

Position your ladder against one end of the roof. Carefully climb the ladder to the rooftop. Use your flat shovel and shingle remover claw to remove the existing roof. Scrape, lift and pull off all of the old asphalt. Carefully dispose of the old roof materials into your dumpster. Use you push broom to sweep any residue dirt from the roof. Be sure to take out any remaining nails that are stuck in the roof. Replace any rotted wood with 5/8-inch plywood. Allow an 1/8-inch space between any new wood additions and the existing roof. This will allow for expansion and shrinkage caused by changes in temperature.

Step 3 – Choosing Your Roofing System

Visit your local home improvement or roofing supply store to purchase all of the materials for your new asphalt roof. Speak to a professional about your plans to replace your flat roof. Visit your local rental shop to rent a hot tar steamer. Be sure to read the contract and the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the steamer before you begin.

Step 4 – Installing the New Asphalt Roof

Lay the roofing membrane over the entire roof. Secure the membrane to the roof with roofing nails. Secure the drip edge to the roof. Lay the cap sheeting over the roofing membrane. Apply a primer over the cap sheet. You will need 1 gallon of primer for every 100 square feet of roof space. Lay the roofing felt over the prime. Apply the asphalt to over the felt. Cover the asphalt with gravel. Haul your dumpster to a reputable dumping location. If necessary, check with your local government office to determine the location. Never throw your old roofing materials into the regular trash. These items will need to go the proper site.