Best way to pry up old asphalt shingles

Best way to pry up old asphalt shingles

If you’re considering replacing your roof, you probably wonder, “What is the best way to pry up old asphalt shingles?” The good news is that there are several methods you can use to pry them off. You can use a fork or shovel to pry them up. Or, you can roll the shingles and felt paper into a ball.

Using a shovel-type tool

Using a shovel-type tool when prying up old asphalt shingles can save time and effort. However, wearing protective gear, including work gloves and safety goggles, is important. Additionally, you will need a ladder, a hammer, and tarps to protect your house.

A shingles shovel is a versatile tool in different sizes and styles. Usually, a small, handheld model is the most convenient for small projects, while a long-handled tool is more suitable for larger projects. These tools come with blades that can be smooth or serrated to remove nails.

A tear-off shovel is another important tool in the roofing toolkit. The right tear-off shovel will make a roofing crew more efficient and reduce physical stress on their arms. Reinforced fiberglass-handled tear-off tools are easy to handle and are lightweight yet durable. The tools are also easy on the arm muscles of crew members. Various models of tear-off tools come with different shovel teeth. Some have more than one layer of teeth to help pry up old asphalt shingles.

The most common tool used for this purpose is a shovel-type tool. A shovel-type tool has a long handle and thin blades. Firefighters and soldiers use this tool to move materials that resist flat points. A shovel can also be locked at an angle to create a firebreak.

Using a fork

Using a fork to pry off old asphalt shingles is a simple task. First, remove the shingles in sections. Next, work on the nails. Pull them out until they pop up about 1/4 inch. Once the first row is free, move onto the next row. Repeat the process to remove the rest of the shingles.

Ideally, you should pull up shingles in two to three-foot sections and roll them up to a roof jack. Then, slide a fork underneath the shingles and pry them up. Some nails will come with them when prying off shingles, but you can remove them later.

A modified shovel-type tool works best for this process because it is designed with a serrated front edge and raised foot on the back for leverage. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t own a tool like this, so the best bet is to hire a professional to do the work.

A large garden fork is also helpful for this project. It has tines on the end that can wedge under shingles or felt. Pry up the shingles from the ridge to the eave. While prying up the shingles, you should check for rotten sheathing beneath the shingles. If any sheathings are rotten, it may lead to a fire hazard.

Rolling shingles and felt paper into a ball

Pry up the shingles with a large garden fork. Pry them up in sections of two to three feet. They will fall into a ball when rolled up, and you can place them in a dumpster for disposal. The shingles will be heavy, so be careful not to overload your disposal container. Pry them up slowly so you don’t trip or slide.

The cellophane strip that’s glued to the shingles is a protective barrier. It will keep the shingles from sticking together during storage. Afterward, it will bond to the tabs of the next shingles, protecting the house from wind damage and blow-off.

You can rent a magnet from a tool rental store for less than $20 to pick up stray nails. Make sure to work in several directions to get the best results. Before starting, wait until the weather forecast shows a day with no rain. If it’s raining, the felt paper underlayment can blow loose, causing your roof to be vulnerable to water damage. If you’re removing the shingles by yourself, consider hiring a roofing contractor in Middletown to help you. A contractor can coordinate the tear-off process with installing the new shingles.

When installing new asphalt shingles, it’s important to consider the proper installation method. The right way to install asphalt shingles will ensure the best results. Typically, asphalt shingles are attached to a roof using stapling, nails, or heat sealing. Depending on the type of shingle you choose, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

Getting a permit

A permit is required if you’re doing major work on your roof, such as replacing your entire roof. However, minor projects like replacing a few shingles won’t require a permit, and you can replace the shingles over your existing roof. To determine whether you need a permit, contact your local building department.

Usually, the process involves visiting a local city office to discuss your plans, paying a fee, and securing a permit. Before removing your shingles, you should check with your city office if you need a permit. Also, ensure you have an easy way to dispose of old shingles and roofing debris, which could be a nuisance to your neighbors.

In conclusion, there are many ways to pry up old asphalt shingles. However, the best way to do so will depend on the type of shingle and the remaining adhesive. If you need help removing your old asphalt shingles, contact a roofing contractor or search online for tips and instructions.

Kyle Houck


About the Author

Kyle Houck is the President of Eastern Exteriors, LLC.

Eastern Exteriors, LLC is a family-owned company based in Frederick, Maryland. From new roof installation and roof repairs by professional roofers to premium window installations and expert siding installation, we are a full-service exteriors and contractor roofing company. And, if storms blow your way, we’ll be there to assess and repair the damage quickly.

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