How to Prepare for Your First Roof Tear-Off

Posted on: 4 January 2017

If you're an avid do-it-yourself type, and you are planning on tearing off your old roofing shingles in anticipation of putting a new roof down, then you need to plan out exactly what you need. Working high up on a roof requires the correct materials in order to ensure that there are no injuries. Even if you don't feel comfortable laying down fresh tile, you can certainly remove the old roofing tiles and prep the area for when the roofing contractor comes in. This can save you some money, and you will get some experience under your belt. Here's what you will need to get this job done.

Roofing Jacks and Aluminum Platform

A roof that has a steep pitch requires some sort of safety barrier for when you are standing on it. Otherwise, you can slip down and fall. The traditional method would be to use roofing jacks and 2x10 pieces of wood. The problem with this setup it that it is not incredibly secure; the wood might be warped, and you will have a small working space. Some roofers might place their ladders on top of the wood platform, but you are dancing with danger doing that. A better way would be to get large roofing jacks and large aluminum platforms that fit into the roofing jacks and lock into place. This way there is no risk of them slipping or buckling and sending you flying off the roof.

The roofing jacks will be nailed into the roof and will be fixed in a single position. They are designed to be like large brackets. You can place the aluminum platform on top of the jacks, lock them into place, and then be ready to walk around the roof on a sound platform.

Pitchfork or Special Roofing Shovel

You need to remove the old asphalt shingles. You can do this using a pitchfork, but the shingles can be a bit rough. You might gouge the underlying wood planks if you get too vigorous. The underlying paper is going to be replaced, but you don't want to stomp a hole into the plywood decking. So, you might want to consider using a special roofing shovel that is designed to remove shingles. This type of shovel is a precision tool that you can get from specialty roof-supply shops.

Roofing Harness, Climbing Rope, and Roofing Anchor

Even after you set up the roofing jacks and platform, you need to take extra security precautions. You need to get a roofing harness and set it up so that if you do slip and fall while you are not standing on the platform, you won't fall off the roof. This system requires you to nail a roofing anchor to the peak of the roof. Then you will loop the climbing rope through the anchor and attach it to your harness. Then you can walk around freely while tearing off the old asphalt shingles in preparation for the new ones that contractors will install.