What is a Roof Tear Off?


Are you ready to replace the leaky roof? If you are, then your roof proposal should include a list of all the items that will be included in your roof replacement. Are you confused by the “old roof tear-off” line item?

The roof removal process should be discussed with your roofing contractor. We will also provide a breakdown for you. Before we can get into the steps of tearing off an old roof, you should know what a roof tear-off is.

What is a roof tear-off?

The old roof must be removed before you can replace it. This means that your roofing contractor will remove old roofing materials from your roof decking and tear off the old shingles.

The replacement process cannot be completed without the tear-off process. What does this look like?

These are the 3 steps to removing your old roof

Although it may seem like chaos, the tear-off process for your roof replacement is controlled chaos. A roofing contractor will protect your property, tear off your old roof and deal with the old nails.

1. Protecting your property

Protecting your property while they are on your roof is one of the most important jobs of a roofing contractor. This is especially important when your roof needs to be replaced.

Once your contractor has determined the access point, they will begin rolling protective tarps down from the gutter to the ground. These tarps protect all foliage and landscaping around your home’s base.

This is done to make sure that all roofing debris from your roof doesn’t end up in your yard or bushes. After they have made sure your property is safe, they will begin the actual tear-off process.

2. Take down your old roof

A roofing contractor uses a tool known as a “tear off” fork to remove an old roof. These forks slide easily under the shingles to lift them up.

They’ll begin by tearing off your roof sections from the end closest to the dump truck. One crew will be tearing off sections, while another team will make sure that the materials are in the dump truck or in your yard.

During the roof replacement process, your roofing contractor should be careful to keep track of where roofing debris is going.

3. How to deal with the old nails on your roof

Once the shingles have been removed, you will need to remove any nails that were left on your roof’s decking. Your contractor will remove any nails that are exposed to the ceiling or overhang.

If plywood is used, the nail heads will be pushed down so they are flush with the decking. This will ensure that no old nails are visible and your roof can be installed without them.

When they knock down the nails, what are they really doing? They’re testing the strength of your roof decking. The decking should be able to withstand the nails being hammered down and can then support your new roof. Your contractor will need to replace the decking if it is damaged.

Once the old roof has been removed, it is cleaned up and inspected again to make sure the nails have been hammered down. Your new roof can be installed.

The remainder of the roof replacement process

The tear-off process is a crucial step in the roof installation process. Although it may seem like an insignificant step, it is a critical part of the whole replacement process.

Other steps are equally important, some more so than others. This is why it’s essential to understand the entire roof replacement process. We have already broken it down.

Contact us today if you are ready to have new roofing installed or a roof inspection.

This post was written by Ted Williams! Ted is the owner of A Old Time Roofing which is the premier roofing company that offers Commercial Roofing in St Petersburg! Ted is a Master Elite Weather Stopper GAF Roofing Contractor, a double award winner of Best Steep-Slope Contractor from GAF and achiever of Master Elite Consumer Protection Excellence from GAF. He has been serving the Pinellas County area since 1978. Old Time Roofing has a tradition of quality workmanship, servicing residential and commercial properties.