Replacing a roof is a big undertaking. It can be overwhelming, challenging, and time-consuming. But a new roof will preserve your home’s value, protect against the elements, and give you peace of mind. As you get ready for a new roof, understanding the roof replacement process can help you feel more confident in your decisions. Today, let’s take a look at the first step in the process: tearing off your current roof.

Why Remove the Roof?

Removing your current roof is an essential step in the roof replacement process. It makes way for the new roof and also helps your roofing contractor find any hidden damage so it can be fixed, like damage to the roof deck. In some cases, replacing the entire roof deck is necessary before the new roof can be installed. Once the old roof is torn off completely, a brand new roof can be installed.

1. Protecting Your Property

Your roofing contractor will do a little prep work to protect your property, preserve the landscaping, and make cleanup easier.

  • Tarps or other protective materials will cover plants, grass, shrubs, and other areas surrounding the base of your home. Tarps also help catch debris from your roof so the crew can clean up quicker.
  • The contractor will park a dump trailer or trash container close to your home. At times they can even put one in your driveway so the crew on the roof can throw debris directly into it.
  • Plywood is often used to protect your air conditioner, windows, and doors from falling debris. 

Once your home is protected, the roofers will begin the actual tear-off process.

2. Tearing Off the Old Roof

Removing the shingles comes next. Some roofers use tear-off forks, which don’t get caught on nails and make it faster to detach the shingles from the deck. Others will use specially notched shovels to pull out more nails with the shingles. 

Either way, the roofers will start the tear-off at the top of the roof. They’ll remove the ridge caps and begin pulling up the top course of shingles. They will work down the roof and push the debris to the dumpster or tarps.

While some of the crew members are going from section to section tearing off the old roof, others will be moving the debris into the dumpster. By the end of the project, no debris will be left in your yard.

The flashing is also removed because it usually has a similar lifespan to the shingles. Next, the old waterproofing and underlayment are removed, leaving only the roof decking. 

3. Removing the Old Nails

After the shingles are removed, the roofers will pull out old nails from the roof’s decking. In some cases, the nails can be hammered down into the decking. This will ensure the old nail heads are out of the way for the new materials.

4. Inspecting the Roof Deck

The roof decking is the foundation of your roofing system. It is attached to the rafters and provides a solid base for the new roofing materials. Your roofing contractor will perform a thorough inspection of the deck to ensure it’s in good condition. If the roof decking is soft, rotted, and unable to support the roof’s weight, it is replaced before the new materials are installed.

If the decking is in good condition, it will be inspected one last time to ensure it is ready for the new roof.

5. Cleaning Up

After the tear-off, there will be some debris, including nails and shingles, lying around your home. By now, the roof deck is ready for the new roof. Part of the crew may start installing the underlayment while part of the crew remains on the ground to remove the debris from your yard as quickly as possible. A magnetic broom may be used to pick up loose nails from the ground. Now, your new roof is ready to be installed.

How Long Does It Take to Tear Off a Roof?

On average, it can take as little as one day to tear off and replace a shingle roof. Tile roofs may take longer. If the weather changes or your roof deck has hidden damage, you can expect a delay in the normally brisk pace of a roof replacement. If the new roof cannot be installed on the same day, the roofer will take steps to protect it from the elements.

Need a new roof for your Sacramento home and want it done perfectly? Turn to the skilled and experienced professionals at Straight Line Construction. We value integrity and expertise and are committed to getting things done right from the start. Contact us today to request a free estimate.