A crew has come out to install your new roof, you hear a few footsteps on the roof then all of a sudden there is banging, scraping and you see roof debris flying everywhere. What is going on? Are they ripping your home apart? Well to a degree, yes but on purpose. This is simply the portion of roofing known as the tear off. This is totally necessary part of the job but may seem alarming to the homeowner. Let’s look what the tear off entails so you know what’s going on up there.

The Roof Tear Off

While you can reroof on the older materials, this is rare. Most roofers like to start from a clean slate and that means tearing off all of the old materials. This includes tearing off the shingles, underlayment, felt, any old flashing, old rakes and eaves and anything else that needs to come out to make way for your new materials.

The homeowner may see material flying all over the place but this is actually a carefully thought out process. The roofers work in a methodical way, they start up on the top or ridge of your roof and move down to the gutter portion of the roof, essentially opposite of how the roof install will take place. They use a variety of tools like shingle rakes or simple pitchforks. This is probably the loudest and messiest portion of the roofing process but it typically only takes a few hours at most. Just head out to grab some groceries or take care of a chore if you find the tear off is too loud, they will probably be done when you return.

After the shingles are removed the roofer may tear off old flashing and other roof components depending on what was agreed upon beforehand. Lastly they will tear off the old underlayment and sweep off or replace the decking depending on its condition. Now you have a clean and ready work space for the new materials to go onto.

If you have any questions at all during the roofing process try to contact your roofing consultant or crew foreman but be careful around the roof as materials may be falling around the roofing area, especially during the tear off.