How to Remove Cedar Shingles from Your Roof

Step 1

The ridge cap is the flashing that covers the highest point of the roof, often found at the peak. Working from the top and going down the rafter length of the roof makes each row of cedar shingle easier to remove. Using the edge of your flat pry bar, pull up each shingle at its nail location.

Step 2

Using a shovel, lift each of the shingles until you have enough space to cut through each of the roofing nails with your hack saw. In order to save time you can cut the nails rather than prying them up with the claw end of a hammer. This process is less labour-intensive and reduces the chance of accidentally damaging the underlying roofing material.

Bonus Tip: Once you have removed all shingles check to see if they were installed with felt paper backing. Felt paper backing is usually easy to remove, but you can use a knife to cut any resistant sections loose.

Step 3

Find the roofing cement that holds the roof flashing to the shingles and cut through it with your utility knife until you can pull it free. 

Step 4

Check the entire roof surface for any remaining nails or pieces of nails that may be sticking up. Pry out and remove them with your claw hammer. You can also use the edge of your roofing shovel for any especially stubborn nails. As an alternative, look for a nail release magnet at your local roofing supplier; these are designed to help pull up nails and keep them from rolling off the roof and getting lost.    

Step 5

Make sure to sweep up all dirt and debris from the roof with a dustpan and brush. Top tip: Old roofing material that is not disposed of in a proper manner may lead to a fine in some areas. If the project takes a number of days to complete, make sure to cover the project with a protective roof tarp and weigh down with bricks etc.

Step 6

Before replacing your roof with the Britmet Liteslate, consider replacing the OSB board with a new one. Then follow our LiteSlate installation guide.

For more technical information and advice, please give our team a call on 01295250998.

Date Posted: 12th November 2020

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