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Removing Shingles Q's & A's

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Shingle Roofing Layers 

We own a home that has three layers of shingle roofing. The top one is beginning to look kind of rough and before it gets to hot and humid I want to re-roof. My question is how many layers is too many? Would four be totally out of the question? I realize that it would definitely be better to strip it all and start anew, but this would be much more expensive and time consuming (I have very little to spare), and it would be much better if I could do this. Can you give me some honest advice? I have gotten very mixed responses from friends and local contractors.

I would be surprised if you were getting advice from anyone that said 4 layers is ok. I wouldn't even go 3 layers. So count me with the folks saying strip it.

If you can stand on your roof, you can do it yourself. (steeper pitches are probably too much trouble) Call and have one of those big dumpsters dropped off in your yard (the closer to the roof the better. Then using a flat bladed shovel, push all those bad layers off. It is hard work, but no tricks involved. Now is the time to see how many friends you really have. The more the merrier.


Tearing off old asphalt roofing

In two weeks I will be tearing old asphalt roofing off a small cottage. What is the best tool to use to remove the existing material? Some of the roof has three-tab shingles, but most is covered by rolled asphalt which is nailed down and anchored by generous amounts of tar. Some friends have suggested using a snow shovel; another friend said I should use a garden pitchfork. Surely, someone makes a tool designed specifically for this purpose, no?

Believe me, I have torn off more than my share of shingles. Yes, there are specially made tools for the job, but the best I have found is a regular potatoe fork. This has between 4 and 6 flat tines. Have fun!!


Get a roofing shovel. They have teeth and a foot for prying up shingles and nails at the same time. Leave the pitchforks on the farm...-)

Click here for our Roofing Tips Article
Click here for our Ice Dams Article
Click here for our Guide To Buying A New Roof Article

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