Cleaning up the Industrial Industry

Tips To Help Make Replacing Your Roof Safer And Easier

by Alfredo Harper

Asphalt shingles covering your roof will eventually need to be replaced. When that time comes you can do the work yourself to save yourself some money as long as you know what you are doing. Here are some tips to help make your roof replacement safer and easier.

Promote Roof Safety

When you are replacing your own roof, you may not be accustomed to walking around on a sloped roof, so you should provide all the safety measures to keep you and others helping you from injury. Besides wearing long pants and work gloves to protect your legs and hands, you should wear rubber soled shoes or boots. This type of footwear will help you keep your stability and traction on the roof as you work. You can wear knee pads to help cushion your knees from the roof's hard surface and any sharp nails that may be present. 

You can also rent or buy a roof harness for you or anyone else who might lose their balance and fall from the roof. Then, install a roof jack support beam below where you and others will be working. Space the roof jacks no more than four feet apart, and attach them with screws through the sheathing and into your roof's rafters. A two-by-ten board will fit inside the brackets on the roof jacks to prevent anyone from sliding off the roof.

Position a Yard Dumpster and Tarps

As you scrape old shingles and roofing felt from the roof, make sure you discard it as you work. This will prevent the debris from piling up on the roof to create a hazard for others and yourself working on the roof. But, you don't want to push off all the roof debris from the roof directly to the yard around your home, which can make clean-up at the end a huge mess. Composition shingles weigh from two to five pounds per square foot, which can quickly create a hefty pile of waste. Then, adding in the layer of roofing felt, flashing, edging materials, and old roof sheathing will add considerably to the total amount of debris you need to pick up from the ground. 

Rent a dumpster and have it positioned directly below your roof so you can toss roof waste into it as you work. It is suggested a 20 cubic yard dumpster will hold the roofing waste from an average-sized 1,500 square-foot roof. Then, place tarps on the ground below the roof in any area the dumpster does not provide coverage to collect any waste that falls from the roof. When it is time to clean up the yard, it will be easy to lift the tarps and empty them into the dumpster.

You can find a dumpster rental service online at a site like

Use the Right Tools

To scrape the shingles from your roof you can use a roof fork or shovel, depending on your preference. If you use a shovel to scrape the roof, make sure the edge is serrated with teeth to help pull up nails or screws holding the old shingles in place. Also, make sure the shovel has a fulcrum attached to the back of it. This fulcrum is to give your shovel leverage as you pry up and remove the old shingles. You may choose to use a fork to scrape up shingles because the fork will not get caught under any fastener edges as a shovel can.

After all the old shingles have been removed and replace, a magnetic pick-up tool, or magnetic broom can help you clean up. This tool is designed to allow you to sweep along the ground to attract any metal fastener that has fallen there around your home. Not every screw or nail may end up in the dumpster or on your yard tarps and their small size makes them hard to see. Then, you won't need to worry about popping a tire on a missed shingle screw or nail.

With these tips your roof replacement will be easier and safer.