How to tear off roof shingles

This is just one of the ways we tearoff shingles.

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lol Dennis, that is how a slater rips a shingle roof. Thats crazy. with that pitch of a roof I by myself could rip to the deck and denail about 20 squares in 3or 4 hours with a ripping bar. Doing what that guy was doing (you?) you could probably get about 5 squares done in that same amount of time. If not using a ripping bar, doing it with your bare hands you can also start in the bottom corner and peel diagonally and rip up sections like 6 by 10 ft. in literally a minute on one layer. But then you have to go back with a hammer and denail. Ripping the nails and the shingles simultaneously with a ripping bar is the fastest way i’ve tried, and I’ve tried a lot of ways since I pretty much always rip. Interesting to me for a good laugh though. No offense intended Dennis :smiley:

Hi Dennis,

I rip the roof off the same way it was installed most of the time. I use a flat shovel and I sit. Nails come out while you are taking the shingles up. Nice and neat.

Every roof has its own personality. So they all come off different. Some you lift and peel it off. Expecially in the afternoon when they are warm.

Yep, they’re all different.

This was a cool day. 30 yr old 300# two tabs. Brittle.

If we used forks or shovels there would have been a pile of tiny shingle pieces to pick up. This way we pulled each shingle with all the nails, stacked the shingles, carried to the roof edge and tossed in the dump truck. No damage to the felt. No debris on the ground. Swept the roof, cleaned the gutter, installed new.

Looking back on this, while it seemed silly to me, I can’t say I’ve seen many three tab roofs installed like this either (racking). I install architects like this but not three tabs. Was that you in the video? Whoever it was should get some knee pads, their back must have been killing them at the end of the day hunched over like that.


I don’t follow. ???

Those are two tabs.

That is not racking.

Those were installed the old fashioned way when roofers cut " starts " and " finishes ".

Thats my brother in the video.

Knee pads :shock:

Have never worn knee pads. :smiley:

And we don’t sit on the roof unless we’re doin detail work.

you dont sit, you kneel, and i can grab a bundle and slam back to my knees comfortably and quickly without pain… smarter, not harder. I know you know that. You’re a great roofer, anyone that knows can see it. Doesn’t mean I don’t have practices you can learn from. Take away your brothers back ache that he showed by the pause at the end of the video and he’s twice as productive… I’ve never seen a two tab… I’m not afraid to admit what I dont know, im 30 years old. I know that I’m interested in self preservation and making money and I use knee pads. Dont be so proud.

I’m not proud, I’m stupid. :smiley:

Actually that’s the first shingle job I’ve done in about 12 yrs. Special customer and circumstances.

You’re right. Work smarter not harder.

There’s not too many old time roofers out there without a lot of back pain.

Not only back pain, but bad knees. That is one reason I now get paid for what I know instead of what I can do, which is a good thing since what I can do is now on the downhill side of the hill.


I sit to tear off and install.

51 years old

Nothing wrong with my back.

It is funny how everyone that sees me work will not try it. They just can not figure out how I outwork them.