Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Tar Roof Tear Out

carpenterfish's picture

I am going to bid on a job to put a gable over and existing flat tar and gravel roof.  I would like to tear out the existing roof, but I have never torn out a tar roof before.  Any suggestions?

(post #92425, reply #1 of 14)

I've had experience with tearing off exactly one tar and gravel roof.

The gravel was a LOT of work. And I was able to just throw it off the roof onto the once paved, now mostly gravel pit parking lot to help level the lot! There was a lot of gravel and it is heavy.

Once all the loose gravel is off, there will still be gravel stuck in the tar. On the roof I did, it was still not too difficult to cut through the tar layer. Really not all that thick. Underneath that was insulation board.

So, the gravel was the difficult part. Cutting up the tar isn't exactly easy, but it was easy to see what I had done, and what I had left to do.

Have fun!


Rich Beckman

Another day, another tool.

(post #92425, reply #2 of 14)

Never done this, but I know of 2 here that they just left the tar/gravel roof on, put trusses over.

(post #92425, reply #3 of 14)

sweep off the loose gravel, then sharpen up your hatchet and chop. (Estwing makes a nice one for this).  That will get it started, then you can get long prybars or a shovel under it and start peeling it up.

 

 

(post #92425, reply #4 of 14)

old memories from an old roofer here.

Whether to remove the old roofing or not is dependent on the condition of the underlying structure and how you expect the ventilation and insulation package to work when you are finished.

Since you want to take it off, I won't waste time with how to attach over the existing.

A built up roof is attached to the plywood sheathing by nailing down a base sheet of heavy (33# or 43# coated) tarpaper. the next two to four plys of 15# felt are mopped in hot. So to remove it, all you have to do is to pop the nails loose from the plywood.

I like a long handled square spade with a six inch wide blade. You use the corner edge of it to make some initial chopping cuts to get in under the roofing and then you can slide it along the deck and under the roof until you hit a nail and then pry it up and slide until you hit another. It is much like tear off work for shingles except that you will find fewer nails and you will have to cut the pieces sometimes. It is best at about 50 - 55°. Too cold and it is brittle. Too hot and it is gummy. It works good to have one man standing and holding or pulling up the edge of the roof material while the other works the spade. Pieces come up about three feet by six feet, genberally. One breaks off and heads for the truck while shovel man starts on the next lift edge. If you are down south, get an early morning start and finish before noon.

Don't bother with all that work to scrape loose gravel off first. Any that is loose will fall to the plywood, the rest will go with the roofing sections. Then you use a large scoop shovel to roundup the loose gravel from the deck, if you want to keep it separate for a landfill project around behind your house. Of course, there may be some nails in it so for pothole filler, it may be best to scrape and sweep it off first.

.

Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #92425, reply #5 of 14)

Piffin (et al.),


Thanks for the info, but it looks like this tar and gravel are over metal.  Does that make a difference?  Do you think there is plywood under that?

(post #92425, reply #8 of 14)

Plywood not likely. You can't install built up roofing directly to metal though. The normal method is to have a sheathing layer of dense insulation and strip mop to that. It's a method that doesn't stick the base sheet 100% so the tear up is simialr except that there are no nails to pop loose. You either catch it cold or you have to tear the tarpaper base loose from the insulation board, generally stripping the top skin off the board. It was Gold Bond that we used mostly. It looks like a Homasote material but is gold colored and is 2" thick.

Now that it is getting more complicated though, how are you planning to attach the new work to this steel deck? The deck is probably a structural part of the building system.

.

Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #92425, reply #6 of 14)

The minute I saw roof I saw Piffs eyes light up....lol.


By the way Piff..I'm starting a job for N. J Burkett from ABC news 6:00 and 7:00 and 11:00P.M .....in  a few weeks near me. He's an on the scene news reporter.


Got the gig from a recomendation from Shaglaw believe it or not ( he saw the last house I built/renovated and was real impressed I reckon).


Might have to have a sit down with him about the Piff N Andy Show (no kidding).


Be well dude.....off to help Moms move in florida tomorrow for a week and tile her kitchen floor...joy (how nice am I)?


                 Namaste


                              andy


 


 



In his first interview since the stroke, Ram Dass, 66, spoke with great difficulty about how his brush with death has changed his ideas about aging, and how the recent loss of two old friends, Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg, has convinced him that now, more than ever, is the time to ``Be Here Now.''



http://CLIFFORDRENOVATIONS.COM

(post #92425, reply #9 of 14)

Really think that anybody'd be interested in listening to a couple of old hippies mix construction talk with both ends of the political spectrum?

Everybody needs shelter tho - right?

.

Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #92425, reply #10 of 14)

Piff


      My slant on it is its "exactly" what's needed....


Who aint sick of watching boring and contrived DIY shows including TOH.


F'in boringgggggggg. Man do I have hot ideas that'd rock the networks...thing also is....I think theres more DIY shows now a daze than news shows.....think about it bro.....They need me and yer a perfect pardner being that yer a know it all ...and actually you do seem to know it all and me a.......uhhhh....well a hippie that's been workin the biz hands on full time for over 27 years and counting.....think about it,,,,,


Man do I have ideas that'd so rock (private Email but leavin to Fla tomorow to help my Moms move and tile till the following Sat)


Be Larry David with a tool bag and callosus


                                Namaste        


                                            Andy.....PS  I'll e mail ya when I get back


 


 



In his first interview since the stroke, Ram Dass, 66, spoke with great difficulty about how his brush with death has changed his ideas about aging, and how the recent loss of two old friends, Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg, has convinced him that now, more than ever, is the time to ``Be Here Now.''



http://CLIFFORDRENOVATIONS.COM

(post #92425, reply #11 of 14)

For the record, the roof I dealt with had at least two inches of loose gravel on top. No way in the world I could have started cutting the roof up without removing the gravel first.


Rich Beckman

Another day, another tool.

(post #92425, reply #12 of 14)

Then no wonder you said it was heavy!

It was not only the stone, but twenty years of pollen and airborne dust, bird droppings, and a few cigarette butts andbvroken Budweisser battles.

.

Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #92425, reply #13 of 14)

"...twenty years of pollen and airborne dust, bird droppings, and a few cigarette butts andbvroken Budweisser battles."

Lots of trash up there that I picked up before I dumped the gravel into the parking lot....the building used to be a liquor store, now a discount tobacco store.


Rich Beckman

Another day, another tool.

TAR ROOF TEAR OUT (post #92425, reply #14 of 14)

I'm surrounded by non-sense all day. so I just wanted to say how F-in great it was to read something where someone intended to answer the question, and did. i don't care if it was from 15 years ago. Cheers and thanks

(post #92425, reply #7 of 14)

Worked for a commercial roofing contractor when I was in college.  We used a cutter (kind of like a lawn edger) to cut the roof into 2' - 3' squares.  Used a pry bar similar to an ice scraper to lift the squares. Never removed the gravel first.  One guy pried and the other lifted and tossed into a wheel barrow. Heavy work.  The test was to see if the college kid could keep up with two guys prying and the college kid lifting for both of them.  I lived (but it sucked).