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Wonder How All County Roofing Removes and Replaces Composition Roofing? Let Me Explain It.

The advantages of using composite shingles as a roof are


  • Affordability
  • Durability
  • Versatility
  • Sustainability
  • Visual Appeal

There are multiple varieties of composite shingles to choose from and they tend to have a 20 to 25-year lifespan before they need to be replaced.

The following will be an instruction on replacing composite shingle roofs, as they are widely used in Vancouver, WA and our surrounding areas, and replacing them is an easy process that will save you some money.


Composite Shingle Tear Off

Tearing off composite shingles to replace a roof is an easy process that can typically be done in a single day for most homes.

Preparedness before beginning the process is an important step in the quick completion of the project.


Prep Work

Prep work can reduce cleanup time by reducing the amount of debris and nails that end up on the ground around your home.

We start by placing plywood or another hard material over windows, doors, and air conditioning units that may be damaged by the old shingles and nails falling from the roof during the process.

Make sure when covering air conditioning units, that the power to the unit is cut off.

Next, we lay tarps around the house to catch debris and another tarp for a trash pile if you choose not to use a trash container for the duration of the project.

A trash container is another great option for the old roofing material, as they are affordable to rent and make cleanup easier and quicker. A 20 cubic yard trash container dropped near your house is big enough to handle most roof sizes.

All County Roofing supplies dumpsters for your project and your convenience!

Roof jacks are a great idea as well, as they catch the shingles as they slide down the roof and are a good safety precaution to take when tearing off a roof.

Placing them no more than 4 feet apart below the area of work that will begin getting stripped and lay a 2×6 boards across them.

As we do this, we also take into account any further safety measures needed, remembering that we are no longer on the ground.

Stripping the Roof

As the stripping of the shingles begins from the top of the roof, remove the roof caps furthest from the trash container, and allow them to be slid down the roof and caught by the roof jacks.

Using a roofing fork, or roofing shovel with the appropriate grooves, begin at the top by peeling the shingles and felt paper away from the roof.

Roofing forks do not catch nails and are preferred by many professionals in the roofing industry. Once shingles and underlayment have been pried loose, just as you did the roof caps, allow them to slide down the roof and catch on the roof jacks.

Shingles that do not slide should be thrown in the trash to prevent slipping and to get them out of the way.

For now, ignore any nails that do not come up with the shingles. Paying attention for soft areas on the roof, we work our way down to the jacks, return to the top of the roof, and repeat this process and making sure to move the roof jacks when we have reached the part of the roof that extends past the original jack set up.

As we remove the composite shingles from the roof, we stay aware of how much is piling up on the roof jacks. When the pile starts to build up, we dispose of the shingles in the trash bin or on the tarp that has been laid out for this purpose. Shingles are heavy, so we try not to allow the pile to get too big before doing so.



If flashing needs to be saved (not common), we take extra care around roof penetrations such as chimneys, skylights, dormers, and exterior walls. Moving slowly and pulling the nails carefully around the reusable flashings. This will lessen the chances of causing damage to the existing flashings.

Heavily tarred areas are usually a sign of a “Band-Aid fix” for bad flashing underneath. This flashing should be replaced as it is typically not suitable for reuse.

Valley flashing also needs to be replaced as it isn’t worth reusing. When removing valley flashing, we start from the top and work our way down prying the nails out, then discard it in the trash container.

The Roofs Edge

The last of the shingles that need to be removed are located at the edge of the roof. We begin by removing the roof jacks and working the shingles loose, but we do not pull them out all the way with the roofing fork or roof shovel.

Once these shingles have been loosened, we pull them out by hand and discard them straight into the trash container.

Some roofs have self-adhering ice and water barrier on the edges for extra protection against the elements. This can be pulled up and placed in the garbage. It’s not a big deal if it won’t come loose as new ice and water barrier can be placed over the top of it without any negative effects to your roof both visually and functionally.


Clean Up and Button Up

Once we have removed all the old composite shingle from the roof, we go back through, remove any of the nails missed, and sweep the roof off while inspecting the sheathing and re-nailing any loose pieces.

Any signs of rot in the sheathing needs to be replaced. To do this, we center the cuts on the rafters around the rot. They are taking care to use sheathing of the same thickness as the existing roof.

We make the necessary cuts to fit the holes that have been cut out and nail the new sheathing to the rafters to cover the holes.

Now we are ready to install the underlayment and new composite shingles to the prepped deck.


Composite Shingle Installation

We begin by placing new ice and water barrier to the edge of the roof if needed. All low sloped roofs under a 4/12 pitch should have this installed. Some types of ice and water barrier, as mentioned before, are self-adhering, but it doesn’t hurt to nail this down still. Make sure to cover any gutter flashing with the barrier.

We work our way up the roof with a synthetic hybrid underlayment, stapling it at least every few feet, all the way across the roof. Make sure to overlap the previous layer at least six inches to a foot.

A layer should be applied to the peak of the roof to ensure that there are no open seems.

Drip Edge on Eaves

Drip edge is a metal flashing that is installed at the edges of the roof. It helps control the flow of water away from the fascia and protects underlying roofing components.

Starter Row

We start at the bottom corner of the roof edge and place a starter row of shingles all the way across the roof using four nails per shingle.

Working Your Way Up the Roof

The main layer will lay over the starter row of shingles. With 3-tab shingles we cut half a tab off of the shingle and flush it with the bottom corner where you began the starter row and wanting to cut half a tab off of every other row of composite shingles to ensure that the previous layer is offset, covering all the joints in the previous row.

“With each style and brand, there is a different starter pattern make sure you know what product your working with”

Each row of shingles should overlap the previous row 5 inches from the bottom of the previous row. Starting each row flush with the edge of the roof and tack each shingle to the roof applying 4 nails to each shingle just below the glue strip.

When we reach the end of the roof, we cut the last shingle to the appropriate size to flush it with the edge of the roof.

We are following this pattern all the way up the roof until we reach the peak. Most likely we need to snap a chalk line on each row to make sure we are applying the shingles straight and with the correct as previously mentioned.

Ridge Shingles

Applying the ridge shingles is the last step to complete a newly shingled roof. It is important to find the center of the ridge cap and snap a chalk line to ensure these shingles are centered on the peak of the roof.

We start by flushing the corner of the roof cap to the edge of the roof and the chalk line. Tacking 2 nails in the shingle on one side of the roof, just inside the glue strip, then we bend the shingle over the peak and repeat this on the other side of the roof.

The overlap for roof cap shingles should leave 6 inches of the previous ridge cap shingle exposed.

We do this all the way to the center of the peak of the roof, go to the other end and repeat the process until met in the middle. cut the last shingle to fit the gap and Tada! We now have a replaced a composite shingle roof with new one.

End of Project

Now you can now sit back and enjoy a beautiful new shingled roof.

Thanks for sticking around as I detailed our one of many styles of attaching roofing to a roof.

All County Roofing is Clark County’s leading composition roofing installer.

Call today to receive a no-obligation estimate and roofing consultation.