How to Replace Tar and Gravel Roofing

What You'll Need
Tear-off shovel
Pry bar
Motorized roofing saw
Heavy-duty tarps
Waste disposal bin
Nail magnet
Push broom
Work gloves
Protective footwear
Protective eye wear
Breathing mask

Replacing a tar and and gravel roofing will require specialized tools, equipment and materials. It will also require a great deal of hard work. Be sure you have at least one friend or family member to help you with the job. Watch the weather forecast to be sure you will have a couple of days of good weather to complete the job. Warm weather is best as the heat of the sun will soften the tar. Follow the steps below to effectively replace your own tar and gravel roofing.

Step 1 – Safety

Be sure to put on your protective eye wear, footwear, work gloves and breathing masks before you begin. Be sure the footwear has flat soles as they will prevent any tar or gravel from becoming packed into the roofing membrane. Carefully move up and down the ladder. Always be cognizant of the edges of the roof. When working in warm weather, be sure you wear sunscreen and a cap. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of cool water throughout your roofing job. Should the weather become stormy, leave the job until another time when the weather is clear.

Step 2 – Shoveling the Tar and Gravel

Carefully take the necessary equipment up the ladder to the roof top. Use a tear-off shovel to remove the tar and gravel from the roofing membrane. Be sure that the tear-off shovel has a flat, sharp edge. This feature will enable you to shave the tar from the roofing membrane.

Step 3 – Breaking Up the Tar and Gravel

Use the roofing cutter to break up the tar and gravel. A roofing cutter with a carbide blade will work best.  It will have the necessary strength to get through the roofing material.  Be especially careful when using cutting tools on the roof top.

Step 4 – Removing Difficult Tar and Gravel

Use the pry bar to pry any stuck tar or gravel from the roofing membrane. Be careful with your balance as you are prying the tar and gravel.

Step 5 – Using a Motorized Roofing Saw

If possible, rent a motorized roofing saw from your local rental shop to do the removal work. Be sure to read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the roofing saw before you begin.

Step 6 – Disposing of the Tar and Gravel

Use your heavy duty tarps to transport the tar and gravel down to ground level. Once on the ground, place the tarps filled with tar and gravel into the wheelbarrow. Push the wheelbarrow to the waste disposal bin and empty the contents of the tarp inside the container.

Step 7 – Cleaning the Area

Be sure the roof is completely free of any tar or gravel. If necessary, use a push broom to sweep off and debris or residue. Use the nail magnet to pick up any nails that are left on the roof.