Replace a flat roof in 7 easy steps
If your flat roof has been affected by a storm or an impact, and it is damaged beyond repair, it is time to replace it. Even the superior roofing materials succumb to harsh conditions. Here is your step-by-step guide to replacing your flat roof.
Flat Roof Replacement
- The process of flat roof replacement is completed in two parts. In this article, we have explained part one which is removing the old roof. The second part of this process involves attaching an EPDM roof which will be discussed in part 2 of this article.
- Start the flat roof replacement process by removing the piles of the roof. This can be done by thrusting into them with a spade. Thrust at a spot in the middle of the roof by keeping the spade at an angle of 30 or 40 degrees. Attack at this initial spot repeatedly until you reach underneath all the layers of roofing and just above the decking.
Separate the two layers by using a small spade with a less pronounced curve. Roofing underneath the gutters and fascia can be easily taken out by first removing these parts.
- The next step is removing the mortar-filled perimeter. These pieces can be removed by using a strong tug. Grab both sides and wriggle the pieces from left to right while pulling back until it’s loose. Then pull it out with your hands.
If you are having trouble pulling the pieces from the wall then horizontally thrust the spade into the region where it is attached to the wall. Another way to break the pieces free from the wall is by placing the tip of a screwdriver to the wall and hitting the handle with a hammer.
- Once you are done removing the mortar-filled perimeter framework that is flushed to the wall, remove the remaining perimeter. What you need to do is place the spade under the pieces that are still attached to the wall. Lift the spade up and down repeatedly by holding the handle 45 degrees outwards from the wall.
This will help loosen the perimeter pieces. As soon as it comes loose grab the thin materials that connect the roof to the walls, and pull it away. Now use your hands to pull off the loose pieces one by one.
- Use a hammer or bolster to scrape off the remaining pieces that may be stuck. Hit the bolster or scraper tip firmly with a hammer. Move the scraper in the direction of the felt that is stuck to the brickwork.
- The fifth step involves levering the felt flush to the perimeter that is not against any wall. Place a spade under the felt and apply pressure in an upward direction to remove the felt at the perimeter.
Edges of the roof can be removed by inserting the spade between the felt and the roof. If there are any galvanized tack nails present, they can be pulled off by thrusting the spade into them. Nails that are in a difficult position can be removed by a hammer or a bolster.
- Insert the spade underneath the last pieces of the felt until they come loose. Any leftover felt stuck to the walls can be removed by using a sharp bolster or a stripping knife.
- This is the last step that involves levering off the timber fillets if present. If your roof has any timber fillets, place the stripping spade underneath them and lever them up. This should be done by angling the handle of your spade at 45 degrees. Increase the pressure until they come off.
For tougher fillets, a pry bar can be used for convenience. Hammer the pry bar under the tough fillets and apply downward pressure to pop them off of the roof.
If you are looking for repair and construction of flat roofs, call us at (202) 629-3692. Our team at Infinity Design Solutions has decades of experience in the repair of flat roof systems. We are located in Washington, DC.