How to do DIY

Flat Roofing Removal

Removing flat roofing requires a methodical approach, assuming you want to remove it as safely and expediently as possible. Flat roofs will require replacement whenever damp has been able to penetrate the top layers and caused the timber supports to begin to rot. To dispose of the demolished roof, you are likely to require a skip. It is best to get a skip ahead of time and before you begin the demolition, in order to utilise your time in the most productive way possible.

Removing a Flat Roof

Before you begin the demolition of a roof, you need to make sure you have a safe means of accessing the area. This might be by way of a ladder or, on a larger job, by way of a scaffold tower. You need to carry out a risk assessment before you try to walk on a roof, particularly if the roof is old or damaged. If timber has begun to rot then there is a real danger that it could give way beneath your feet, so using working boards is a sensible precaution.

Start your roof demolition by removing the rain guttering. Where modern plastic guttering is used, removal is likely to be a fairly straight forward affair; with most new types of gutters it will simply be a case of unclipping them from the gutter boards. Older types of guttering may require more involved removal procedures, as they might be secured more permanently with fixings and fasteners. If you need to reuse the guttering you are removing, you should store it in a safe place while work is undertaken; keeping it in good order will help you when you come to put it back up.

With the guttering taken down, you will need to remove the gutter boards and fascia boards next. If your roof is covered with stone chippings (which are used as ballast to weigh down the roofing) you should sweep them into rubble sacks for later reuse if required. You need to make sure you do not over-fill rubble sacks as they can become rather heavy and cumbersome, this can be a problem when trying to carry them off of your roof. Once any stones have been removed, it is time to begin taking up the roof felt.

You need to make sure that you are wearing the appropriate safety gear whilst doing any manual job, and for removing roof felt you will require safety goggles and work gloves. Remove sections of felt one at a time, starting with the last piece to be laid (which will likely overlap the other sections on all sides) and disposing of sheets directly in your skip. Prise up the edges of the felt and tear it away to remove it.

Though the types of material used to board a flat roof will vary, most will be removed in a similar way. Begin by prising up the boards at the seams and pull them off of the timber joists with a wrecking bar. You should remove any nails or other fasteners and fixings as you go, as they are prone to sticking into extremities unexpectedly when left exposed. With the boards removed, you will be able to get at the joists. Depending on the construction method and any fasteners used, you are likely to be able to remove joists using only a wrecking bar.

After removing the flat roof you have the choice of traditional roofing material like felt or for a more modern look (and supposed durability) you can choose rubber.

If your beams are not damaged by rot and you have plans to reuse them, you should detach any furring pieces (wedge shaped strips of wood that run along a joists length, employed to give the roof the required fall for drainage) and remove any remaining steel fasteners to make them safe for storing. With Orbital Fasteners you can find all of the tools, power tools, fixings and fasteners you require to undertake any construction or demolition projects.

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