Flat roof

Flat Roof Removal

Steps to take when removing your flat roof

It is important to work methodically when removing flat roofing, if you want to make sure the task is as safe and easy as possible. If damp has been allowed to penetrate a flat roof and the supporting timbers have begun to rot, then the chances are good that the entire roof will need to be removed and replaced. Because you are very likely to need a skip to dispose of debris, you would be well advised to get one before you begin and fill it as you go (rather than getting one later and having to do twice as much work to fill it).


Safety is paramount with any demolition job and especially so when removing roofing. It is important to ensure you have safe access throughout the job, either by ladders or scaffold towers on bigger jobs. A roof must be adequately stable if you are going to be walking across it, so you should assess the stability before you begin and reinforce with working boards if you wish to avoid falling through. Rotting timbers are a particular danger as they can give way without warning.


You should begin by removing guttering. This is relatively simple if the gutters in question are of the modern plastic types as they unclip with ease. For older types of guttering, the process might be more complicated, but if you are planning to reuse guttering then you will need to store it in good order to make life easier for you later on. If you don't plan to reuse your guttering and fit entirely new stuff instead, then obviously, less care is needed.

Fascia boards

Once you have taken off the guttering, you should remove any remaining gutter and fascia boards. If your roof is covered with chippings (usually used as ballast for the roofing material), you should sweep them up into rubble sacks for later re-use (if they are to be re-used). Try to avoid overfilling rubble sacks and keep them to a manageable weight, especially if you will need to carry them off of the roof by hand.

Roof felt

With the stones gone, begin taking up the roof felt. Start by prising up the sides, tearing it away and disposing of it directly in the skip. Use the appropriate work gloves, safety goggles and other relevant protective wear during this process. With the felt off, the board comes next. Various different materials might be used to board a roof, but most types will be removed in a similar way. You will probably have to prise them off of the timber joists using a wrecking bar, being sure to remove any nails as you go.

Timber joists

With the boards off, the timber joists can be brought down next. Depending on the construction method, this will likely require a wrecking bar to achieve. Once the joists are down, if you are going to re-use them, then you will need to detach any furring pieces and protruding nails. The furring pieces are wedge shaped pieces of wood used to give the upper roofing its required fall.


Only people who are confident undertaking DIY work should attempt this kind of job, otherwise you should consult a professional. If you have a flat roof, you are likely to have difficulty finding flat roof insurance. Most insurers will perceive a home with a flat roof as being overly risky, and will refuse to offer you the flat roof house insurance you require. With HomeProtect you can get a competitive online quote for flat roof house insurance cover, regardless of what type of roof you have.

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