Asphalt shingles roofs are popular roofing materials used by roofing contractors. One of its advantages is that it does not require constant repairs.

On some rare occasions, you might need to fix a broken shingle or take out the entire asphalt roof shingle if old. However, this is not a problem as shingle removal is not difficult.

With the right tools, equipment, and steps, you will be able to separate and remove your roof shingles.

You can separate asphalt roof shingles by using a pry bar to pull out the nail holding the shingles down. Next, use a claw hammer, pull nails and remove the shingles. However, if you recently installed asphalt shingle roofing, separating it might be difficult. Instead, you can put it under running ice water and use a putty knife to separate it.

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Is It Possible To Separate Roof Shingles?

Separate Roof Shingles

It is possible to separate shingles, though; its difficulty will depend on how long you installed them. Old shingles are easy to separate due to their wear, but new shingles might be difficult.

To separate roof shingles, you will need:

  • Stanley pry bar
  • Claw Hammer

To separate the asphalt roof shingles, slide your Stanley pry bar under a row of roof shingles tabs to separate the bond. Then use the claw hammer to pry off the nail under the roof shingles.

Once the nail is two inches out, use the pry bar to pull it out without causing damage to the shingles. Repeat this till you have separated the shingles that you need off your roof.

How To Remove Shingles Without Damaging Them?

Asphalt roof shingles, though durable, are also susceptible to damage. If you notice leaks in your home, the first location to inspect is your roof.

It is most likely leakage from either a damaged tab of asphalt roof shingle or old asphalt shingles roofing.

To secure your house and keep your roof from leaking, you should check your roof shingles for damages.

Here are the steps to remove your shingles without damaging them.

  • Safety is essential, so ensure to wear all the necessary protective gear like eyewear, boots, and heavy-duty gloves. Also, make use of harnesses and do not perform the task alone.
  • Locate the bad tabs of asphalt shingles to determine the number of shingles you will need to replace. If the shingles are old, it might not be worth taking them off carefully to avoid damage.
  • The time of the day for your work should be in the early hours of the morning and cool weather if possible. Asphalt seals become hot, soft, and difficult to pull out in hot weather. In addition, it is easier to remove cool and brittle tabs of asphalt shingles.
  • Use a Stanley pry bar to loosen the nail underneath the asphalt shingles roofing, two rows before the area of damage. Once it is free, slide the Stanley pry bar underneath the roof shingles and slowly pull the nail out.
  • Slowly pull out the shingles to avoid damaging them. This will save you the cost of buying more asphalt roof shingles than you need.
  • Repeat this process until you get to the tab of asphalt shingle with defects. Then, loosen the shingles with damages, and inspect the underlayment seepage signs. 
  • Replace the defective asphalt shingles with new ones and fix the other shingles back in place.

How Do You Separate Shingles That Are Stuck Together?

It is easy to separate roof shingles if they are old and worn out. However, if the shingles are new, they might be difficult to separate.

After installing your shingles, their exposure to sunlight and heat can melt the adhesive in the shingles.

This will help bond the shingles and keep them strong against moisture and other harsh weather conditions. 

There are two methods with which you can separate the new asphalt roof shingles:

#1. Heat Method

The heat method involves heating the shingles to separate them. To separate the shingles, you need a heat source and a bread knife.

First, heat the middle part of the roof shingle tab that you need to disconnect and heat the other edge of the bread knife to a hotter temperature.

Then, use the knife to separate the shingles. Do not use high-temperature on the shingles to avoid scaring them.

#2. Cold Water Method

You will need mildly cold water, a pry bar, and a putty knife. First, use the pry bar to pry off the nail holding the shingles.

Then, run cold water on the shingles while carefully separating them with the putty knife

Can You Remove Shingles and Reuse Them?

You can remove shingles and reuse them if they do not show any signs of wear and tear.

Reusing shingles may save you the cost of buying new ones, though it can reduce the ability of the shingles to protect your roof.

Reusing your shingles may save you extra costs, but you may spend more if the shingles do not secure your house as they should. It is best to reuse shingles during a few shingle repairs.

If your asphalt roof shingles are all bad, it is not advisable to reuse them. Reusing damaged shingles may lead to roofing issues and reduce your house protection. 

Consider the size of the shingles that need replacement before buying new asphalt shingles. It will save you the expense of repairing your shingles twice within a short period.

Another issue is the number of holes from the old shingles. Reinsert the nails in the same nail holes in your roof, and leaks may not stop. Consider these factors before reusing the asphalt shingles.

How Do You Replace Individual Shingles?

To replace single shingles, you will have to remove the tabs two rows atop the asphalt shingle that needs replacement. The visible part of the shingles is just half of it.

Slowly pull out the nail with a pry bar to separate the shingles from the underlayment. Next, use the pry bar to remove the nail underneath the shingles and pull out the upper half of the shingles. 

Carefully remove the top roof shingles to avoid causing damage to it. Repeat this process until they get to the defective asphalt shingles tab.

Use a utility knife to cut out the damaged shingle tab. Place the new shingles starting from the bottom so that it overlaps the shingle below it. 

Secure the shingles to the roof with galvanized nails. Then cover old nail spots with roofing cement or caulk. Finally, place the good shingles and nail them firmly to the roof.

What Is the Best Tool for Removing Shingles?

You do not need many tools to remove your asphalt roofing shingles. For removing a few shingles, you might only need nails, a pry bar, and a claw hammer.

To remove all the asphalt shingles roofing, you need a tear-off shovel. These are the best tools you need for your shingle removal:

#1. Bully Tear-off Shovel

The Bully Pro Shingle shingle remover is an ideal tear-off shovel for removing roof shingles with ease. Though heavy, it can easily tear through nails and adhesives holding shingles together. 

Its D-shape grip has a non-slip texture that allows grip and leverage during use. It also has a durable coating that keeps it from rusting. 

#2. Dasco Ripper Pry Bar

This pry bar is multi-purpose, as it pries, rips, and pulls nails and shingles without any hassle. You can also use the Dasco Ripper pry bar as a crowbar and screwdriver. 

#3. Lathe Fiberglass Hammer

The hammer is lightweight due to its fiberglass component. The fiberglass hammer has an easy grip, a durable head and handle, and a nail claw to pry nails off.

Moreover, you could get the Lathe Fiberglass Hammer at online and offline stores.            


You can separate asphalt roof shingles with a pry bar and claw hammer. However, this may depend on the age and level of damage on the asphalt shingle roof. 

Ensure to remove the top shingle two rows before the shingle needs repairs. Also, purchase the right tools you need for the shingle repairs.

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