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How Does a Roofer Clean Up After a Roof Replacement?

December 1st, 2023 | 5 min. read

How Does a Roofer Clean Up After a Roof Replacement?

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Getting a new roof is a messy and chaotic project. Especially during the tear-off process when the old shingles, nails, underlayment, and other components are torn off and disposed of before installation can begin.

There's also trash from the wrappers of newly installed materials and components to throw away. This all has to go somewhere, and the last thing anyone wants is to have a yard full of debris, trash, or, worse, nails. 

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners understand every part of a roof replacement and what to expect. Because of this, I’ll break down how a reputable roofer cleans up during and after a roof replacement. 

This article answers the following questions:

  • How does a roofer clean up your property during a roof replacement?
  • How does a roofer clean up your property after a roof replacement?
  • Does cleaning up properly impact the cost of your roof replacement?

How does a roofer clean up your property during a roof replacement?

Cleaning up happens throughout the entire roof replacement process, not just after the job is completed. After installation, 95% of the trash and debris should already be thrown away. 

This is done by having some of the crew (between 2-3, depending on size) clean up all the trash while everyone else is tearing off and installing your roof. If your roof has a walkable pitch, a crew member carries debris across the roof to throw into the dump trailer while others on the ground pick up stragglers.

carrying torn off roofing debris from tarp landing zone to dump trailer

For more difficult roofs, a tarped landing zone is created for the crew on the roof to throw roofing debris and trash. At the same time, the crew on the ground carries or picks it up using wheelbarrows to take the dump trailer. 

As I said, cleaning up happens during the entire project. This simply makes it easier on everyone when it comes time to clean up after. 

How does a roofer clean up your property after a roof replacement?

After installing your new roof, it’s time to begin the second part of the clean-up process. This is all about making it look like there was never a roofer on your property. 

Clearing off your new roof

After installation, your roofer uses a powerful handheld blower to clear off any debris and little granules from the shingles. They’ll blow off the sawdust from cutting the vents in for your ventilation system, the loose granules off the shingles, and finally, the gutters. 

blowing out gutters after installing a new roof

They’ll also run a magnet through the gutters to get any loose nails that could get in your yard or driveway when it rains. They’ll also blow out the downspouts to ensure everything from the gutters to the roof is clean. 

Cleaning up the yard after your roof replacement  

Now that your new roof is clean and sparkling, it’s time to concentrate on the ground. First, the roofer visually inspects your yard and landscaping for roofing debris that was missed during the process.

picking up debris and finding nails with magnet after a roof replacement

After the leftover debris is picked up, they’ll go over your yard and driveway with one or two magnets to catch nails that got away. This is the most important part of cleaning up after a roof replacement. 

Once leftover debris and nails are picked up, they’ll load up their equipment and move their vehicles out of your driveway to clear and blow off all the paved surfaces. After taking care of paved surfaces, they’ll also blow off your porch, patio, or anywhere else granules or dust could have fallen. 

If your roofer cleans up properly, you could have a cleaner yard than before the roof replacement began.

Cleaning your attic after the roof replacement (if applicable)

During the roof replacement process, your attic gets a good dusting of roofing debris, sawdust, and wood splinters. This creates a big mess, which is why you need to talk to your roofer about covering the attic if you use it for storage or anything else before the project begins. 

plastic covering attic during roof replacement

If you did get everything covered, your roofer needs to get the debris out of the attic to finish the clean-up process. They’ll roll the plastic or tarp with all the debris up and throw it away without spilling anything in your home. 

Everyone’s situation is different, so this type of clean-up procedure varies by homeowner. If you don’t have an attic space or don’t care what’s up there, then this doesn’t apply to your roof replacement. 

Does cleaning up properly impact the cost of your roof replacement?

Yes, taking the right steps to ensure your property is clean during and after your roof replacement impacts the cost of your roof replacement. It does increase the cost, but not just to squeeze you for extra money. 

First, there’s the labor and crew size to consider. Whether they're on the roof installing or the ground cleaning up, more crew members working means higher labor costs.

Secondly, you have to think about actually disposing of the debris and trash. There’s the dump trailer, the truck driver taking the trailer, and dump fees associated with dumping all the debris.

The roofer also pays for tarps to catch debris, cover your attic, and protect the areas around your home. While these fees impact the final cost of your roof replacement, how much varies from roofer to roofer. 

What does the entire roof replacement process look like?

Now, you know how a roofer cleans up your property during and after your roof replacement. You also learned cleaning up properly adds to your new roof's cost. 

Even if it may cost more, a reputable roofer will ensure your property is cleaner than before. The last thing anyone wants is to step on a nail or get a flat tire because the roofer didn’t take proper steps. 

That’s why you should always ask any potential roofing contractor how they clean up before signing a contract. And now that you know the right way to do it, it makes finding a great roofer easier.

But cleaning up correctly is just one piece of the entire roof replacement process. With how chaotic getting a new roof is, the last thing you want is to be shocked or confused about what’s happening. 

That’s why I wrote another article with the full roof replacement process, step-by-step. 

Check out 8-Step Process to Replace Your Roof to learn what you can expect on the day you get your new roof. 

prepare for your roof replacement checklist

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