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Equipment Needed for Roofing

Whether you’re a professional roofer, just getting into the business, or doing a DIY job on your own home, there are several items you will need before you get started. The problem is that it can be difficult to determine exactly what you need, which is why this article was written. I have done the research and will share my findings with you in this article.

The equipment needed for roofing includes protective gear, cleanup materials, and equipment to tear off the old roof and install the new one. See the list below for some of the necessary equipment.

  • Dumpster
  • Tear-Off Shovel
  • Scoop Shovel
  • Generator
  • Hammer
  • Roofing knife
  • Chalk line tools
  • Ladder
  • Safety Goggles

These are the basic items that will enable you to perform your roofing job without any hiccups. If you want to know exactly what you need and why you should use it, continue reading. We will break down each tool to give you a clear understanding of why it made our list of key items.

Equipment for Tearing Off Old Roofing

When re-roofing a house, you not only need to consider the tools and equipment you need to lay the new shingles, but also what you need to remove the old ones. The process will be much easier if you take the time to collect everything you need before ever swinging your hammer.

Dumpster or Pickup Truck

If you’re replacing or repairing a roof, it is likely that you will need to remove some materials before you can lay the new ones down. In order to do so, you must also have a receptacle in which to dispose of them. The receptacle should be something that is easily removed from the premises.

If it’s a really big job, a dumpster is usually preferable. However, some roofers use the bed of their pickup truck to drop the old materials into and haul them off. Either way, be sure your receptacle is big enough to handle the job, so you’re not stopping your work to make multiple trips to the dump.

Scoop Shovel

A scoop shovel comes in handy when scooping loose shingles into a dumpster or truck bed. These shovels don’t have teeth like the tear-off shovels, but they are great for scraping shingles off the roof and into the dumpster. They are also helpful if there are piles of shingles on the ground that need to be cleaned up after the job is done.

Tear-Off Shovel

There are a few types of shovels that Fayetteville roofers might prefer to use because they have different functions. A tear-off shovel is a specialized tool to help you remove old shingles easily. They have steel teeth that will dig into the shingle and pull it up off the existing roof.

Tear-off shovels also help with scooping the old shingles into the dumpster. If you get a really nice one, it might have an angled head, so you don’t have to bend, crouch, or squat very much. It’s worth the investment and can really save your back!

Pry Bar

This is basically a crowbar and comes in really handy during the removal process of old shingles. A pry bar will be much more effective in pulling old nails out in specific spots. Unlike the tear-off shovel, with a pry bar, you can tear off just a few shingles to make a repair.

The ability to isolate the singles that you rip off will allow you to complete your repair more efficiently. You will use less material and time because you’re only tearing off the spots that need it. The pry bar can also help you remove shingles in really hard to reach areas on roofs with multiple pitches.

Be Prepared with Protective Equipment

There are some items that you will need in order to protect yourself and the roof. Keep reading to learn more.

Safety Goggles

This is something that is often overlooked but is incredibly important. When tearing off old shingles, you run the risk of getting hit in the eye with nails, wood splinters, and shingle pieces if you’re not protected. Be sure to wear safety goggles during the entire job to protect your eyes from any stray materials that might be flying through the air.

Hard Hat

This is another piece of safety equipment that is critical to your safety during a roofing job. If you’re at your own home doing a DIY job, you may not have one on hand. We recommend purchasing one at your local hardware or big box store.

If you have a team of roofers working with you or you run a roofing company, this is a non-negotiable. You must provide hard hats to protect your employees’ heads during the job. Be sure to look for hard hats that are OSHA approved.

Roofing Shoes

Many roofers choose steel-toed shoes in order to protect their feet from potential injury. You can be injured by dropping a hammer, nail gun, or any other type of tool directly on your foot. However, you also need to be careful not to damage the roof.

Shoes that are extremely heavy-duty or have really hard plastic soles could damage soft shingles. Look for something in between these two extremes. Your safety is the top priority, but you also want to be conscientious of the work you’re doing.

Also, be sure to choose something with really good tread. Since most roofing jobs will require you to walk on an angle, you need to be sure that your shoes won’t slip. A little online research will help you find the best shoe that will work for you.


You should consider having a harness or personal fall arrest system (PFAS) to tie-off in case you slip and fall. Although it is not always a regular practice for roofers, it really should be. Consider what could happen if you slip and fall off the roof!

Look for harnesses that are OSHA-approved for both you and your team. The OSHA requirement is for every roofer to wear a PFAS if there is a chance for them to fall 6 feet or more. In general, that will be every roofing job you ever do.

Again, don’t go cheap on safety equipment! Get high-quality, OSHA approved safety gear, and you’ll have peace of mind while working.


You don’t always need a generator when working on a roof, but it can come in handy. If you have a team of people with multiple nail guns working at the same time, it can help to power multiple compressors and keep the job moving. It’s also really handy to have a compressor when you’re working on new construction if there is a lack of power on the construction site.


There are multiple reasons to use tarps during a roofing job. You definitely want to have some available in case it starts to rain during your job. You want to be able to cover any holes or bare spots in the roof to protect it from the water until you can remove it and continue your work.

You should also use tarps to protect the landscaping and also to catch stray nails, shingles, and other debris. If you place tarps on the ground around your work area, your life will be much easier when it comes time to clean up. If you manage to catch the majority of stray nails and such on the tarps and don’t destroy the landscaping, your customers will be much happier!

Equipment You Need to Lay Down the Shingles

Now it’s time for the fun part, laying down the roof. Below we will examine the equipment you need for this part of the job.


In case it’s not obvious, you need nails to secure the new shingles to the roof. Most roofers purchase nails that fit an air gun because it is much faster and easier than hammering every single nail into the roof. It is critical to purchase nails that will work in the air gun that you’re using.

Nail Gun

Nail guns are powered by air compressors and can quickly apply nails to any surface. They use the pressure from the air to dispense the nails at the proper angle and speed. There is a cable that attaches the gun to the air compressor, so making sure it’s long enough is a vital component of being able to use it.

Given the speed at which the nails are dispensed from a nail gun, safety is also really important. Make sure that you and/or your employees have been properly trained on how to use it. You should also have an emergency procedure in case the gun dispenses a nail into someone’s hand or other body part.

Air Compressor

As mentioned previously, an air compressor is what gives a nail gun its power. The gun is connected to the compressor using a specialized cable that allows the pressure to build up and then be released each time you press the gun onto the roof. Air compressors can be used for more than just nail guns, but in the case of a roofing job, you likely only need it for the gun.

There are also compressor/nail gun combo tools that can be used instead of having two separate items. This can be tempting but is not usually the best option. The air cartridges in these combo tools often don’t last long enough to get through the entire job, so you would need to purchase back-up cartridges.


Whether you choose to use a nail gun or drive all the nails in by hand, you will need a hammer. There are a number of different styles from which to choose. Many roofers choose a hatchet-style hammer for a variety of reasons.

A hatchet can offer a cutting/scraping function to help pull off old shingles or other debris that needs to be removed. It can also be a great safety device because if you start to slip, you can bang the sharp side against the roof to dig it in and catch yourself. It can also hammer nails into the roof, obviously!

Roofing Knife

This is a versatile tool that can be used for multiple aspects of a roofing job. Its primary function is to be able to cut the shingles in order to fit them in the space that you need to cover. Although you could use a utility knife or other blade, a roofing knife really is the best.

These knives are strong enough to cut through thick asphalt shingles. They can also cut roofing underlayment and other materials. Most of them even have hooks near the edge to help you keep it steady and cut a straight line.

More Equipment for Roof Application

But wait…there’s more! You will also need the following items to finish construction on the roof.

Chalk Line Tools

Roofers often need to mark straight edges and lines along the sides of the roof where the gutters will be installed. A chalk line tool is much more effective in marking long lines than other methods on the market. This is much more practical than doing it by hand or using a straightedge tool.

These tools consist of a reel and some chalk. You simply stretch the line out across the area that needs to be edged and pull the line taught and allow the chalk to mark the line. You will eventually need to buy more chalk, but if you get a good reel, it should last a long time.

Caulking Gun

When laying a new roof or making a repair, you need to have roofing cement. This can be a real pain if you don’t apply it properly. The two main ways to apply the cement to the roof are with a cement can and a trowel or a caulking gun.

When you’re on the roof laying shingles or making repairs, a caulking gun is much easier to handle and move around. It is efficient in dispensing the cement and allows you to be much more precise with your amount and location of the application.

Tin Snips

When you go to trim metal flashing or gutters, tin snips are the way to go. They allow you to cut through these materials easily and with precision. If you’re going to do a ton of gutter work or curved work, you should consider getting curved tin snips instead of straight ones.

Reciprocating Saw

If you need to cut out some damaged roof underlayment or cut new roof decking, you will need a reciprocating saw. It is a little less precise than some other types of saws, but it is incredibly easy to manage while up on the roof. They can get into really tight spots that other saws can’t, and you can adjust the depth if necessary.

Circular Saw

Wait? You need two different kinds of saws for a roofing job? The simple answer is yes.

Circular saws are particularly handy when you’re repairing damage in a roof deck. Once you cut out the damaged area, getting a precise cut on the new piece is critical. A circular saw will do a much better job on this than a reciprocating one, and you’ll be on the ground for these cuts, which makes it even better!


If you’re cutting and sawing wood, you need something to lay it on, as well. Sawhorses are extremely useful when cutting wood, especially when you need the lines to be as straight as possible. You don’t need top-of-the-line sawhorses, but rather just good enough to hold the wood and the weight of the saw while you cut.


If you’re installing metal roofing, you will need a drill to cut through the metal. If you’re installing a regular shingle roof, the drill will come in handy to secure the roof decking to the frame. But which kind of drill should you choose?

Some roofers prefer an air drill because they have already invested in an air compressor for their nails guns. However, we recommend a cordless drill because it is easy to maneuver, and you won’t need the battery to last for hours on end. It just needs to last long enough to get the decking secured.


All of these tools will serve absolutely no purpose if you can’t access the roof! Be sure to purchase a good, sturdy ladder. This is definitely not the place to go cheap on prices because it is about your safety and the safety of your crew. Purchase ladders with safety and locking mechanisms to ensure that there is as little risk as possible.

Materials Needed for the Roofing Job

Although we’ve mainly discussed equipment in this article, you will also need to consider the materials necessary for the job. In general, you will need the following materials:

  • Shingles
  • Roof underlayment
  • Roofing cement
  • Gutters
  • Hardware

All of these items will be necessary for you to complete your roofing job in a satisfactory manner. There are several varieties of most of these items, so take some time to consider which you want to use. If you’re doing a commercial or residential job that is not on your own house, you will obviously need to use what the customer prefers.


Roofing can be a really enjoyable and rewarding experience if you prepare ahead of time and make sure you have all the things you need before getting started. Nothing ruins a job faster than the need to run back and forth from the hardware store because you forgot something. Although planning ahead in great detail can be a pain on the front end, you will be thankful that you did!