Dispose of tar paper - so you do it right


Old roofing felt often when re-roofing from the roof - the disposal of the old remains often causes problems, both logistical and technical nature. In addition, some very old Tar paper can not be disposed of easily. The easiest and easiest way to learn about this is in this article.

Tar paper, roofing felt, bituminous sheet - what is what?

The term tar paper is actually inaccurate, since only very old cardboard are actually still soaked in tar. As a rule, you have exceeded your life for so long that you can hardly find a roof today.

With these cardboard waste disposal would also be problematic because they were soaked in coal tar and thus may contain some consistently toxic substances. But they were only used until the beginning of the seventies.

Roofing felt - or more correctly: bitumen roofing membranes - are today soaked in bitumen, which no longer contains toxic substances. Thus, the disposal is largely unproblematic, at least with regard to toxic ingredients. This applies to both bituminous membranes and bituminous welding membranes.

How to remove welded or glued tar paper from the roof

  • cut into pieces with a sharp cutter and remove the pieces with a spatula
  • by gentle heating with the welder and as even as possible removal
  • with a so-called stripper, which roofers also use

Does old roofing have to be disposed of?

Very often - for a roof renovation - only a new welding line is placed over the old roofing. This eliminates the disposal.

However, this is not always possible and unlimited: too thick layers of roofing felt on the roof are not only unnecessary weight, but also a fire risk. Partially very high temperatures can arise in the lowest layers and thus trigger a very high risk of fire.

Dispose of tar paper - that's the easiest way

  • Container
  • Welding machine for bituminous membranes
  • so-called stripper (a roofer tool)

1. order container

For disposal, a container is the simplest solution. Roofing felt is very unwieldy, and the long lanes are often difficult to package properly, but this would be a requirement for self-disposal. Containers solve this problem.

Choose the location for the container so that you can easily fill the container from the roof.

2. Removal of the tar paper

Old bituminous layers can adhere very persistently, but for bonded layers, of course, this applies all the more. Nailed roofing felt is usually very easy to remove.

If you do not want to tear down old welding tracks with great force, it is best to use a bituminous strip welder to heat the layers slightly. Often you then dissolve better.

Roofers use the stripper for this - a special device for removing bitumen. You may also be able to borrow such a device.

3. Disposal

If possible, fill the container from the roof - the detached bituminous membranes can be very heavy and, moreover, they are unwieldy to transport, especially from the roof.

Tips & Tricks

The containers must not be allowed to contain other substances than bitumen - ie no metals, wood residues, film residues or plastics. Pay close attention to it in every case.


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