How to Remove Pea Gravel From a Flat Roof

Updated February 21, 2017

Pea gravel is made up of very small rounded rocks approximately 1/4 inch in diameter. Pea gravel comes in a variety of colours and can be utilised in landscaping and mulching. Pea gravel is also commonly used in roofing, where it is spread across a roof for decorative purposes and to protect the roof from sun and water damage. On sloped roofs, pea gravel is usually secured with tar paper, while on flat roofs the gravel can sometimes be laid out on its own. Loose pea gravel is easier to remove than gravel attached to tar paper.

Use the push broom to sweep any loose gravel off of your roof. If you have only free gravel, this will complete your removal. If you have gravel attached with tar or tar paper, this will make the next step easier by removing any loose objects on the roof.

Don protective gloves and goggles and use the power saw to cut sections in your tar paper roofing. Carbide roofing blades are important on the saw, as they'll be able to cut through the tar. Cut strips that are small enough for you to handle them easily. Only cut deep enough to cut through the tar, or you'll risk cutting into the structure of your roof.

Use the pry bar and tear-off roofing shovel to pry up the tar paper and pea gravel and separate them from your roof. Tear up or scrape off the material in the strips you cut with the saw.

Transport the tar paper and gravel to the edge of your roof using a wheelbarrow, to prevent back strain from dragging the heavy material. Drop the roofing off your roof into a designated container below.

Use the push broom to sweep your roof again after you've finished, to remove any last gravel or pieces of tar paper.


Consider reusing loose pea gravel as mulch in your flower beds, or to line paths in your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Push broom
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Power saw with carbide roofing blades
  • Tear-off roofing shovel
  • Pry bar
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Container
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