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How Loud is a Roof Replacement? (and How to Prepare for that Noise)

How Loud is a Roof Replacement? (and How to Prepare for that Noise)

After receiving the question, "How much is it going to cost?" from homeowners, the next common concern is often about the noise level during a roof replacement and its potential disruption to daily life.

The straightforward answer is that it can be pretty loud. Activities like scraping off old shingles, nailing in new ones, and debris removal all contribute to the noise associated with a roof replacement. However, the impact on your daily routine depends on your level of preparedness and the measures you take to mitigate the noise.

In this blog, we will be talking about:

For the purpose of this discussion, we will focus on asphalt shingle roofs, as they are the most common roofing material found in homes in the Raleigh area. So, let's dive in!

What Causes the Noise during a Roof Replacement?

To understand the different sounds and their loudness during a roof replacement, let's examine each stage of the process.


The first step in a roof replacement is the tear-off process. During this phase, the roofing crew uses scrapers and hammers to remove the old shingles and other roofing materials. The primary noises you can expect to hear during this stage are the scraping sounds and the debris being discarded into the dumpsters below.tearing off roof_WebP-1

While this phase may not be the loudest part of the replacement process inside your home, it can still be distracting, especially if you live in a single-story house or on the top floor.


The installation phase is when you are likely to experience the loudest and most disruptive noises during the roof replacement. The specific noises will vary depending on the roofing company and whether the crew hand-nails the shingles or uses nail guns for a faster installation.Shingle install_WebP

Interestingly, hammering a nail is one of the loudest everyday activities. According to the Department of Defense's Hearing Center of Excellence, the sound produced by a hammer pounding a nail can range from 120 to 140 decibels (dB), comparable to the noise level at a rock concert. This exceeds the noise generated by a motorcycle (100-120 dB) and is much higher than that of a lawn mower, hair dryer, or blender (all within the 85-100 dB range). Nail guns can be slightly quieter, but they can still reach up to 110 dB, well above the "safe" range of noises, which stops at 85 dB. Another source of noise with pneumatic nail guns is the sound of the air compressor engines, which can resemble the noise produced by a running lawnmower engine.


Even after your new roof has been installed, the noise is not completely eliminated. After the replacement, the roofing crew should use leaf blowers to clear any debris from the roof, directing it to the ground for collection.

While leaf blowers on the roof may produce noise levels around 95-115 dB, the noise inside your home during this stage will be relatively lower compared to the rest of the replacement process. By this point, you should hopefully have become accustomed to the noise and be ready to relax and enjoy the remaining, comparatively quieter part of your day.

How to Prepare for Roof Replacement Noise

Now that we've discussed the potential noise during a roof replacement, let's explore some tips for those who prefer to minimize their exposure to the noise.

Leave the House for the Day

If possible, consider leaving your home, especially if the roof replacement is expected to take only one day. This not only allows you to avoid the noise but also helps you circumvent other inconveniences that may arise during the process, such as restricted access to your driveway or garage.

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We typically recommend that homeowners move their cars out of the way the night before for an easier escape. Dumpsters and materials necessary for the job arrive early in the morning, and can’t be moved after they’re set, so if you even think you might want to leave, it’s best to have your car set aside well ahead of time.

Take Your Pets with You (or somewhere else)

If you have pets, particularly those that are easily frightened by fireworks or thunderstorms, it's advisable to have them stay with a neighbor, friend, or family member to shield them from the noise. Most house pets have more sensitive hearing than humans and may perceive the roofing project noise as a threat, which can be particularly distressing for them.

BONUS: Remove Objects from Your Walls

Although not directly related to noise, it's worth mentioning that the vibrations caused by hammering and nailing on your roof can potentially shake your home, including items hung on walls or placed on shelves. To ensure their safety, it's recommended to remove paintings, pictures, and other wall-mounted objects from their hooks and place them on the ground where they won't fall and become damaged. The same precaution applies to objects positioned close to the edges of shelves.

Feeling Prepared for a Roof Replacement?

If you've been contemplating a roof replacement but were concerned about the noise and disruption it may cause, we hope this blog has helped you feel more prepared. While the noise can be bothersome, it shouldn't deter you from embarking on a project that will enhance the quality and safety of your home for years to come.

Working with an experienced roofing company can also be a benefit for the level of noise and disruption that you’ll be facing on the day of your roof replacement. Contractors that have lots of experience working with homeowners can help walk you through the process and explain some of the things that they commonly see homeowners struggle with during the project, and how you can avoid those pitfalls.

On Tops Roofing has been working with homeowners for their roofing projects in Raleigh, NC since 1991. Whatever your roof requires, We’re on it!

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