Re-Roofing vs. New Roof Guide

Determining whether roof repair is in order, or if it is necessary to replace the roof depends on a few factors. In most cases a new roof is the best case, but a repair can save time and money, as less labor, material and disposal is necessary.

If the existing roof on your house is only one layer and there are no problems with the roof deck, a new roof is not necessary. If you have two layers and tried to put a third on, you’d need nails longer than two inches long. They’re not easy to find, and it’s not safe. In that case, replacing the entire roof would be safer and required, since permits do not require the placing of a third layer on a rooftop.

Also consider the materials your roof is made out of before you think about re-roofing or replacing it. If you have asphalt shingles, it’s easier to re-roof than metal roofing. It also costs a lot more. Depending on the material your roof is made out of, it might cost you less overall to replace the roof than to re-roof just a portion of it.

Then there’s the pitch and story of your home. A one-story home with a low pitch is a lot easier to re-roof than a two-story home with a steep pitch. The higher up or steeper the roof is, the more it will cost in labor and time for the workers to get out there and get up and down from the roof to do the re-roofing job.

If you are only going to re-roof, it is still important to consider the ventilation of your attic. You don’t want to cut off ventilation to the attic, as its temperature affects the temperature of the rest of your home, which affects how much your HVAC runs. So make sure that if you decide to re-roof, you don’t cover up the attic fan or leave holes where the temperature could flux dramatically.

If your home has any of the following, a re-roof is necessary:

  • Existing roofing is in very poor condition.
  • Existing roofing has too many layers.
  • Existing roofing has bad decking.
  • Existing roofing has bad incompatible shingles.

In addition, most experts will agree that overlay will not last as long as a new roof. The life span of the roofing singles in fact is approximately 25 percent less than if you were to go with a new roof. An experienced contractor will be able to inform you on your options, give a quote on the new roof cost, or tell you if you can repair your existing one.

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