Shingle Roofing Replacement: Tear-Off vs. Adding a Top Layer

There comes a time when roofing repairs just won’t do anymore – your roof sustains extensive damage, whether through a storm or just over time, and your local roofing contractor recommends installing a new shingle roof rather than repairing the damage.

Once you decide on replacing your roof, there are further decisions you will have to make. Before figuring out the color or style of your new shingles, you need to decide – with the help of your roofing contractor – whether to tear off the old shingles or simply add a top layer of new shingles to the existing roof.

Shingle Roofing Replacement: Tear-Off vs. Adding a Top Layer

The decision whether to tear off or add a new layer is an important one to make, and will potentially save you a lot of money and/or trouble down the road – it all depends on your particular circumstances.

The Case Behind An Overlay

Adding a top layer of shingles to the existing structure may sound like “quick fix,” but in certain situations, it is a safe and widely used technique for replacing a worn roof.

Called an “overlay,” this roofing method can save time and money without compromising the integrity of the roof. An overlay is your best bet assuming the wood decking is in good condition, and especially if you’re planning to sell your home soon. The cost of doing a tear can substantially increase the cost of re-roofing, so if you can avoid it that’s great for your wallet.

Check building codes in your city – most allow it once (never lay a roof over a roof over a roof).

The Case Behind a Tear Off

Re-roofing from the bottom up, or tearing off the current roof, can be more costly and labor-intensive than an overlay, but it’s often necessary, and, in some areas of the country, required.

Often, homeowners must undergo a tear-off versus adding a top layer of shingles if the current roof meets certain conditions:

  • Two layers of shingles, slate, tiles or shakes already exist on the roof
  • The roof is soaked from water damage
  • Wood decking needs repairs or replacement
  • The roof consists of asbestos/cement tile, wood shakes, slate or clay materials

Tearing the old materials off provides your roofer with an opportunity to look at any issues that might be creeping up underneath the existing roof. Additionally, an overlay cuts the life expectancy of the second layers of shingles in half, so if you want your new roof to last longer removing the old roofing materials is recommended.

Consider All Options When Having A New Roof Installed

Your roofing contractor should be aware of state and local regulations and requirements regarding roofing and upon inspection of your home, will be able to tell you with certainty whether you are looking at a total roof replacement or if the possibility of an overlay exists. Since a new roof can be a costly investment, all options should be considered.

If you need an inspection, or you’re considering installing a new roof and are not sure which way you should go, call Eagle Prime Construction, LLC, an experienced residential roofing company serving Houston area customers since 2005. We will provide you with several new roof installation options that best suit your taste, needs, and budget.

Call today at (832) 257-2363 to request your Free Estimate or to learn more about our roofing, siding, door installation, gutter repair and window replacement services!

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