Should You Install a New Roof Over an Old Roof?
Wondering when to get a new roof? The average roof lasts between 20 and 30 years, but you may have recently noticed your roof is not as aesthetically pleasing, or it may have sustained damage. Both are valid reasons for getting a new roof.
Knowing that a new roof cost can be thousands of dollars, you may want to save some money. For that reason, many customers have asked us, “Can you put a new roof over an old roof?”
The simple answer is yes – re-roofing, or applying a new roof construction over an existing one, is a viable option. But just as it has its pros, re-roofing also has its drawbacks too.
Here are the pros and cons you’ll want to know before deciding to put a new roofing system over your old one.
2 Big Drawbacks to an Overlay vs a Tear-Off
State Regulations May Prevent Re-roofing
You want to be sure you are allowed to apply another layer of roofing. Be sure to check both local and state regulations on how many roof layers a house can have. North Carolina only allows two layers of roofing on a residential dwelling. So, if your roof has already been re-roofed, then you must remove one of the layers before applying a new one.
These regulations are meant to prevent your roof from carrying too much of a load, thus endangering the structure. Asphalt shingles weigh approximately 2 pounds per square foot. So, an average 1,500-square-foot roof carries up to 3,000 pounds per layer!
Re-roofing May Void Your Warranty
Installing a new roof over your old roof can void or shorten your warranty. Some roofing manufacturers won’t uphold the warranty if their new shingles are installed on top of old shingles.
The second new roofing layer will cause heat to expand the shingles at a slower pace, which shortens the lifespan of your new roof. The new shingles can also stick to the old shingles, causing unsightly bulges, which is not want you want to see with a fairly new roof. And, as mentioned above, the additional weight compromises the structural integrity of your roof, leading to sagging over time.
In addition, when you install a new roof over a rotted or damaged roof, you’re just covering the problem instead of repairing it. If your second layer of roofing starts to show defects due to the layer underneath, the old problem may return.
At StaDry Roofing, we always recommend removing the bottom roof layer first, then starting anew.
3 Benefits of Putting a New Roof Over an Old One
One of the main reasons homeowners pursue re-roofing is to save money. First, you can save a little on labor costs involving removing the existing roofing. You may also save a little on how much roofing materials you have to purchase. This is cash you can reroute to other much-needed home projects.
When getting a new roof, the tear-off project of removing the old roofing can take a few hours. Then there’s the clean-up process and disposing of the old roofing. (However, your roofer should be taking care of this.) Some homeowners may choose to skip this time-consuming step by simply applying a new roof over the old one.
Makes the Job Easier
When the existing roof is still in place, the new roofing contractors can use it as a guide for the new roofing materials, making their job easier and quicker (thus, again, saving the homeowner a little money). This is also ideal for DIY projects, but it’s important to note that most roofing projects should be left to the professionals.
Not sure if you can manage a re-roofing project?
So, Do You Really Need a New Roof?
Eventually, all roofs must be replaced as they don’t last forever. It’s good to know when it’s time for a new roof, as re-roofing over a damaged roof can pose safety hazards to your home and the people and pets inside of it. To determine if you need a new one, you’ll first need an answer to the following question.
What Is the Roof’s Current Condition?
This is the first and most important question to consider when deciding to replace a roof. Take time to inspect your roof, or have an expert do this.
Here are a few questions to ask and answer:
• Is the current roof deteriorating?
• Are there soft or sunken spots in the roof that could indicate potential rot in the sub-roof?
• Are there many cracked, curling, or missing shingles?
• Is there water damage or other damage from a natural event, such as hail or high winds?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you may want to consider re-roofing.
We recommend that you schedule an annual roof inspection to catch any potential water leak problems or roof damage before they get worse. So, if you’re not sure it’s time build a new roof system, the roofing experts at StaDry Roofing can help with a free consultation.