Roofing Over an Existing Roof: What You Need to Know

If you’re starting to notice issues with your roof or it’s been in place for several years, you may be wondering about your roofing options and what will be the best solution for your situation. If your roof is so damaged or old that repairs won’t get it back in good shape but its condition is still good enough that it doesn’t need to be completely torn off and replaced, you should consider having a new roof installed over your existing one. Reroofing isn’t the same thing as roof replacement, and your roof must meet certain conditions in order to be a good candidate for reroofing. Keep reading to learn about the basics of reroofing, how it’s different from roof replacement, and the main advantages it offers.

How Are Reroofing & Roof Replacement Different?

With reroofing, your roofers will install a new roof over your existing one. This involves adding a new layer of shingles without tearing off the old roof. It’s essential to understand this can only be done one time because your roof can have only two layers of shingles.

With roof replacement, the roofers remove your existing roof before installing a completely new one. They tear off everything all the way down to the roof’s deck and essentially start from scratch with the new roof, from laying down the felt paper to installing the new shingles. Since roof replacement involves tearing everything off, it can be done on any roof, no matter how many layers of shingles are already there, because everything’s going to be removed anyway.

Because replacing a roof involves a lot more time and labor, it costs more than reroofing. If your roof doesn’t have any fundamental problems—if it’s just old or losing some of its functionality—reroofing might be the best solution for your home because it requires a lot less work, which will save you money.

When & Why Should You Put a New Roof Over an Existing One?

Reroofing might be the best option if your roof is starting to fail but it’s still in pretty good shape overall. This basically means your roof’s underlying structures and sheathing are in generally good condition but it may simply be at the end of its life. Maybe your shingles are losing granules and getting worn out due to weather or age but they’re not missing, curling, or causing leaks. These are indications that installing a new layer of shingles over the existing one may be a viable option.

By having another layer of shingles added to your roof, you’re essentially adding an extra protective layer to it. Along with the original layer of shingles, the underlayment, and the roof deck, this additional layer will function as combined protection against damage and leaks by directing water from your roof into your gutters.

You can also choose to reroof if you simply want a change in its appearance. You might want a different color or style, or you may be having a whole home remodel done and you want the roof to match your home’s new design. Even if your primary goal isn’t a complete redesign of your roof, it will still gain fresh aesthetic appeal. With a new shingle layer installed, your roof will have additional visual depth, and it can even acquire a three-dimensional look, since it will be slightly raised because of the underlying existing layer of shingles.

When Is Reroofing a Bad Idea?

If your existing roof isn’t made of asphalt shingles, reroofing isn’t going to be a possibility. Your roofer can only install a new roof over an existing one by putting shingles over shingles. It’s not possible to mix materials, and a roofer can’t install a new layer of shingles over wood or slate tiles.

Curling shingles are another reason reroofing may not be possible, because a roofer can only install a new layer if the existing one is entirely level and flat. Shingles curl over time for a variety of reasons, so if you want to have the option of reroofing, you need to have your roofer identify the source of the problem and replace the curling shingles first.

Finally, if your roof already has two layers of shingles because it’s been reroofed once, adding another layer isn’t possible because it can make the roof too heavy.

Now that you know more about reroofing, you can plan your renovation project accordingly. It’s always a good idea to consult with a trustworthy contractor who can do an inspection and advise you on what your best option is. Whether their home improvement projects involve replacing a roof or a whole house remodel, San Diego homeowners can rely on the team from Forever Builders for outstanding workmanship and exceptional service at affordable rates. From planning to completion, we’ll help you create the beautiful home you’ve always dreamed of. To find out more about our exceptional roofing, renovation, and remodeling services, give one of our friendly team members a call today at (833) 243-5624.

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