Ultimately, roofing over existing shingles is not the ideal route to take. However, there are some exceptions to when roofing over existing shingles works and may be a good option for you.
What Is A Roof Tear-Off?
When the time comes around for your roof to be replaced, you will have to make the decision of whether you want to put new shingles on top of what is already there or tear it all off for a fresh start.
Choosing the recover option (placing new roofing shingles over existing shingles) may seem like a good financial choice if you are looking for something cheaper but it is only a short term fix. Tearing off your old roof and starting from scratch, is a better long term investment.
How Many Layers Can Be Put On A Roof?
Sometimes adding roofing over existing shingles is not an available option. The condition of your roof has to be taken under consideration before the process is started.
It is common for building codes to allow up to two layers of shingles (organic or fiberglass) on roofs with a 4/12 pitch or below. Three layers are often allowed for steeper roofs because they can handle more weight.
Roofing over existing shingles on a roof with a 4/12 pitch can easily cost $1,000 less than tearing off and replacing an entire roof. Plus, the hours of labor go down and less equipment is used, which lowers the cost even more.
Roof Over/Shingle Over Has Its Place
There are always factors to take into consideration before starting a project. With roof replacement or recovery, it is the condition of your roof. What has your roof gone through and when was the last time it had work done?
If you have had the same roof for 20 years or so, it is most likely time to get it replaced: tear it all off and start afresh. Sometimes that is not necessary though. There are benefits to getting a shingle over if you are looking for a more short term roof re-do. If you are looking for renewed curb appeal or want to keep your roof in good condition without spending a huge fortune getting it replaced, adding new roofing over existing shingles may be the right option for you.
Tear Off vs. Shingle Over
What is the biggest benefit of a shingle over? The cost. Saving money on roof work is one of the biggest reasons people consider a shingle over rather than a tear off. It may seem like a great financial decision in the moment but, in reality, it is not.
Roofing over existing shingles won’t fix any damage your roof may have. It is like getting a new paint job on your car when it is your engine you should that should be fixed. A shingle over is a quicker cleaner process that can offer curb appeal but not much more.
The best long term investment you could make is a tear off. Spending the extra money in the moment will save you money in the future. Although there are pros and cons to a tear off, make sure you don’t cut corners and get your roof work done right.