Can You Re-Roof Over Your Old Roof?

This image was an example of a new roof.

If you’re planning to re-roof your home but don’t want to spend the money on a new roof, you may wonder: can you re-roof over an old roof? Here are some things to consider before you take this step.


Re-roofing shingles over an old roof

Re-roofing shingles over an old roof

Installing new shingles over an old roof is a great way to update your home’s roof without tearing it off. However, the additional weight on the roof isn’t without its risks. New roof shingles can stretch and become loose, compromising the roof’s structure. Additionally, the extra weight of a second layer can damage the sheathing and make the roof sag. Therefore, if you’re considering re-roofing your house, seek professional advice.

First, you should remove any debris that’s on the roof. This debris may get trapped between the old and new layers. You’ll also want to remove obstructions like pipe flashing and air vents. Make sure to sweep away all debris before you begin re-roofing.

Next, cut the shingles into courses. Starter courses are essentially strips that fit over the first course of shingles. They should not overlap. Snap the lines with a utility knife or a straightedge. It’s easiest to cut shingles from below the roof’s surface rather than above.

Another benefit to re-roofing with asphalt shingles is that they can easily be replaced and are inexpensive to buy. On the other hand, metal roofing requires particular expertise and a more expensive investment in materials. But metal roofs are better for your home’s energy efficiency and durability. They last longer than shingles and won’t break down as quickly as asphalt shingles.

Before you begin re-roofing shingles over an older roof, you must ensure the roof is in good condition. Any leaks or rotting sheathing should be removed. Also, lousy plywood or OSB needs to be removed. You’ll need a smooth surface for the new shingles to adhere.

Construction worker on a renovation roof the house installed new shingles

Cost of re-roofing

Re-roofing your old roof can be expensive, especially if you live in an area where severe weather is typical. You’ll need to use better materials and pay extra for precision when working in these areas. Bare asphalt or composite shingles aren’t enough to withstand high winds, so you’ll need to invest in metal panels instead. Also, if your area receives a lot of precipitation, you’ll need a heavy-duty waterproof roofing material.

Before replacing your old roof, you must remove the old one and inspect the damage underneath. The wood decking under your old roof can rot and must be replaced if damaged. This will raise the price of the new roof. Replacing the decking is another factor in determining the total cost.

Re-roofing an old roof is an excellent option if the shingles are still in good condition. The main benefit of re-roofing is that you don’t have to tear off the old roof. It can also save on labor costs and overhead costs. However, this method increases the house’s weight and shortens the shingles’ lifespan. Moreover, re-roofing your home costs more than a complete replacement.

When to re-roof

There are many factors to consider before re-roofing your home. One is the weight the new shingles will add to the existing roof. This added weight could put a strain on the roof and affect the structural integrity of the building. Another factor is the age of the current roof. It may be uneven and cannot be adequately covered with new shingles. A professional roofer can give you the best advice on the matter.

There are several signs that it may be time to re-roof your house. First, your old roof may be leaking or icing over. Another sign that you should consider replacing the roof is excessive condensation. If leaking or iced over, the roof will be more susceptible to these issues.

A professional roofer can determine whether re-roofing your home will increase the roof’s lifespan. This is often a cheaper option and can save you money and time. Also, if you’re replacing an entire roof, it is essential to inspect the structure of the old one to find any underlying problems.

Another reason to re-roof your existing roof is to avoid the costs of tearing it off. It is also more efficient to do this rather than replacing the entire roof. Re-roofing your home is also cost-effective if your existing roof is in good condition. Overlapping the shingles prevents the proper installation of ice and water leak barriers.

When to tear off the old roof

There are several factors to consider before tearing off the old roof. Appropriate materials and tools and proper safety gear are essential for the task. It’s best to plan your project in detail and begin with preparation. You should also have the materials and labor for the job on hand.

To protect your home, having a trash bin on hand is essential. The dumpster should be near the old roof and easy to get to. Call your local waste management company to schedule one if you don’t have one. You may want to place tarps over the ground below the eaves.

If you have a damaged roof, you may need to replace it. There are two main options for roof replacement. The new roof will protect your home and family from the elements. It will also help you detect leaks, mold, or rot. A complete tear-off will ensure that any damage to the roof is repaired, and your contractor can inspect the structure of the new roof.

Kyle Houck


About the Author

Kyle Houck is the President of Eastern Exteriors, LLC.

Eastern Exteriors, LLC is a family-owned company based in Frederick, Maryland. From new roof installation and roof repairs by professional roofers to premium window installations and expert siding installation, we are a full-service exteriors and contractor roofing company. And, if storms blow your way, we’ll be there to assess and repair the damage quickly.

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