Can You Roof Over Old Shingles?

You may be starting to see some signs of aging and wear and tear on your roof. Replacing the roofing system on your home is an expensive undertaking. Perhaps you have seen a friend or neighbor just adding new materials over their existing shingles and wondered if this was a good option for you. Although roofing over old shingles is possible, it is not always ideal. There are pros and cons to going this route that should be strongly considered before making a decision, and understanding the differences between roof over and replacement is crucial. Do not take a chance on something as important as your roof; consult a professional to avoid costly mistakes.

What is Roof Over?

What exactly is roof over? It is the process of layering new shingles over an existing roof. The roof over process can only be done on shingled roofs and does eliminate some of the headache associated with a standard roof replacement. There is no tear-off or disposal with a roof over. Consequently, the process will be quicker. A roof over can only be done once because building codes forbid reroofing over more than one roof covering. If your home’s roof is in fairly good shape but is reaching the end of its lifespan, this could potentially be something to consider.

Benefits of Roof Over

  • Decreased Costs
  • Less Hassle
  • Shortened Time Frame

One of the most obvious benefits of a roof over versus a full roof replacement is costly. It is less expensive to simply add new shingles over existing ones. There are no tear down/disposal fees, and the time frame is reduced as well. Without having to remove the existing roof, the job is completed in nearly half the time as a full replacement. When placed over an existing roof that is in good condition and done by experienced professionals, a roof over can look as good as a brand new roof system.

Negatives of Roof Over

  • Undetected Damages
  • Tarpaper not Replaced
  • May Affect Warranty
  • Often Flagged on Home Inspection
  • Can Add Additional Cost in the Future

Although there are some benefits to roof overs, the negative aspects seem to be greater. There are some instances in which a roof over cannot even be an option. For example, when two sets of shingles are already in place and when the roof has any of the following conditions: curling or damaged shingles, leaking roof, soft spots on the roof or if the current roof cannot support the additional weight. The manufacturer’s warranty on shingles could also be affected or even voided and should be carefully reviewed. A roof over does not allow for the decking to be inspected. Without tearing off the old shingles, hidden damage could go undetected and cause more issues down the road. Additionally, during a roof replacement, new felt/tarpaper is laid down. With a roof over, it is not and if the paper is in poor condition, water intrusion is a possibility. Also, additional costs can be incurred when removing two or more layers. If you are considering selling your home in the near future, be aware that home inspectors sometimes look negatively on reroofs and may flag them as a potential issue to buyers.

Your Gulf Coast Roofing Experts

If you know the time is at hand to address your aging roof, you may consider roof over and roof replacement. Although, it is not something we think of daily, the roof is one of the most important elements in safeguarding our home. Roof over can be an acceptable solution in some instances, however, there are many more where it is not the best option. Saving $1000 now may end up costing you triple in the long run so seeking guidance from an expert is the best way to guarantee you make the right decision. Freeman Roofing is a local, family-owned company that has a team of professionals with over 40 years of experience. Call 850-994-1078 today for a free consultation with our knowledgeable experts!