Your existing roof is starting to get worn, and it’s time for new shingles. It’s an exciting prospect and a significant investment. One of the biggest decisions is whether to install new shingles over your old ones (reroofing) or remove and replace them for a completely fresh start. There are some cost advantages and time savings to overlaying your existing roof. In some cases, we can make it happen with terrific results. But it often makes sense to tear off old shingles and start from scratch.
When Can I Leave My Old Shingles in Place?
The advantage of leaving existing shingles in place is cost savings. Reroofing avoids the cost of removing and disposing of the old shingles. It’s also a faster solution than a complete replacement. If your existing shingles are in good shape, they can provide an extra layer of weather protection and insulation underneath your new roof. Reroofing is an option if your shingles are worn or faded but not damaged or curled, and you’re looking for a new look or fresh color. If your roof isn’t leaking, covering existing shingles is a possibility to explore. But it’s important to talk with a qualified roofing contractor and make sure this approach complies with your roof’s warranty.
When Should I Remove Old Shingles?
A complete roof replacement means more time and labor, so it will be more expensive than an overlay. But it’s often the most effective solution both in terms of curb appeal and durability if your roofing issues are more than cosmetic.
If you have damaged or curling shingles, adding a new layer on top just isn’t a good idea. Damaged shingles will prevent your new shingles from lying flat, which essentially defeats the purpose of a new roof. Covering up damaged shingles can cause problems both in terms of looks and protection against the elements.
If your roof leaks, a complete replacement is a no-brainer. If water is coming into your home, your roofer needs to check out the entire roof structure, starting from the roof decking layer. You may need to replace the decking (the structural layer between your joists and shingles) and the weatherproofing or felt layer in between the decking and shingles. Then add new shingles, and you’ll have a roof that looks terrific and does its job of protecting your home.
Finally, if you have an older home and already have two layers of shingles in place, you’ll likely need to remove shingles before adding a new layer to prevent the roof from getting too heavy.
In these cases, removing shingles and starting fresh is a good investment. You’ll know your roof is weatherproof, and your new shingles will look impeccable.
Overlay or Replace? Find a Trusted Contractor
It’s helpful to get an idea of your roofing options from the experts online. But when it comes to a significant investment like a new roof, the most crucial consideration is finding a contractor you trust. You need a partner who will give you the straight scoop, taking into account what’s best for you and your home, factoring in your budget along with state and local building codes. A qualified contractor knows the ins and outs of the permitting process and understands what’s legal and safe.
DryHome Roofing & Siding is licensed, bonded, and insured. Just as important, we’ve earned the trust of homeowners around Northern Virginia for more than three decades. We start every job with a free inspection. When it comes to re-roofing or replacement, the answer is usually clear once we take a look. As always, we’ll give you an honest assessment and make a recommendation based on what we think is best in the long term.