Roof Replacement – Our Recommendation Between Overlay the Old Shingles or Tearing Off and Replacing the Old

August 1st, 2022 | By Dale Chastain

Roofs don’t last forever — even though you wish they did. You will have to decide how to replace your roof at some point. There are two common ways, each with pros and cons: overlaying and tearing off. 

Overlaying entails placing new shingles over the old ones, while tearing off requires you to remove the old shingles entirely before installing a new roof.  

Again, both come with downsides and perks, but we have a clear recommendation for which one makes the most sense: 

The Pros and Cons of the Overlay Method 

The overlay method may likely be attractive because it is less expensive and takes less time because roofing professionals only have to install new shingles over the old ones. However, this approach comes with several downsides. 

Overlaying adds weight to your existing roof, doesn’t allow you to check the base of the roof for any potential problems, and can hurt the value of your home if you’re planning to resell it. 

Overlaying can also be costly down the line, eventually, you will have to replace and repair your roof at some point, and an additional layer of shingles on top of the old ones will make the project even more costly. Lastly, most shingle manufacturers will void your warranty if new shingles are installed over old ones. 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of The Tear-Off Method 

The tear-off method comes with several upsides. Since the process involves replacing the entire roof, you will take care of any existing leaks or damage, the result will last longer than an overlay, and it will add value to your home. 

Also, this method will leave you with an overall better product that can protect the structure of your home for much longer than an overlay can. 

Finally, because an overlay involves multiple layers of shingles, heat is more likely to get trapped in between them, causing the shingles to warp and curl — impacting the effectiveness of your roof. The tear-off method avoids this issue. 

The only downside to this process is that it is pricier since there is extra labor involved with tearing off the roof’s shingles. 

Our Verdict 

While the overlay method is cheaper and requires less labor, we recommend using the tear-off method for your roof replacement. It may be a bit more expensive upfront, but it will save you money in the long run since you’re getting a better quality roof that will protect your home for many years. 

Is your roof showing signs of aging? If it’s time for a roofing repair, the Chastain roofing team is ready to take care of the process. Schedule a consultation today with our skilled team of roofing experts.