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Roofing 101: Is it Advisable to Roof over Existing Shingles?

Bay Area Roofing Contractors Address How to Re-roof the Correct Way


Roofing is a delicate matter given the amount of financial investment it requires. Many people try to cut corners by opting for cheaper roofing materials (which is not advisable either) or trying more cost-effective roofing methods.

Re-roofing is a hot-topic issue given that not many people know how to go about it. While some immediately resort to tearing down the existing roof and starting from scratch, a good number of people believe that installing new shingles over the old roof is a very smart move. From a financial point of view, this will save you a lot of money since you won’t have to spend money on removing the old roof. However, from an architectural point of view, this is potentially the worst thing you could do to your house.

Here are a few reasons why installing a new roof over the existing roof can be of benefit to you:

  • The majority opt for this because it is way less expensive. You do not have to spend money on removing the roof or preliminary materials to cover the old roof.
  • It is less time consuming. Roof installation will take a significantly shorter amount of time to be complete with this shortcut.
  • Aesthetically speaking, you cannot tell the difference between a re-shingled roof and a newly installed roof. It looks just as good and also tends to be just as durable (in some opinions; not ours).
  • One of the major perks of this style of roofing is that you get double protection from storms. Provided your old roof is not in complete shambles, you can rest easy knowing that you have some backup shingles in case one or two of them get blown off in the strong winds.

As much as the perks are enough to tilt anyone’s decision towards roofing over the old shingles, there a number of reasons that will convince you how re-roofing over shingles is generally–and in our opinion–a bad idea. These include:

  • The manufacturer can deny a warranty claim. Hidden in the fine print may be some clauses that empower them to refute your claim if you have re-roofed over existing shingles.
  • Some roofing contractors may not tell you this (we will) but adding a second layer of roofing is putting additional weight onto your house. In the long run, you will end up dealing with a problem brought about by a concave or overweight roof.
  • Roof leaks are exponentially harder to detect. By not removing the old roof, you effectively inhibit efforts to inspect the underlying wood construction and find the source of the problem.
  • Some building codes do not allow the installation of more than two layers of shingles.
  • The new shingles are more susceptible to getting blown off by strong winds since the old shingles prevent them from sealing properly.

[Related: Why Asphalt Shingles Fail Prematurely]

Our East Bay Roofing Company is Here to Help

If the decision seems too hard to make, contact the professional Bay Area roofing contractors at Century Roof & Tile to get a more enlightened point of view on the matter. Roof installation can be a breeze or a hassle depending on the level of proficiency of the roofing company you settle on. Choose Century Roof & Tile and give us a call today at (510) 780-9489 or contact us online via our contact form.

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