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Pros and Cons of Reroofing Over Existing Shingles


Does it look like your asphalt shingle roof is approaching the end of its lifespan? That’s never the type of news homeowners want to hear, because it often means a big expense and a messy project. But did you know that stripping the old shingles and installing a brand-new roof is not your only option? That’s true! In some situations, it may be possible to install a new layer of shingles over your existing shingle roof with similar success. Let our Maryland roof replacement experts tell you everything you need to know about reroofing.

Benefits of Reroofing

One of the key benefits of installing the second layer of shingles on top of the first one is the amount of labor involved and the associated price. Naturally, because we don’t have to remove the existing shingles, the job can be done much faster and will cost much less. Picking out old nails from a roof is a rather labor-intensive task, which you can skip by roofing over the present shingles. And you also won’t have to deal with the disposal of the old shingles. This can save you at least $1,000 if not more in labor costs.

It’s also important to note that reroofing, when done right, doesn’t void the warranty of the new shingles you purchase.

Concerns With Layering Shingles

Of course, this cost benefit comes with some concerns and risks. An important thing to consider is the extra weight new shingles will add to the roof. Asphalt shingles come in a few different grades and thicknesses. The basic 3-tab shingles are rather flat and light, but the 3D architectural shingles are much thicker and heavier. Layer enough of those, add the snow weight and your roof may collapse unable to support the weight.

Another risk to consider is the condition of your current roof. Unless you remove the existing shingles, you are generally not able to see any hidden damage underneath. Your roof deck could be rotten or about to fail, which means you will waste time and money on new shingles that will soon have to come off. This layering approach also won’t let you to install any protective membranes over the roof deck, which your roof may or may not currently have.

If You Are Set on Re-Roofing

If re-roofing over existing shingles is something you seriously consider, be sure to talk to an experienced Maryland roofing contractor first. It’s worth it to have a professional inspect your roof first and let you know whether your roof is a good candidate for reroofing.

Your contractor can also alert you to any contradictions with the building codes. Some building codes may not allow layering shingles because of high risk of hail damage or heavy snowfalls in your area.

Why a New Roof May Be Better

In some situations, it may be more cost-effective to tear down the old shingles and start fresh. Here are a few signs that this may be the best option for you:

  • Your roof already has two or more layers of shingles
  • You have recently experienced roof leaks and water damage
  • Many shingles are curling, crumbling or missing
  • It appears that the previous roofing job wasn’t done up to code

Give us a call today to schedule a roof inspection. We’ll be happy to evaluate the condition of your roof and let you know whether it warrants reroofing, replacement or a simple repair.