More is better, right? It’s a rule that’s almost universal, if you have a good thing, add more and more, increasing your benefits all the time. So when it comes time to install a new roof, it may seem tempting to just add your new layer of shingles over the old. You may imagine this added layer of roofing, gives you more protection and more insulation, making your roof better and better each time. Unfortunately, life is never so simple, and roofing shingles is just one of many exceptions to this seeming rule.
When it comes to installing new shingles, it will often be common practice to add a new layer over the old once. By not removing the previous layer, you can make some small savings, particularly in reduced labor cost, but also potentially in reduced cleanup. After a second layer though, most contractors will recommend a complete replacement. Even if you aren’t at two layers, it may be beneficial to still strip your old shingles away before installing the new ones.
By removing the old shingles, you are able to complete a full inspection of your roof deck, searching for possible leaks and damage to the material. This isn’t possible if you skip removing the old shingles because the deck is never exposed for a full visual inspection. A partial inspection can still be completed by examining your roof from the inside, but this is less reliable. Also, by removing the old shingles, you are able to install a fresh watershield and underlayment, which isn’t possible if you reroof over the old shingles.
It’s also worth remembering that simply reroofing over your old shingles may lead to a less durable roof. The old shingles become a layer that can foster mildew growth and trap layers of moisture. Some home insurance policies will not cover roof repairs that include multiple layers of shingles. Keep in mind too that an additional layer of shingles is added weight on your roof, and if your roof deck isn’t designed to hold that weight you could be looking at further damage. An additional layer can be as much as a thousand pounds or more, which can add up quickly with each layer.
Finally, consider whether reroofing over the old shingles is even allowed where you live. For instance, Ohio Code, Chapter Chapter 4101; Section 1511.3, requires that “Roof replacement shall include the removal of all existing layers of roof coverings down to the roof deck” but it does lay out a series of exceptions. You’ll need to check with your contractor as well as reference the local city and county codes that might apply for your specific location.
With these factors and more, it’s important to make sure you are working with a qualified and experienced professional when it comes to replacing your roof. We at New Heights Roofing are ready and waiting to give you the quality roof of your dreams on a budget you can afford. Call us today!