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How Many Layers of Shingles Can I have on my Roof?

September 9, 2022

Is your roof leaking? Are its shingles falling off? Are you experiencing mold growth or roof algae on your shingles? If yes, it means your roof has completed its life cycle; it’s time to get a new roof! And when you’re getting a new roof, the first question that arises in your mind is: How many layers of shingles can I have on my roof? 

Well, according to most building codes, you can have a maximum of two layers of shingles on your roof. Furthermore, based on the condition of your roof, you get to decide whether you need a complete roof replacement or just add a new layer of shingles on top of the existing ones. If you ask us, we suggest tearing down the existing roof and getting a new roof altogether! Let’s discuss the number of layers of shingles and tell you why you should do a complete tear-off rather than layering shingles on top of each other. 

How Many Layers of Shingles Can You Have on Your Roof?

The number of layers of shingles allowed on a roof depends on the type of roofing material used. For instance, if you’re installing asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, or rubber shingles, the maximum number of layers can be two. On the other hand, metal roofs or concrete roofs will pretty much stop at one layer. Whether you’re getting a new roof or adding shingles on top of the existing ones, the highest you can go is two layers. 

Now, let’s discuss why a tear-off replacement is better than multiple layers of shingles on your home.

New Roof or A New Layer of Shingles?

While adding a new layer of shingles on top of the old ones seems like a good way to save time and money, it is not a viable option in the long run. Here’s why:

  • If your first layer of shingles is compromised, placing new shingles on top of them will not fix them.
  • Roofing material weighs a lot. Homes are not designed to support multiple layers of roofs! It can cause a strain on the house between the trusses. This cracks the backing boards, allowing moisture to seep in.
  • If you decide to replace the older layer of shingles later, the new layer will also have to be torn off, adding to the cost. 
  • Multiple layers of shingles can become a hindrance if there’s a leakage and the contractor is trying to locate where it’s coming from.
  • Multiple layers of shingles can decrease the value of your house at the time of sale. 
  • Lastly, if you keep adding layers of shingles to your roof, it looks lumpy. So, limit the layers to two if you want a sleek and stylish-looking roof.

When building a roof from scratch or replacing an old one, people tend to avoid tearing it off completely to save time and money. However, while adding multiple layers of shingles seems a good idea in the short term, it can lead to more damage and cost a lot of money in the long run. The solution? Stick to the rules and keep your shingles limited to two layers.

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