Replacing Your Roof: Tear-Off vs Overlay

The top of a new slate-colored asphalt roof installed by IBEX Roof

When it comes to fixing your roof, there are two options: a roof tear-off or an overlay. Both methods are as they sound. Tear-offs involve removing your existing roof and replacing it with a brand new one. Overlays, however, are when you add another layer of shingles on top of your roof, without tearing anything off. So when it comes to fixing an old roof, which one is better?

Overlaying Your Roof

First, let’s talk about overlaying your roof. This is when you put a second layer of shingles on your existing roof. If your roof already has two or more layers of shingles on it, then overlaying is not an option. Most counties and cities don’t allow homes to have more than one or two layers of shingles, so if you are considering an overlay, it is essential to check if it is even allowed.

Homeowners usually consider overlays when they are concerned about the cost of replacing their roof. However, there aren’t many situations where we would recommend getting an overlay over a tear-off, and it doesn’t really save you much. Overlay roofs have a shorter lifespan than a new roof and may sometimes end up costing more to replace later on. It also adds extra weight to your roof, which could possibly affect your roof’s structure.

If you’re selling your house, an overlay might seem like a good way to improve your home’s curb appeal and up the resale value. This is not necessarily the case. If your roof has any problems such as sagging or rot, an overlay simply covers up those problems but does not fix them. In fact, getting an overlay on top of a damaged roof can actually negatively affect your resale value. 

Roof Tear-Off

When your roof is old and it is about time for a roof replacement, we will likely recommend installing a brand new roof rather than an overlay. While there are many problems we can scope out through our roof inspection, we can’t always get the whole picture without being able to look under the shingles.

The biggest advantage of a roof tear-off is that you end up with a brand new roof. That doesn’t just include installing new shingles, but it also means replacing damaged or rotted decking, using new flashing, and installing an ice and water-leak barrier. This should ensure that your roof has no leaks and that everything is up-to-standard.

The Best Choice for Your Roof

In most cases, tearing off your roof and getting a full roof replacement will be the best choice to keep your home safe and sound. It is all-around a better choice, too, when it comes to warranties, resale value, and the longevity of your roof.

IBEX Roof always puts the needs of our customers first. If it’s about time for your roof to get replaced, give our office a call. Our friendly and professional staff will happily walk you through the options that will work best for your home and budget. And if you’re not in the market for a new roof quite yet, we’d be happy to help prolong the life of your current roof with our inspection and maintenance services! Call for a free estimate today at 360-218-3108.