Should You Lay Over Or Tear Off And Replace Your Residential Shingle Roof Completely?

Very few home repair issues are more serious than a roof that no longer works as it should. If you can see the signs that your roof is on its last legs, you should start thinking about installing a new one. 

There are two main approaches to fixing a failed asphalt shingle roof: you can either lay new shingles over the existing ones or remove and replace the existing roofing material completely. Each option has pros and cons that should be reviewed before making a final decision. 

Here's what you need to know before deciding to re-roof or tear off your residential shingle roof.

The Decision Might Have Already Been Made For You

In the past, it was a common practice to lay up to two layers of new shingles on top of the initial layer. Some jurisdictions no longer permit this mainly because the additional layers of roofing material can be exceedingly heavy for the underlying roof structure. This can morph into major structural problems, particularly for older houses. The first thing to do before starting work on your roof is to consult your local council to find out which type of roof repairs are allowed. 

If layering isn't allowed, you'll have no other choice but to completely tear off your existing roof before installing new shingles. If you're allowed to lay a new shingle roof over the pre-existing layer, find out if there are any specific building requirements you must meet for your new roof to be considered code-complaint.

Your Roof's Load Bearing Capacity Is A Factor In Your Decision

If you live in a jurisdiction where layering is allowed, you'll have to consider the load-bearing capacity of your roof before adding a new layer of shingles over the existing layer. Your roof should be strong enough to support the weight of any additional layers of roofing material installed over it. Otherwise, structural collapses may occur due to the excessive weight of the new roofing shingles.

Whether you want to re-roof or completely replace your existing roofing shingles, you should consider hiring a professional roofing contractor for the job. Installing a new roof is labor-intensive work that you may not be able to handle yourself. Plus, it's dangerous because it involves working at height. Hiring a roofing contractor for the job will ensure you have a fully trained and highly experienced team working to ensure a successful roofing project.

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Roofers and the Modern Era

Roofs have been along for just about as long as buildings have been around — thousands of years. However, roofs have changed a lot over time. So have the jobs of roofers. Thousands of years ago, roofers knew how to create bundles of straw and use them to make a roof. This process was known a thatching. These days, however, roofers know how to install shingles, put metal sheets on the roof, and lay tile. These are different skills, and they are all very important skills. Join us in discussing these skills, and the work of roofers in general, on this website.

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