Replacing a roof can be expensive, which is why homeowners often turn to roof layovers. However, this type of roof repair can cause more damage, which can be significantly more expensive than adding a new roof in the first place.

If you have an existing roof that is getting old, you have two choices: tearing off the old roof and replacing it with a new one or putting new shingles over your existing roof. Homeowners who value their home should always get their old roof torn off and replaced because it ensures the new roof actually does its job without having to risk future repairs or damage.

1. Inspecting the Decking

Roof structures involve more than shingles. Below the shingles layer is an important layer called the decking. If your roofer does a layover rather than a tear-off, the roofer cannot see the decking. As roofs take a beating from the external elements, the decking could have some damage. With a layover, your roofer won’t know what is under the shingles.

2. Protecting from the Elements

Not being able to see any damage on the decking is a significant problem with layovers. Not installing weatherproofing elements is another issue. The first shingles layer might have some protective shielding under it, but after several years, it may not be as effective.

Without upgrading all of the elements, your roof and everything below could become damaged from water and ice. The first shingles are already too old to leave exposed to the elements. Having two layers of shingles, one old and one new, only creates more problems below the surface.

3. Upgrading the Flashing

roof flashing

Flashing protects your roof from weather damage. When your roofer does not tear off the first layer, the condition of the flashing remains unknown. By approving a layover roof, you put your roof and your home in danger. Overlaying can actually create more problems as the additional holes in the top layer of shingles can damage the components below them.

4. Shingles are Heavy

With one layer of shingles, your roof is heavy. When the architect designed your home, the plans were based on the weight of one layer of shingles and the snow that piles on it. If you have a layover roof, you’ve essentially doubled the weight of your shingles. That might not sound like a big deal, but it could be.

The purpose of a roof is to protect everything below it, including the roof materials below the shingles. A heavier-than-expected roof could collapse under the excessive weight of the additional shingles and any snow or water that builds up. If your uninspected decking has damage, then the potential risk for a collapse increases.

5. Reducing Your Roof’s Lifespan

Replacing an entire roof with new shingles and new roof decking will give your roof a long life. Roofers often give new roofs life spans between 10 and 20 years, depending on where you live. Unfortunately, if you only add a layer of new roofing material, you could reduce the lifespan of your current decking and other roof components.

If any of those components have warranties, piling more shingles atop them could end the warranties. It is always better to tear off the old roof and do a total roof replacement rather than add a second shingle layer. The only benefit of a layover is the reduced cost.

5. Hiding Places for Water

Old shingles do not lay flat, so when you apply a second layer over them, you exaggerate the dips and bumps. Those tiny imperfections are perfect hiding places for water. As water hides in the dips and bumps, it falls through the nail holes in the original layer and gets into the decking. Leaking roofs can cause damage in your home, which could include ceiling and wall damage.

When the water sits in your roofing elements, it fills with mildew and mold. In many cases, cleaning mildew and problematic black mold can be more expensive than a complete roof tear-off. Mold and mildew can also cause health problems that can be expensive too.

6. It May Void Your Shingle Warranty

New shingles come with manufacturer’s warranties. However, if you do not follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for installation, you could void the warranty. A layover roof often voids the warranty because shingle manufacturers understand that adding a second layer can create potential risks for serious problems that result in roof penetrations and costly damage.

shingle warranty
Replace Your Roof with a Proper Tear Off

Rather than putting your home at risk with a roof layover, hire Gouge Quality Roofing to replace the roof the right way — with a complete tear-off. This procedure allows us to see the decking and flashing below and make critical repairs or replacements as needed. It also puts shingles on the roof the right way so that it can protect you and your home without issue. For your roof replacement needs, call Gouge at 740-729-0478.