Sooner or later, your roof will decay to the point that it has to be addressed. It doesn’t matter whether or not you take excellent care of it, it doesn’t matter how fantastically-built it is. Entropy is a universal force, and nothing lasts forever. Consistent repairs, while necessary and possible to expertly do, actually do shorten a roof’s lifespan, albeit gradually. This all comes together in the fact that no roof tends to live the lifespan labs say it should.
We now have access to very advanced roofing materials – truly space age stuff when you look into them – that test in labs to last upwards of a century or more. In the wild, this just doesn’t happen. So, roof replacement is inevitable, if not for you, then for whoever inherits your home. Unless your home is less than ten years old, you can probably count on a replacement sometime in your life.
What choice do we have? Well, two, believe it or not. When it comes to shingle roofs, you do have the option of doing an overlay. This is exactly what it sounds like – simply applying a new roof layer over the existing one, rather than the tear-off method of replacement more commonly done.
It sounds messy, doesn’t it? Building atop a decayed foundation sounds like it’d be a bad idea. But, let’s not jump to conclusions. There’s more to it than just laying one thing atop another. Let’s look at overlay versus tear-off. We’ll see what goes into both of them to assure an optimal result and the pros and cons of each approach. Let’s let the science and facts speak for themselves.
Let’s get the more common method out of the way first. A tear-off is where the existing roof is taken off, stripped to its bones. From there, provided everything’s structurally fine, a new roof is applied.
- This provides an opportunity to troubleshoot deeper-rooted structural problems that may extend beyond your roofers’ project – things that could be real problems later.
- You have a greater set of choices for what kind of roof you want. If you decide you don’t want shingles, opting for something more artistic like shake or ceramic tile, this is the only way to make that transition.
- Everything is brand new, from the foundation of the roof on up. It will age evenly throughout, discounting any localized damage you have to repair in its lifetime.
- This is an enhancement to your resale value. While overlays don’t necessarily decrease this, brand new roofs add to it.
- Insurance will be a little less of a hassle, as premiums are impacted by the way repairs are done, and by what means.
- This is quite a bit more expensive than an overlay. Of course, it would be. The existing roof has to be demolished and removed, and installation of an entirely new one must be carried out.
- This takes longer, which means more time living at a construction site while it’s underway. This gets old very fast for most people.
- This also incurs more waste, which is unpleasant and brings disposal fees.
An overlay isn’t always possible. If the existing roof has decayed sufficiently, it’s just not done. When it’s deemed practical, a lot of localized repairs to the old roof are often done, so that a solid foundation is provided for the new roof. This isn’t perfect, though.
- This is usually a lot cheaper, due to the lack of teardown needed.
- It produces much less waste and is more quickly on average.
- This won’t last as long, because even though repairs are made for a sound foundation, it’s still not as strong.
- This could decrease resale value, but not necessarily. It’s guaranteed, however, to not improve it.
- You’re stuck with shingle, and this can only be done if your existing roof is also shingle, as other materials just don’t work that way. You do have a lot of choices within a shingle, but far less than you would with tear-away approaches.
Which of these is right for you? That really depends on your budget and how pressing the issue is, when you get down to it. To learn more, fill out our contact form today.