Industry experts have been vocal about re-roofing a roof, and there is no consensus. Some say it’s acceptable, and some don’t recommend it. After thorough research by our team, we uncovered the answers. A roof has to be nearly perfect to re-roof, but most of the time, it is not. It’s hard to view the roof’s condition from ground level, and only an expert can determine if your roof is safe for re-roofing. In summary, you can add new roof materials to existing ones, but there are risks.

When Is It Okay to Re-Roof?

A new or existing roof with one layer of roof material is best for re-roofing. The surface is smooth, and the roof has no underlying problems. A roofer can catch most issues from the roof or the attic, but not the hidden ones. You can add a second roof or pieces of roof material to patch holes and cracks. The benefits of a fresh layer are cost savings, less time consumption, and added protection from the elements.

When Is It Better to Tear Off and Add a New Roof?

A roof that doesn’t fit the description of re-roofing will need a tear-off and a replacement. Contact Roofing & Construction Solutions for a roof inspection to determine if your roof is eligible. Here are some reasons a roofer will recommend a replacement over a re-roof:

  • Two or more layers on the roof
  • Roof material is not shingles (asphalt, wood, metal, etc.)
  • Curled, warped, or damaged shingles
  • Non-flat surfaces like humps and dips
  • Soft, sponging areas when a roofer walks on it
  • Leaks, mold, rot, water damage, sagging, and other damage underneath the shingles

The Risks of Re-Roofing

Placing new material on top of old material is like a band-aid. It solves the problem now, and it prolongs a roof replacement. However, there are enormous risks to re-roofing.

The Weight

One shingle weighs several pounds. One estimate is 350 to 400 pounds per 100 square feet. The other estimate is a 2000-square-foot roof that weighs 5000 pounds. Adding a layer or pieces of roof shingles adds extra weight to an already heavy roof installation. The heavier load adds more stress to the roof, which weakens the structure. It will cause collapse and structural damage, eventually.

Local Building Codes

No reputable roofer will break building codes just for a re-roofing project. That’s because most city and state building codes in most areas will not allow re-roofing on roofs with over two layers. Florida allows a second layer of underlayment and allows re-roofing for some materials. Asphalt, metal, wood shakes, and slate materials are eligible; concrete and clay are not.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

New roofs have an active warranty. Most warranties want roof shingles attached to the underlayment, not other shingles. The warranty must specify that it’s acceptable to re-roof. Otherwise, this move may void the warranty. Only non-reputable roofers will risk breaking the warranty to satisfy your request for a quick fix.

Professional and Home Inspections

A good roofer prefers a thorough inspection, and a walk on the roof uncovers issues like soft spots and gaps. Then, a roofer solves those issues before re-roofing. The roofer cannot find these problems when the roof has two layers. The underlying issues will worsen until they are so bad that replacement is the only option.

The roof’s condition comes into play again during the home inspection step of a home sale. The inspector will tell buyers about this and the problems with it. Buyers are choosing between roof replacement and a stable roof with no certainty until the underlying issues are noticeable. Of course, the inspector won’t know for sure because inspecting the roof is impossible. Still, when buyers hear of this, they will expect a roof repair before closing, or they will pass your home up.

Roofing & Construction Solutions knows roofing because we have served customers with construction and roofing work for over 30 years. Our unique contractors and roofing licenses in the area help us build your home from scratch or restore it after damage. Our team specializes in residential and commercial roof inspection, repair, and replacement. We handle solar, metal, tile, and shingle materials and offer gutter, storm damage, and insurance claim services. We are also skilled in ground-up construction, additions, and remodels. Contact Roofing & Construction Solutions in Winter Park, FL for a free estimate and to learn more about our roofing and construction services.

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