Is it Better to Put a New Roof Over an Old One?

It’s usually time to make significant decisions when you notice problems with your roof or when it is almost completely worn out. You may therefore be curious to learn more about your available roofing alternatives and which one would be ideal for your needs.

Many homeowners wonder whether installing a new roof over an existing one is preferable. However, the solution relies on several circumstances and considerations that a roofer would consider before starting a re-roof.

Why And When to Put an Overlay on an Existing Roof

Re-roofing may be the best option if your roof is beginning to deteriorate but is still in excellent overall shape. Your shingles could be aging due to weather-related wear-and-tear and losing granules, but they aren’t creating leaks, curling, or missing. These are favorable predispositions for adding a fresh layer of shingles on top of the previous one.

Your roof gains an additional layer of protection when you add a second layer of high-quality shingles. This provides a comprehensive layer of protection against damages and prevents leaks from entering your property, working in conjunction with the underlayment, roof deck, and first layer of shingles. It also aids in reducing pooling by ensuring that water from your roof is directed into your gutters and drains.

Re-roofing is also an option if you want or need to alter the type or color of your roof, or if you’re entirely remodeling your house and want the roof to reflect the new design. However, even if revamping your roof isn’t your major objective, it will acquire a fresh look. Adding a new shingle layer will give your roof depth, and even a three-dimensional look since the layer of shingles below it has lifted it somewhat.

Reroofing is more affordable than a full roof replacement from a financial standpoint. The fundamental justification for this is the lack of need for tearing up the previous roof, the present shingles, and the supporting components.

Consequently, there will be less time and workforce required for the project, resulting in cheaper expenses. Without waiting for the shingles to be removed and disposed of, your roofer may start installing the new roof immediately.

When to Avoid Putting a New Roof Over an Existing One

A skilled and trustworthy roofing contractor will always notify you if your roof is unsuitable for overlay or reroofing.

Before installing a new roof, a full roof inspection is recommended. Residential roofers will decide if your roof can be repaired or has to be replaced. You will also get a report on your roof’s condition, suggesting whether you should consider re-roofing your home or rip it off entirely.

The following are a few reasons why replacing your roof may not be a good idea:

You Don’t Have Asphalt Shingles

A lack of asphalt shingles is the most obvious factor that disqualifies a roof from a re-roof. Since shingles can only be installed on top of shingles, a re-roof is only feasible if you already have shingles. In addition, installing new shingles on top of wood tiles or slate is not permitted.

The Shingles Are Missing And Curling

The existing roof must be flat and level to be installed over it. Various circumstances might cause curling shingles; as a result, it is best to consult residential roofers to identify the source and replace the shingle before moving forward with a re-roof.

Your Roof Has Two Layers of Roof

The roof becomes heavier when you put a new roof over an old one. In addition, most construction rules only permit a home to have two levels of roofing. Therefore, if you have already done an overlay on your roof, the only alternative left to you is to remove the old roof and put in a new one.

Local Building Codes Don’t Permit it

Local building regulations permit a maximum of two roof levels. Consequently, you can only put in one layer of the roof.

Advantages of Overlaying a New Roof on an Old One

  • Affordability
  • Faster installation
  • More protection
  • Convenience

The Drawbacks of Placing a New Roof Over an Old One

  • Warranty breach
  • Re-roofing increases the weight of your roof
  • No visual inspection of the sheathing boards
  • Issues in repairing leaks
    • Difficulty in replacing underlayment


Reroofing is an excellent alternative if you have a generally sound roof that is almost getting worn out or gradually losing its function. However, it’s always advisable to consult a roofer you can rely on to do an inspection, provide you with a precise estimate, and offer you guidance on the best course of action.

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