Tear Off Or Roof Over

10August 2017

So it is time to replace your old asphalt shingle roof, and you are wondering if installing new shingles over your existing roof is a good idea. Roofing over can be a way to reduce short term cost of re-roofing, but more times than not it is not the best investment for you and your home.

Sometimes roofing over your existing shingles is really not an option at all. For instance, if your roof already has multiple layers, or buckled shingles on your existing roof which would prevent the new shingles from adhering to the roof line properly. Also, if the current roof has been leaking checking the roof deck for wood rot is a must. Last but certainly not least, if you do roof over, especially here in the south, the heat can be so intense it will most likely cause the shingles to blister and age well before their useful lifespan.

If a roofing contractor suggests a roof installation over a roof that is in very bad condition, is it possible the contractor is just trying to keep his costs down by cutting corners? The overall savings to the homeowner is more times than not just not worth the disadvantages of not tearing off the old roof. At 1stroofingpros.com we would definitely recommend a second opinion before moving forward.

So, to sum up…

What are some advantages of tearing off the old roof?

1. Your roof deck (plywood or 1x’s) can be inspected for any damage or wood rot so you are not just covering up existing problems.

2. Flashing can be inspected and replaced if necessary, which it usually is necessary, in problem areas like vertical walls and chimneys.

3. Areas where increased water flow occurs like valleys, eaves, rakes, sidewalls, and chimneys can be can be properly addressed with the proper underpayments such as Ice and Water Shield.

4. A roof install where the old roof is removed will outlast a roof over by many years here in the south. This is mostly due to the fact that shingles ar asphalt based and a roof on top of another roof will cause the new shingles to “cook” from both sides.. This heat will cause your new shingles to blister, curl and prematurely age your shingles over a much shorter period of time.

   5. Your home will have greater value at resale the fewer roofing layers it has.

What are some advantages roofing over?

Not many that I can think of, other saving a few dollars on the labor portion. And in the overall investment of replacing your roof, I just do not see this as viable option in most cases.


Recovering your roof


1. At some point, time will come to replace your new roof. This time round there will be an additional layer to remove and your costs will be higher as a result.

2. You lose the opportunity to have your roofing deck checked for possible damage due to leakage (that may not show inside house).

3. Leaks are more difficult to track through the extra layers of shingles.

4. If old shingles are curling/lifting, this can telegraph through new shingles and affect appearance of the new roof.

5. Heat build-up from the mass of shingles can shorten lifetime of the new shingles.

6. The resale of the house may be impacted if there are multiple roof layers

7. A tear-off will typically outlast a roof over by a number of years. This is mostly due to the fact that less heat gets trapped in the roof (due to no additional insulating “layers” of roofing). This heat will curl and damage your shingles over time.


1. It’s a less costly option.

2. The roofing job will run more quickly as less labor is involved.

We would be happy evaluate your roof, at no cost, and look for any issues you might run into. This can literally save you thousands of dollars. Call us now and discuss your roof replacement options.

As an experienced roofing contractor in the Douglasville, GA area, We understand it is our job to educate homeowners, and to assist our customers in coming to the best solution for their budget. Call us today if you would like to discuss your roofing options.