Why You Shouldn’t Put a New Roof Over Old Shingles

When it comes to roofing, many homeowners face the dilemma of whether to remove the old shingles before installing a new roof––or simply layering new shingles over the existing ones. While the latter option might seem like a convenient and cost-effective solution, it’s essential to understand the potential drawbacks and risks associated with this approach. In this blog, we will explore reasons why you should reconsider putting a new roof over your old shingles.

Poor Inspection

One of the primary reasons to avoid layering new shingles over old ones is the compromised inspection of your roof’s underlying structure. When a new layer of shingles is installed directly over the existing ones, it becomes challenging for roofing professionals to thoroughly inspect the roof deck and identify any underlying issues. Problems like rot, mold, or structural damage can go unnoticed, leading to costly repairs down the road.

A proper inspection of the roof deck is crucial to ensure the longevity and performance of your new roof. By removing the old shingles, roofing contractors can assess the condition of the substrate, address any problems, and create a clean, reliable foundation for the new roofing materials.

Weight Strain

Adding a new layer of shingles atop the old ones significantly can double the weight of your roof. Shingles are heavier than they may appear, and multiple layers can put unnecessary strain on the roof structure. Over time, this additional weight can lead to structural issues, including sagging or even collapse in extreme cases.

Roofing systems are designed to bear specific loads and exceeding these limits can jeopardize the safety and integrity of your home. It’s essential to consult with a professional roofing contractor to determine if your existing roof can handle the weight of another layer of shingles or if a full replacement is necessary.

Building Regulations

In many regions, building codes and regulations dictate how roofing projects should be carried out. Especially if you are re-roofing a commercial space, installing new shingles over old ones may not comply with these codes, leading to legal and safety issues. Building codes are in place to ensure the safety and quality of construction, and ignoring them can result in fines, complications with insurance claims, and even difficulties selling your home in the future.

To avoid potential legal and safety issues, it’s crucial to work with a licensed roofing contractor who is well-versed in local building codes and regulations. They will ensure that your roofing project adheres to all applicable rules and standards.

Voids the Warranty

Roofing materials often come with warranties provided by the manufacturer. These warranties typically require that the products be installed according to specific guidelines. Installing new shingles over old ones may void the manufacturer’s warranty, leaving you without coverage in case of defects or premature failures.

To protect your investment and ensure that your roofing materials are covered by their warranties, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. This often involves removing the existing shingles and properly preparing the roof deck before installing the new roofing materials.

Costly Repairs

While putting a new roof over old shingles may seem like a cost-effective solution initially, it can lead to more expensive repairs in the long run. As mentioned earlier, the added weight and compromised inspection can result in structural issues that require costly fixes. Additionally, if the underlying problems go unnoticed, they can worsen over time, leading to even more extensive and expensive repairs.

Looking for an expert to help you with roof repairs or replacement?  Get a free inspection and estimate from the experts at Herbert Roofing.

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