Roof Tear Off Or Overlay: How Do You Choose?

Part of owning a home is keeping up on maintenance and care. One of the most important areas to maintain is your roof. Regardless of how well you take care of it, it will eventually need replaced. There are two options to consider when replacing a roof: overlay or completely removing and replacing your old roof with a new one. Which one is the right method for you depends on a number of things. It is not uncommon for you to be in a situation where you do not need a complete tear off; but how do you know that?

Inspect the Shingles First

The main difference between an overlay and a tear off is whether the old shingles are removed before the new ones are laid down. You need a tear off when there is already an overlay on your roof. Most building codes prohibit multiple overlays on residential roofing. Another factor is looking at the existing shingles. Are they in bad shape? Are some of the corners lifted up? Are the rows crooked? If they are in this kind of shape, they will need to be removed.  

Finally, ask yourself: what type of shingle are they? Heavyweight shingles should not get a lightweight overlay, but lightweight shingles can take a heavyweight overlay.

Check the Overall Structure

The second thing to look at is the structure of your roof. If there is damage to the underlying supports, simply putting new roofing over the old is not going to help. If you have an attic or a way to get into the space immediately under the roof, use a flashlight to look around. Look for water damage or any dark spots in the underlayment or the joists.

Take time to inspect the roof from the outside. Walk around and see if you can feel any spongy parts where it feels like the shingles give way. Any of these are indications of damage to the structural portion of your roof and the shingles will need removed so it can be repaired.

Things to Remember About Overlay Roofs

If you do not have multiple layers on your roof and your structure is good, an overlay roof may suit your needs. Keep in mind an overlay roof is never going to last as long as a tear off roof. If you do decide to do an overlay for your roof repair this time, next time you will need to have at least one layer torn off in order to have your new roof stay in code.

However you decide to have your roof repaired, make sure that your new roof remains code compliant. Additionally, it may be worth your while to have your roof checked to ensure that there is adequate ventilation. With care and maintenance, your new roof should last for many years. Contact a roofing company like Gulfside Roofing Inc today for more information.