Gotcha Covered Contracting

Is Adding a Second Layer of Shingles a Good Idea?

Regular roof maintenance is crucial because it helps to prevent chaos later—both in terms of financial issues and possible damage to your belongings. You need a well-maintained roof to keep your home moisture free, but occasionally, water will seep under the shingles, which can cause the wood sheathing below to rot.

When your roof is around 20 years old and the shingles are worn, it’s likely time to replace it. However, replacing roofing shingles can be an expensive and challenging undertaking, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Fortunately, there’s a fairly cheaper and easier option—having multiple layers of shingles. Follow Gotcha Covered Contracting as we take a closer look at this option.

This option is exactly what it sounds like: having a second layer of shingles on top of the old ones instead of stripping the roof completely and replacing it with new shingles. This solution does not violate most building codes, but you might be wondering if it’s a good idea.

The truth is that layering shingles has its upsides and downsides. Let’s explore the two sides so that you can make an informed decision about the right route to take for your home.

The Pros

  1. Convenience

One of the greatest advantages of installing a new roof over the old one is that it saves time. Additionally, the fact that you are not stripping the entire roof means that the job will not be as messy. The process of tearing off the old shingles can be labor-intensive as well.

  1. Cost-Effectiveness

Besides being time-saving, another great advantage of layering as opposed to completely replacing the roof with a new one is that this option saves money. You’ll also save some bucks on cleanup, dumpster rentals, and other disposal costs.

Now, let’s look at the positives of overlaying a shingle roof.

The Cons

  1. Hard to Detect Damage

If you choose to simply add a second layer of shingles over the older ones, you won’t be able to fully assess your roof’s sheathing. That means various flaws such as leaks, bad flashing, rotted wood, and algae growth may go undetected. If these problems are not addressed on time, they can lead to serious damage to your home that would cost you a fortune to fix.

  1. Excess Weight

The second layer of shingles basically means an additional roof on your house. This extra weight puts pressure on the roof decking, which can be risky in harsh weather, such as heavy rain.

To put things into perspective, a bundle of asphalt shingles weighs about 100 pounds. An ordinary 30-square roof would use about 90 of such bundles. So an extra layer of shingles translates to about 9,000 additional pounds of weight on your house.

  1. Reduced Roof Lifespan

Adding a second layer of shingles will make your roof hotter because heat gets trapped between the shingle layers. Increased temperatures can lead to premature aging of the shingles.

  1. Compromised Aesthetics

Layering new shingles on top of old ones, which might be curved or damaged, can result in some visible imperfections on your roof. If you care a great deal about how your home looks, adding a second layer might not be the best option for you.

  1. Negative Inspection Reports

In the eyes of a home inspector, layered shingles could be an indication of underlying or potential problems. This would not be good news if you are trying to sell your house. You even risk shortening or voiding your shingle warranty. If you want to repair the roof before putting your home up for sale, it is advisable to consult a home inspector or roofing professional on the best roofing options for the sale process.

Wrapping Things Up

Adding a second layer of shingles has several more negative outcomes than positive ones. The only significant advantage is cost. Nonetheless, the savings may not even be worth it considering the fact that you’ll need to replace the roof at some point. When that time comes, you will spend more money than you saved on layering shingles.

While having multiple roof layers doesn’t go against building codes, it is a much safer bet to put new shingles on from the start. In the long run, doing so will likely save you a lot of stress, time, and money.

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