Roof Overlay vs. Tear Off: Which Is Best for Your Home?
Homeownership is seldom a “set it and forget it” transaction. Specialists recommend that homeowners save between 1% and 2% of their home’s purchase price, yearly. This should cover routine maintenance, including a new roof.
Whether you’re looking to improve your home’s exterior or have a roof in need of an overhaul, the question remains: how do you decide between a roof overlay vs tear off?
This article explains your roof replacement options and walks you through the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision. Let’s begin!
What Is Roof Overlay?
Roof overlay is an alternative to completely tearing off and replacing your existing roof. During a roof overlay, new shingles are applied to your existing roof and everything is waterproofed.
Instead of removing your roof’s existing shingles and removing the existing sealing and flashing, roof overlay covers what’s already on your house. Roof overlays are also less expensive than replacing your roof and take less time to complete.
However, you can only install new materials over an existing roof once. Most municipal codes only allow two layers of shingle roofing, so if you have major problems with your existing roof, an overlay wouldn’t be the best choice. This means only roofs in good condition are the best options for roof overlays.
If you’re considering a roof overlay, you’re probably wondering about the pros. Here are some to consider.
Decreased Labor and Materials Cost
Roof overlay can be significantly cheaper than a complete tear off. Labor is less expensive since it takes almost half the time to install roof overlays as opposed to completely ripping off and removing old roofing and shingles.
You’ll also save money by purchasing fewer materials, contributing to a lower total cost.
Faster to Install
Are you looking for a quick fix to your roofing issues? A roof overlay is much faster to install than a completely new roof.
You won’t have to worry about tearing off and hailing away old material, which means the time it takes to install your new roof may be shortened by a day or so, if not more. It all depends on the size of your roof.
If you’re looking to sell your house and need to replace your roof, then a roof overlay is an excellent, cost-effective way of increasing your curb appeal. Roof overlays provide a fast fix to larger roofing issues so you can sell your house without breaking the bank.
Although there are tons of great reasons to get a roof overlay, there are a few cons to consider. Keep in mind this list of pros and cons when deciding if a roof overlay is best for your home.
Reduced Roof Durability
When you install an additional layer of roofing over your existing roof, the added weight decreases the structural integrity of your roof. Additionally, your roof might have weak spots or unforeseen holes or leaks, and when you install a roof overlay, these areas aren’t addressed.
The added weight of new roofing materials strains your roof and might be problematic for older roofs. In this case, you might want a full tear off.
If parts of your roof are buckling or bowing in, a roof overlay won’t change the way it looks. You’d need a completely new roof if you’re looking to dramatically change the way your home looks. Any curves or dips will be just as prominent with a roof overlay, but you’ll at least enjoy brand-new shingles.
You Might Void Your Warranty
Roof overlays may void any warranty you have on your existing roof. You’d need to ask your roofing contractor if a complete tear off would be best in this situation. Since roof overlays don’t usually last as long as a full tear off, you may not find a warranty with this type of improvement project.
What Is a Roof Tear Off?
Roof tear offs are done when a roof needs to be completely replaced. The roof may have already had a roof overlay or might be old and damaged.
When you tear off a roof, all parts of your roof are replaced. It’s stripped down to its wooden base and takes about a day to complete. However, if you have a large roof, it may take longer.
It’s best to complete a roof tear off when there are a couple of days of nice weather. Roofing contractors prepare for your tear off by placing a tarp on your lawn to protect it from your old roofing material. Once the tear off is complete, they will remove the debris and begin installing your new roof.
As with a roof overlay, a complete tear off has its pros. Let’s take a look.
A brand new layer of roofing increases the lifespan of your roof. When you tear off your existing roof, any rotting materials prone to leakage are removed. The result is a durable new roof with strong materials designed to enhance the structural integrity of your home.
Increase Your Roof’s Lifespan
Tear offs increase the lifespan of your roof. You may find that your new roof can last upwards of 30 years. Questions such as “How old is my roof?” should help you with deciding to completely tear off and replace your existing roof.
Easy to Maintain
Complete tear offs make it easier to detect leaks or other issues lurking beneath the surface of your roof. However, with roof overlays, there are several layers of material which makes it more difficult to detect a possible leak or its point of origin.
Add Value to Your Home
According to Zillow, a new asphalt roof has an estimated ROI of 68.2%. If you’re looking to put your home on the market, a brand-new roof is an excellent selling point.
While a complete tear off has plenty of pros, there are a few cons. Check them out before deciding what’s best for your next roofing project.
Pricier Than Roof Overlays
Tear offs are more expensive than roof overlays. You’ll pay more for materials, labor, and the removal of debris. Your roofing contractor might find underlying issues, such as rotted wood or other hazards, which can increase your total cost. However, you’ll have a structurally sound, brand-new roof on your home.
They Take Longer to Install
How long does it take to replace a roof? This depends on the size of your roof and materials, but a tear off takes longer than a roof overlay.
Since a crew needs to remove your old roof, your project timeline will be longer than you’d get with an overlay. If you’re in a bind and need a new roof immediately, then a roof overlay might be the better choice, provided your existing roof can support the added material.
Roof Overlay vs Tear Off
If you’re wondering about a roof overlay vs tear off, refer to these roof repair tips and make the best decision for your needs and your budget. A roof overlay is only for those in need of a quick fix. A complete tear-off, however, is perfect for homeowners looking to completely redo their roof, extending its lifespan and repairing any hidden issues.
If you need a full roof replacement, Avenue Roofing has you covered. Contact us today and one of our roofing experts will be happy to assist you.