3 FAQs Regarding Roof Overlays

If you have an asphalt shingle roof that is nearing the end of its lifespan, you may be considering getting a new roof. However, there is another option to consider: an overlay. An overlay is the process of placing new shingles directly on your old shingles. If you aren't familiar with overlays, check out these three frequently asked questions.

Why Choose an Overlay Instead of a New Roof?

When you get a new roof, the old shingles are removed, necessary repairs are made, and new shingles are placed. With an overlay, the old shingles are never removed. Instead, new ones are installed directly over the old ones. There are several reasons you may choose an overlay instead of a completely new roof. For starters, it is less expensive. In many cases, you can save about $1,000 if you choose an overlay instead of a new roof because there are less materials and work involved. Because there is no need to remove the old shingles, the decking under the shingles stays protected. Last, with no materials to remove, the process is much faster.  

How Many Roof Overlays Can You Have Installed?

You cannot keep installing overlays. Your local government will likely have a low limit on the layers of shingles you can have on your roof. For example, they may dictate you can have no more than three layers of shingles (one layer of original shingles and two overlays). This helps ensure your roof doesn't get too heavy. Most roofs aren't designed with the proper structural integrity to hold heavy roofing materials, so they can collapse under layers of asphalt shingles. If your roof has reached the legal limit, you'll need a completely new roof.

Will An Overlay Fix Every Problem?

The biggest drawback of an overlay is that it can't fix problems to the underlying roof decking. Typically, when the old shingles are removed, a skilled roof repair expert spots areas that need repairs and makes them before putting on the new shingles. Without removing the old shingles, it may be difficult or impossible to spot problem areas. Even with the new shingles, water can still seep bellow and leak into your home through the damage.

If your roof is looking cracked, faded and aged, it's time to get new shingles. An overlay is a fast, affordable way to protect your home, and your roofer will help determine if one is a right choice for you. For more information, contact a roofing contractor in your area today.