What is a Tear Off Roof?

If you can’t remember the last time you had your roof replaced, it might be time to get a new one, especially if you’ve been experiencing constant and recurring problems with it no matter how many times you’ve had it repaired. While regular maintenance and repair are key to extending your roof’s lifespan, every roof reaches the end of their use and reaches a point in time when it needs to be replaced.

Many homeowners try to postpone the inevitable need for a new roof. It is not surprising since getting a new roof can be an expensive endeavor. While it will cost you, your roof is essential in protecting your home and your family. If left to deteriorate, it could end up collapsing and damaging the rest of your property and endangering those that live in your home as well. Thus, when it comes to roof maintenance, repair, and replacement, you should want to make sure you get it done right.

what is a tear off roof

One of the things that a lot of people don’t actually know about roofing is that when you get your old roof replaced with a new one, you can actually choose 2 reroofing options. The first option is known as a roof overlay. The second option is doing a complete tear off of the old roof.

On one hand, a roof overlay means that the new roof will be installed over the existing roof. Think about it as adding another layer of shingles on top of the old set of roofing shingles on your home.

On the other hand, a roof tear off refers to the process of stripping down the old roofing materials and replacing it with a whole new roofing structure. This means replacing more than just roofing shingles. Usually, this includes putting in a new underlayment and other supporting structures. With a tear off roof, you end up getting a brand new roof. 

Between these 2 options, it seems like the tear off roof may be a better thing to do. However, each method actually offers a different set of advantages and disadvantages that you’ll need to consider. By understanding the pros and cons to both overlay and tear off roofing, you can better decide which option might work best for your home and budget.

Tear Off Roof

If you ask a roofer, most would recommend getting a tear off roof. The process involves taking off the old roofing structure. From the shingles to the waterproof barriers that protect the underlying structure. The name says it all – the old roof is torn off completely before a new roof is put in. 

The advantages of having this done is that it provides a full roof replacement, better roofing quality, a longer lasting structure, and added value.

When you decide to get a tear-off roofing job, your brand new roof will be exactly that: new. Everything will be as if it were a completely brand new roofing system, which provides a lot of advantages. If your property had any rotten decking or roof leaks, these problems will be gone when your new roof comes in. Because the roofers have to tear off all of the old roofing shingles, they also get a clearer view into what’s happening with your roof. This allows them to make any interior repairs which wouldn’t be possible if you simply did a roof overlay. Thus, the finished product will be perfect.

Also, because the entire roof will be replaced, your roofers will be able to make any repairs on high risk areas. Additionally, new flashings can be installed. This will ensure that your home is kept watertight and secure for the many years to come.

The main cons to a tear off roof, however, is that it costs more. Because roofers have to take time to tear down the old structure, which could take a full day or more, there are higher service costs. Additionally, more materials may be needed as hidden damages come into light.

Roof Overlay

The main advantage to getting a roof overlay is that it costs much less than a tear off roof. Since you’re simply adding another layer of shingles on top of the old roof, your labor costs will be considerably less. This is also why most people decide to opt for the overlay method.

Additionally, your house will be under construction for a much shorter period of time. This is great if you need a new roof immediately, or if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on lodging for the duration of the project.

The main problem with getting a roof overlay is that it won’t last as long as the first tear off option. Generally speaking, roof shingles laid over your old roof won’t last as long as their expected natural lifetime because of the extra heat trapped in between the old and added layers. It also adds more weight to the roof’s supporting structure. The new roof counts as another roof that adds weight to the top of your home. This can put the structural integrity of your whole roof into question.

Whether you finally decide to choose a less expensive and more affordable overlay option, or just bite the bullet and have that old roof torn off, Waddle Exteriors should be your first call! Our team will visit your home and properly inspect your roof and give you our honest assessment. 

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