Your roof is one of the biggest investments you can make for your home. It is important to recognize all of your options when deciding between a roof replacement or re-roofing. Although re-roofing might be the cheapest option, it may not be the best option for your roof in the long run. Read and think about all of the following pros and cons of both a roof replacement and re-roofing before choosing what will best benefit your home.
What is a roof replacement?
During a roof replacement, your current roof will be completely replaced. All layers of shingles and underlayment will be taken off. After the old shingles and underlayment are removed, your wood decking and flashing will be inspected and any problem areas will be replaced with new materials. A synthetic underlayment will then be installed in order to provide an additional layer of protection from water or storm damage. Once the underlayment is installed, various other products such as starter shingles, ice and water shield and drip edge may be installed as well. Once all of the necessary products are added, new shingles will be installed and secured into place. Your pipe boots will also be replaced with new ones during the roof replacement process and ridge vents may be installed to provide proper air circulation depending on your roof’s ventilation needs.
Instances in which a roof replacement may be necessary:
- The lifespan of your roof is reaching its end. You can confirm the age of your roof based on when it was built (if this is the original roof) or by speaking with the previous owner regarding any prior roof replacements performed on the home. You can also have a roofing professional inspect the roof to determine its approximate age.
- There is damage to your roof. This can include missing, lifted or cracked shingles, hail hits, water damage, leaking and/or signs of rot.
- Sections around the vents, pipe boots and chimney seals are cracking or damaged. – If sagging from water damage is visible.
Pros of a roof replacement:
- This process will last a bit longer than re-roofing. The life expectancy of your roof will increase substantially if the entire roofing system is replaced down to the decking.
- A roof replacement is a smart investment. This option ends up saving you money in the long run and can increase the market value of your home overall.
- Once the current shingles are removed, rot or water damage to the decking will become noticeable if it is present. Here you will be able to fix these damages rather than missing them due to a re-roof and discovering them later when your ceilings or walls show signs of water damage.
- Many roof replacements come with a warranty of some kind which will give you peace of mind in the event of material defects or issues with any of the roofing components.
Cons of a roof replacement:
- Overall it will cost more than a re-roof initially. This greater cost is due to materials, labor, and the time required to tear away, discard, and complete a roof replacement.
The cost of a roof replacement:
Although it may be more costly upfront to have a full roof replacement, it may be the best investment long-term. Preparing your roof for re-roofing may require many little repairs throughout the years, which can add up quickly and take up lots of your time. The overall cost of a roof replacement is determined through many factors specific to your roof’s size, design and complexity. Your roofing contractor can discuss different material and price options with
you so you can make the best possible choice. At the very least, a roof replacement can offer you the peace of mind of a strong roof over your head that will last and protect you and your family for many years.
What is re-roofing?
Re-roofing involves placing a new shingle overlay over existing worn or damaged shingles. This differs from a roof replacement as no shingles are being torn off. Instead, the old problematic roofing system is being covered with new shingles. This is typically the cheapest and most convenient option available but still comes with risks. This process gives the look of a new roof, however, the old roof is still present which adds extra weight to your home’s underlying structure and only temporarily resolves the problem.
Instances where re-roofing may make sense:
- Unless most of your roof is damaged, there is no need to replace your entire roof if it is not near the end of its life expectancy or suffered from significant storm damages. Minor leaks may only be confined to one section, making re-roofing a potential option.
- If you have a very tight budget. As a roof replacement cost is higher than a re-roof, re-roofing may sound better to you. This may serve as a short-term repair until you are able to commit to a full roof replacement.
- If your roof is towards the end of its life expectancy but still has a solid underlying foundation. Professionals will be able to determine if your structure is solid enough to support re-roofing rather than a full roof replacement.
Instances where you should not re-roof:
- If your roof already has two layers of asphalt shingles, most areas prohibit adding a third layer, or anything that exceeds two layers.
- If your roof has suffered from storm damage or shows signs of water damage whether exterior or interior.
- If you’re unsure of the level of damage underneath the shingles, re-roofing probably will not solve the problem. Re-roofing would only repair the appearance of your roof, rather than the real issue.
Pros of re-roofing:
- This is a little bit cheaper option than a full roof replacement. Since re-roofing doesn’t require as many materials or as much time and labor to complete, overall costs compared to a roof replacement are lower.
- This process is much faster than a roof replacement, as it focuses on repairing a few spots rather than the roof as a whole. This could solve your roof issues in a more immediate manner. Remember, the issues may be solved temporarily but are not gone completely.
Cons of re-roofing:
- This isn’t a long-term solution. Re-roofing may provide temporary results but will still need to be fixed periodically to ensure damage doesn’t continue in the long run.
- Re-roofing is not recommended for metal roofs. Wood shingles and asphalt shingles are materials in which re-roofing is possible.
- If you decide to re-roof, you may not see how damaged your roof actually is. In this process, you are not removing any of the existing shingles. This makes it impossible to know the extent of your damage until it is too late.
- It is much more difficult and expensive to service and correct a roof issue for a re-roofed home in the event that a roof repair is needed later down the line.
Decide Between Re-Roofing vs Roof Replacement
There are many things to consider if you are deciding to re-roof or move forward with a full roof replacement. It is important to understand what impact your decision may have long term. While re-roofing may temporarily fix your problem and is less costly upfront, a full roof replacement might be necessary if there are signs of water damage or roof leaks. If your roof only has minor damages and is fairly new in relation to its life expectancy, re-roofing may be an more appealing option. If you are looking for a stronger roofing system you can count on, a new roof may be a better idea. It is important to discuss these options with your local roofing expert who will inform you of what will benefit your home the most.
At Advanced Roofing & Construction, LLC, we do not recommend re-roofing. We believe that replacing your old roof with a new and stronger roofing system will always perform better in the long run and provide much higher quality protection to your home and your family. Call us today at 256-603-9171 to learn more about the roofing services and products we offer and why they are considered top-of-the-line in the roofing industry. We look forward to helping you with your roofing needs and educating you about the different options available to you.