Refoofing: Key Considerations

Posted on: 30 January 2019

Is your roof in bad shape and looking shoddy?  Naturally, you don't want your roof to become a neighborhood eyesore, so it's time to have a new one put on. One attractive idea that might not occur to every homeowner is to have your home "reroofed",  a construction technique also known as a roof overlay. The following article examines some key considerations regarding this interesting option.


Reroofing, or roof overlay, involves placing the new roof material directly over the old one.  So, if your roof consists of the most common roofing material, asphalt shingles, the new shingles will be nailed over the old shingles instead of directly onto the roof decking. No so-called "teardown", in which the old shingles are removed and the new ones fastened directly to the decking, will take place.


The most important advantage of reroofing is the expense. Because there are no labor costs for teardown, the job will be less costly than a typical new roof installation. Another advantage is that it takes less time and creates much less debris and trash than jobs that involve taking off the old shingles.


Even though your old shingles are not removed during a reroofing, that does not mean that other components of the roof are not replaced. For example, the Better Homes and Gardens website recommends that you replace your roof flashing during a roof overlay. Roof flashing is the metal pieces that surround areas of your roof that are especially vulnerable to leaking, such as chimneys and vents. You will also need to replace any flashing around the sides of your roof.

Starter Course

Another part of the roof that needs to be fully replaced when reroofing your home is the starter course of shingles. This is the first row of shingles at the bottom of your roof. The old starter course must be removed completely and then a new starter course installed for the roofing job to be done properly.

Also, it's a good idea to replace the ridge cap as well. The ridge cap is the length of shingles at the very top of your roof.

Determining whether it's best to have a new roof put on in the traditional way or to go with the reroofing method is not always easy. The best course of action is to contact a qualified roofing contractor in your area and have them inspect your roof. They will be able to advise you on how to proceed.