Is your roof getting old and starting to show signs of damage, such as missing shingles, leaking, etc.? If so, you need to get more information before getting your roof replaced. A damaged roof can cause major and expensive damage inside your home if not treated early enough. If you have an asphalt shingle roof, however, a total roof replacement may not be necessary. An overlay may be enough to keep your roof going strong. Check out these five questions to consider when choosing overlay or replacement.
What's Your Budget?
If you choose to have a total roof replacement, there is a lot of work involved. The roofers must tear away your old roof, haul it away, repair any underlying damage and place new shingles. Because there is more work and waste involved, a new roof is more expensive than an overlay. With an overlay, the new shingles are set directly on the old ones, so there is little to no waste. The price of a new roof or an overlay depends on many factors including the size of your roof, but on an average home, you can expect to save about $1000 if you choose an overlay instead of a new roof.
How's the Weather?
Ideally, you want to replace your roof during the warmer months when there is less rain. This is because while the shingles are removed, your roof is vulnerable to rain. With an overlay, the process is fast, but that doesn't even matter. The roofers never remove old shingles, so your home is still protected during the entire process. So even if you need your roof fixed during the winter, you don't need to fear rain or snow. Even severely damaged shingles protect your home better than none, and since the process is fast, there isn't much time to worry if those old shingles will last.
How Many Layers Dose the Roof Have?
There are limits to how many overlays you can have on your roof. For example, if your city only allows three layers of shingles, you can have two overlays (the original layer of shingles plus two overlays equals three layers). Even if a previous homeowner had the overlays done, you'll need to get a new roof. The biggest reason for this limit is weight. Most common homes don't have the structural strength to support heavy roofs like slate and tile, but asphalt is light. Of course, after so many layers, asphalt shingles become heavy, which can cause your roof to collapse under its own weight.
Is There Damage to the Decking?
If your home has leaks, especially severe ones, there may be damage to the decking or the underlying structure of the roof. If this is the case, you can't do an overlay because it won't fix the underlying problem. Water will still become trapped and may cause more leaks. You'll waste money because you'll need frequent repairs. In some cases, it may be difficult for you to tell if there is damage to the decking, but a skilled roofer should be able to identify problem areas.
Do You Still Want Asphalt?
Asphalt shingles aren't the only affordable and lightweight roofing material. If you are sick of asphalt shingles and want something that lasts longer, consider metal roofs. If you are already considering an overlay, a metal roof is a great alternative because the metal can usually be placed right over the old shingles, keeping the project affordable and fast.
If you don't have severe damage to your roof, and you haven't noticed leaking, an overlay is a good option to consider, especially if the roof is still rather young. While an overlay won't last as long as a new roof, it does extend the life of your current one quickly and affordably. If you would like more information regarding overlays or total roof replacement, contact a roofer in your area today.