No roof lasts forever, and asphalt shingle roofs don't usually last as long as other types of roofs. However, installing a new roof is expensive, and if your existing roof has limited damage you may be wondering if a replacement is really necessary. In some cases a total replacement isn't necessary, so check out these four reasons your roof may be a good candidate for an asphalt shingle overlay instead of a new roof:
Your Roof Is Getting Older
An overlay is a process that completely covers the old shingles with new ones. There is no need to remove the old ones, which means less waste and time. If your roof isn't old, however, you probably don't need an overlay yet. An overlay isn't a normal part of maintaining an asphalt roof; it is an alternative to completely replacing the roof. Therefore, unless your roof is older and starting to look worn, you may simply need a repair.
Your Budget Is Minimal
A big reason homeowner's choose an overlay is the cost. An overlay could save you $1,000 or more than a complete re-roofing. There are several reasons why an overlay is cheaper, but one is the labor. With an overlay, there is no need to remove old shingles, repair decking, clean up removed shingles, etc. Therefore, the work can be accomplished much quicker, so you pay for less hours of labor. Another reason it costs less to do an overlay is the amount of materials. While you'll still need to pay for new shingles, you don't need to may for other materials like decking.
There Is No Damage to the Decking
If you have bad leaks inside your house, an overlay probably isn't the best choice. Because the old shingles are not removed, the roofer cannot make repairs to any damaged decking. Therefore, even after the new singles are placed, water may get trapped, causing the leaks to reappear. If you or the roofer suspects damage to the decking, it may be best to have the roof completely redone so you don't waste money on an overlay now and a total replacement in the near future. With an overlay, there is always a risk that you or the roofer missed signs of underlying damage to the decking.
You've Never Had an Overlay
You can't keep getting overlays. Typically, local laws regulate how many layers of shingles you can have on your roof. For example, if the law allows three layers of shingles, you can have two overlays placed over the original shingles. After the second overlay, however, a replacement will be necessary. The biggest reason for these limits is the weight. Most homes are strong enough to support light roofs like asphalt, metal and wood. However, they may not be able to support heavier materials like slate and clay. If you keep adding layers of asphalt, you are also adding weight.
If your asphalt shingle roof is getting old and starting to show signs of damage, you should consider an overlay. It can save you money and lengthen the life of your roof. If you would like more information about overlays or to see if your roof is a good candidate for one, contact a roofer in your area today.