Roof replacements are inevitable. If you’ve started noticing some areas of your roof in need of major repairs, you might be considering a partial fix-up or a full-on replacement. Many homeowners put off a roof replacement until it is completely necessary. One of the main reasons behind this is that a roofing replacement can be quite expensive. Aside from the cost of materials alone, the cost of labor can also be quite high. Getting a new roof can also take time and can be an extremely inconvenient endeavor for the people living on the property.


However, every house will need a new roof over time. While you might want to postpone the replacement, this could potentially cause more damage to your home. At its worst condition, a roof could potentially collapse; this can damage the things inside your home and be dangerous to the health and safety of the people living there. 

One of the things that you might not know is that you actually have the option of choosing how your new roof will replace the old one. There are basically 2 main roof replacement processes that can be done. The first one is a roof overlay which involves installing the new roof on top of the old roof. The second option is a tear-off replacement. A tear off replacement involves tearing off the entire old roof and replacing it with a new one. While a tear-off replacement is definitely recommended, especially if your roof has lasted more than its expected lifespan or shows major signs of damage, a roof overlay has the advantage of being more affordable and time-efficient.

Roof Overlay

When replacing your roof by doing a roof overlay, the new roof is simply installed on top of the old roof. This means that the original structure is not really replaced but is covered. This gives the appearance of a new roof. However, there are a few things that you should know about an overlay.

The main disadvantage that comes with a roof overlay is that the damage that has occurred on your old roof will not be addressed, especially if the damage is not that obvious from the outside. Instead, a roof overlay can successfully mask those problems. While your new roof will look better than the old one, an overlay can end up being bulky. Since the shingles are installed on top of existing shingles, the alignment may not be that good, especially if you look closely at the structure.

Roof overlays, however, are still recommended if your roof is in pristine condition and a new look is in order. It is an effective way to get a new roof without spending too much. It can also be a viable option if you lack the finances or the time to get a complete roof tear-off. 

Roof Tear Off

A roof tear-off pertains to the process before the installation of your new roof when the contractors take apart your old roof. The old roof is literally torn off and discarded so that a new roofing system can be put in. Through this process, you will get an entirely new roof. However, these are also some of the things that you should know about it.

The advantage of having a new roof is apparent. After tearing off the roof covering, you’ll be able to spot and fix up any internal damage to the roof deck. When the new roof is installed, a new underlayment will also be set. Basically, everything will be new and in tip-top condition. 

However, a tear off also comes with a few cons. Unfortunately, a roof tear off replacement is usually more expensive and takes longer than a roof overlay. The higher cost is due to the added labor of taking down the old roof. Additionally, new materials will be needed to put in an entirely new roofing system. Another problem with a tear off is that it also takes more time. Depending on how big your old roof is, it could take a day or even 3 days just to take down the old roof.

When deciding between an overlay or tear off, it is important to identify what the situation really needs. If your roof is in need of a full replacement, a tear off might be well worth the added cost. If an overlay is done on a damaged roof, the added weight could end up causing the roof to collapse. An overlay will also not last as long. The cost of replacing a roof with 2 existing layers will also add up in the future when you’ll need to get new roofing Yarmouth ME.

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