When you are having issues with your roof you may find that there are two different processes you hear about re-roofing and roof replacements. They sound similar; however, they are very different and are intended for different situations.
- Re-Roof: When you choose to proceed with re-roofing the contractor will add another layer of shingles to your pre-existing roof.
- Roof Replacement: On the other hand, roof replacements require all your preexisting shingles to be removed and then a new layer put on.
A re-roof tends to have a faster turnaround time since the contractor does not have to remove all the shingles on the house. This also means the customer is looking at a cheaper price. So why would someone choose a roof replacement over a re-roof? Well for starters you can only choose a re-roof one time because according to building codes you can only have 2 layers of shingles on your roof so you would not be able to do a re-roof on a roof that has already has that done. Also, if you have too much damage to your roof including major water damage you will not be able to choose a re-roof. If your roof decking (the wood underneath the shingles) is damaged, you will have to have a full replacement.
Even if you are not required to choose a roof replacement there are still reasons you may choose to. For starters, having your roof fully replaced may be a good option if it has not been done for a while. Having a full roof replacement done should give you peace of mind for 20 or so years. It can help you make sure to catch any beginning issues in other parts of the roof and therefore can actually save you money down the road. You may choose to do a re-roof on the area you originally notice; however, this could mean you miss the early stages of an issue somewhere else. In a few years, this other issue may become large and require you to pay for a replacement anyways on top of the costs of the re-roof you originally did. If you have a full replacement your contractor will address issues on all your roof.
If you do not have any of the factors that exclude you from a re-roof, then the right choice is specific to your house and your needs. If you have a tight budget and a roofing contractor approves you for a re-roof, then that is probably your best bet. Also, if you have a small, isolated issue then a re-roof may work well for you. However, if your roof is old or it looks like there are multiple issues then you will want to go for a full replacement. The best way to know what is best for you is to have an experienced roofing contractor inspect your roof. Many companies offer free inspections. This way you can speak to a professional who has seen your house and receive a quote from them. After that you can make a well-informed decision based on their quote and their recommendations.