Most homeowners know the importance of maintaining their roofs, which often involves routine inspections and minor
repairs throughout the years. But maintaining your roof can involve significant repairs, whether because of storm
damage, age or another factor. Significant damage often requires a form of roof replacement.
Roof replacements can be expensive, but you have another option: a re-roof. You may wonder if re-roofing is the
same as a roof replacement. While the two are similar, they have some differences. Knowing what makes a re-roof
different from a roof replacement helps you decide which one you need.
What Is Re-Roofing?
Re-roofing is a type of roof restoration that involves layering new shingles over existing ones. The new shingles
restore your roof’s look and act as a barrier to prevent leaks.
It’s best to re-roof your entire roof, not just sections. Your roof must be in good condition with no substantial
water damage or missing or soggy shingles to qualify for a re-roof. Additionally, you can only get a re-roof once
because the third layer of shingles puts too much weight on your roof, which can compromise its structure. Homes
that already have a second layer of shingles must get a roof replacement instead.
What Is a Roof Replacement?
During a roof replacement, contractors remove the existing roofing material and expose the deck. Once they expose
the deck, they install a new underlayment or felt. The underlayment is a water-resistant barrier that
provides an extra layer of protection during severe weather. Roofing contractors then cover the roofing deck with a new roofing material that lasts
for many years.
Roof Replacement vs. Re-Roof
As with anything, there are various advantages and disadvantages to each option. Here are some of the pros and cons
of re-roofing and roof replacements.
Pros and Cons of Re-Roofing
The pros of re-roofing include the following:
More affordable than a roof replacement: Re-roofing doesn’t require as much labor,
materials or time, so it’s generally cheaper than a roof replacement.
Faster than a roof replacement: Since re-roofing doesn’t involve replacing the entire roof,
it’s a faster job than a roof replacement.
Stronger support: The second layer strengthens your roof and makes it more difficult for
water to leak into your home.
More aesthetically pleasing: Age takes its toll on everything, including your roof.
Re-roofing gives your roof a makeover and restores its appearance so it looks new.
The cons of re-roofing include the following:
- Shorter life span: Re-roofing has a shorter life span than a roof replacement.
Not an option for all roofing materials: You generally can’t get a re-roof on a metal
Hidden damages: There might be hidden damages underneath your roof, such as water damage,
sagging or rotting. A re-roof only covers these damages — it won’t fix or identify them.
- Layer limit: If you have two layers of roofing material, you can’t get a re-roof.
Pros and Cons of Roof Replacement
The pros of a roof replacement include the following:
Early water damage detection: Once professionals expose the deck, they can identify signs
of excess water damage, like rot.
No layer limit: A roof replacement strips your existing roof completely and redoes it.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter how many layers of material you have.
Longer life span: You’ll end up with a brand-new roof, which will last longer than
Safer: Re-roofing hides problems without detecting them, but a replacement addresses any
issues, so you have a stable, secure roofing system.
Cost-effective: Roof replacements can save you money in the long run because they detect
problems early on. It’s usually cheaper to address minor issues before they become more significant.
The cons of a roof replacement include the following:
Cost: Since they require more labor, materials and time, roof replacements cost more than
Re-Roofing vs. Roof Replacement Cost
You can use the same factors to determine the cost of a re-roof and a roof replacement. These factors
Labor: Re-roofing can save you money on labor costs. There’s less work to do, equating to
less labor and money. Each contracting company charges a different amount for labor, so it’s best to ask the
companies you’re interested in how much they charge.
Materials: Asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable roofing materials. A new roof using asphalt shingles ranges from $7,500 to $15,500 or more. Additionally, they are easy to work with, making the labor
Equipment: Special equipment, like safety harnesses or roof jacks, may require additional
Home size and slope: The slope of your roof and your home’s size affects the
cost. A multistory home with a steep slope costs more because it requires more materials and
work. Contractors typically charge per square foot. Additional features like chimneys may add more to the re-roof
or replacement cost.
- Damage: Contractors must repair a damaged roof, which increases the cost.
Accessibility: If the roof isn’t accessible, contractors may charge you more. An example is
if they can’t get the truck close to the house and have to carry the equipment and materials a long
- Post-cleanup: Some roofers charge a fee for post-cleanup work.
Re-Roof vs. Roof Replacement FAQ
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when trying to decide between a re-roof and roof
How long does re-roofing last? A re-roofing lasts less than a roof replacement. That said,
a few factors affect how long a re-roof lasts, such as roof damage and what material the second layer is. The
different roofing materials have varying life spans, but a re-roof with asphalt shingles might last up to 20 years.
Is it cheaper to re-roof? It’s generally more affordable to re-roof because it requires
less labor, materials and time.
When should you re-roof? You should get a re-roof as a temporary solution to a roof
replacement. It’s like a bandage that can hold you over for a few more years until you need a roof
Is re-roofing a good idea? Re-roofing can save you money and reinforce your roof for a few
years until you can afford a replacement. It’s a good idea as long as your roof is in good condition and doesn’t
display any signs of damage.
Contact Vertex Roofing Contractors, Inc. for Your Re-Roof or Roof Replacement
Vertex Roofing is a family-owned business in Northern Virginia. We’re the best choice for residential and
commercial properties because no job is too big or small. Our company values honest, trustworthy relationships with
our clients, high-quality work and excellent craftsmanship.
Since we have the CertainTeed Select ShingleMaster™ title and the GAF Master Elite ® Certification, we offer warranties on our roofing materials. We can help you with your re-roof or roof replacement. Contact us
today to receive a free estimate, or call us at (703) 436-6426.