Re-Roofing Versus Roof Replacement

When it comes to taking care of the aging, leaking roof on your home, you have several options to choose from. If the issue is small, then a patch alone might work. However, if the entire roof has problems, you’re going to have to either re-roof the house or go for an entire roof replacement. What’s the difference? Well, there are many things that make the two options differ from one another. Let’s explore them both in some depth so that you can make the best decision for your home and your wallet.

Do You Need a New Roof?

There are many reasons why your home might need a new roof. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Leaking – Leaks aren’t always obvious. Some of them start off small, leaking a few drops into the attic now and then, going unnoticed until the problem becomes a major one. No matter what, a leaking roof is in need of repair. The stability of your home depends on it. 
  • Missing Shingles – Over time, shingles can become damaged. They crack due to the heat of the sun or might end up with water under them, forcing them to bubble up in spots. Both of these reasons can lead to missing shingles. One strong gust of wind and those cracked or bubbled shingles will fall to the ground. 
  • Storm Damage – High winds, pounding rain, and more can lead to a damaged roof. It isn’t unusual for homeowners to find a few shingles on the ground after a storm or even a new leak in their roof. In general, storm damage tends to lead directly to the need for a new roof. 
  • Damaged Sheathing – The sheathing is the part of the roof that’s attached to the house’s framing. It serves as a support system for the shingles and underlayer. If this part of the home becomes damaged in any way, it’s necessary to remove the roof, repair the sheathing, and add a new roof for protection.  


What is Re-Roofing?

Did you know that you can layer up to two entire sets of shingles on top of your home? This is what re-roofing is. If you currently only have one layer of shingles sitting on your roof, then adding another one is fine and will take care of some of your leak and draft problems. 

Since this method is both faster and less expensive than an entire roof replacement, it makes sense to keep it in play as an option, as long as your current roof isn’t in horrible shape. If there are visible cracks in your roof, serious water damage, or even patches of missing shingles, then re-roofing usually isn’t an option.

In addition, certain roofs simply can’t be re-roofed. The overall pitch (angle) of the roof, as well as the type of shingles currently installed, can make it difficult. With that said, if your home’s current roof is arranged in a way that allows for a re-roofing, and there aren’t missing shingles or huge areas of damage, then you can go with a re-roofing instead of a full replacement.

What is a Roof Replacement?

A roof replacement, on the other hand, involves removing the entire current roof, including the shingles and underlayment, and then patching the roof boards on the house (if necessary) before putting an entirely new roof on. Since a house can’t safely support more than two sets of shingles, this is the only option to go with if you’ve previously re-roofing your home.

Roof replacements, as you can imagine, take longer than a simple re-roofing job. They also cost more. However, with a full roof replacement, your home is receiving a brand-new roof that, if well cared for, will last for quite some time before it needs any additional work. This alone can make a roof replacement worthwhile. 

When you imagine getting a new roof put on your home, a full replacement is probably what you’re picturing. This is the classic option that involves making any necessary repairs to the sheathing after removing every part of the current roof materials, and then building it back up with a new underlayer, followed by brand new shingles. By the time the job is done, you’ll have a brand-new roof on your home. 

How to Choose Between the Two

With that said, sometimes you’re able to make a choice between the two. If you’re trying to decide between a re-roof and a roof replacement, you’ll need to know when one option is better than the other.

  • Re-Roofing:

    • Can only be done if there’s currently one layer of shingles on the roof
    • Best for fixing small issues with a roof, not large ones
    • Certain types of roofs (angles, current shingles, and roofing materials) can’t be re-roofed
    • Is usually done quickly
    • Costs less than a full roof replacement but doesn’t last as long
  • Roof Replacement:

    • Involves removing all of the current shingles on the roof
    • Best for repairing large issues, such as leaks, missing shingles, and more
    • Is always an option, regardless of the current type and pitch of the roof
    • Often takes longer than re-roofing
    • Costs more than re-roofing but lasts much longer

Do You Need a New Roof?

Now that you’re aware of the different types of roofing options and have a good idea as to which is which, it’s time to make a decision. However, if you’re still unsure, it’s time to reach out to the experts. Call The Roof Guys!

With over 20 years of experience in the Central Florida area, we’re the best people to call for the job. Our experts can help you determine whether you need to have a full roof replacement or if a simple re-roofing will do the trick. Contact us and we’ll send out one of our trusted employees to take a good look at your roof and then discuss your options.

It’s always best to ask for the opinion of an expert if you’re unsure of how to proceed. And as The Roof Guys, we’ll make your roof looks great!



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