Blog » Why is Overlay Re-Roofing Not Recommended?

When contemplating a new roof, homeowners are faced with two options, one of which is not advised by professional roofing contractors.

Many homeowners seek easy projects that increase home value and enhance curb appeal. If you want a fresh look inside, you may consider repainting walls or hanging wallpaper.  If landscaping starts looking weathered, you probably think about cleaning up mulch beds and shaping shrubs.  You may even repaint your siding, and this is perfectly acceptable, too. It’s appropriate to alter and mend existing features to achieve the desired look, but when it comes to home roofing, this isn’t the case.


Covering up problems here and there as an alternative to re-roofing isn’t a smart decision for your home’s roofing system.  Regardless of whether your roof consists of classic 3-tab or dimensional, when shingles are damaged, they require attention and repair that goes beyond simply patching it and moving on.  If left unrepaired, they can impact the performance of your roof and safety of your family.  

Covering vs. Fixing

At one point, overlay roofing was an acceptable alternative to tear-off roofing. Contractors presented this as the least expensive and time-consuming option to get a “new roof”. However, PRS Roofing and Siding doesn’t recommend overlay roofing because it essentially hides damage and problem areas, whereas tear-off roofing results in a brand new healthy roofing system.  

Here are the top ten reasons to not take an overlay approach to re-roofing:

  • Hides damaged or rotting plywood that should be identified and repaired  
  • Doesn’t allow for the replacement of drip edges and pipe collars
  • Improper barrier to prevent leaks and a lack of separation between the shingles and the roof deck
  • Aesthetics—overlay re-roofing will not look flat
  • Weight—overlay re-roofing adds too much weight to an already imperfect rofing system
  • Temporary fix, removing two layers down the road costs more than removing one now
  • Overlay re-roofing may void the full shingle warranty  
  • Potentially non-compliant with local county codes
  • Decreases home value when you go to sell, home inspectors report double-layer roofs and buyers are warned of the potential problems
  • Shingles must be the same exact size or installation won’t be 100% efficient

To learn more about tear-off re-roofing or to schedule a free on-site estimate, contact PRS Roofing and Siding today!