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Roof Replacement: Why Tear-Offs Are Better Than Overlays

Updated: Sep 29

Replacing a roof is not something that people have to do very often; most roofs last more than 20 years. But when it does happen, it can be a large project. By replacing your worn-out roof, you’ll be giving your home better protection from the elements and improving its aesthetics. If your shingle roof is showing signs of wear, there’s more than one way to revitalize it.

But many things have to be considered before starting a roof replacement project. In addition to choosing the best materials and components, and finding the right roofer for the job, you have to also decide what to do with your old roof. Today, we talk about the benefits of tearing off an old roof and also replacing the underlayment. Tear-Off vs. Overlay With a tear-off, your roofer completely removes the old material section by section, including the old roofing materials, and tearing off your old shingles from the roof’s decking before installing the new one. During the process, your contractors will also address any problems unveiled once the old roof has been removed. Meanwhile, an overlay roof, or the process of overlaying a roof, occurs when a roofing technician puts another set of roofing materials directly on top of the existing roof. Roof overlay isn’t the most common method of roofing repair or replacement, but it is one option. Why Is It Done? A tear-off doesn’t only remove failing components of the roof, such as tiles, flashing and waterproofing membrane, it also allows the roofer to perform a full inspection of the structural components of the roof, including the wooden base. Often with failing roofs, the roof has leaked for a while, causing water damage to the wood and making it soggy and it may sag. Damaged boards need to be replaced, or the new roof could become dislodged and blow off. If you don’t do a tear-off, you wouldn’t find these damaged boards until it was too late Major Advantages of a Roof Tear-Off:

  • Full replacement: A tear-off gives you exactly what you want: a new roofing system for your home. By having the old roof removed completely, your contractor gets the opportunity to check the decking and structure for potential issues, and deal with them promptly before the new system is installed. This means your new roof won’t inherit the issues of the old one, ensuring its reliable and longer lasting performance.

  • Improve assessed property value: Realtors estimate that a new roof can add over $10,000 to your home’s resale value. A new roof is a strong selling point. While an overlay offers a fast, inexpensive fix, a tear-off is a smart choice. It increases the appraised value of your home.

  • Increase roof life: With the installation of a new roof, the materials can last 20 to 30 years. This is up to 10 years more than the expected life of an overlay.

  • Greater waterproofing: Because the entire roof is being replaced in a tear-off job, your choice of roofing contractors will be able to repair high-risk areas, such as the sections around the chimneys, vent pipes, dormers, skylights and valleys, and install new flashing to keep them watertight. You won’t have to worry as much about leaks when you go for a complete roof tear-off.

  • Maintain structural integrity: The fact is that a roof layover puts unnecessary strain on your existing roof structure. There’s actually a chance that the weight of these new shingles - which only adds to the load of the old roof - can actually make the entire roofing system sag. But if you choose a complete tear-off instead of a roof layover, you can ensure your roof’s structural framework can remain sturdy and intact.

  • Add more durability: A complete tear-off allows you to enjoy the benefits of your new roof. With this method, the roofers can repair high-risk areas as well as install new shingles, flashing and underlayment to ensure a watertight home. It does drive up the cost of roof replacement, but a tear-off is worth the cost and the effort because you get a long-lasting roofing system that adds to your home’s overall value.

  • Upgrade materials: Construction companies build to sell. Often, they don’t use the highest quality materials. If you are replacing a roof, you can upgrade the roofing materials. With expert input from your roofing contractors, you can choose the best materials for your roof.

  • Respond to climate conditions: Your roof may have to withstand extremes of cold and heat. Heavy rains and snow challenge roofing materials. When you replace your roof, you can choose the best materials for your climate conditions. This will improve the heating/cooling efficiency and save you money on your energy bills.

  • Cost-Efficient method: The problem with a roof overlay is that you’ll probably have to replace it prematurely. This is because your new roof shingles won’t reach the end of their expected lifespan because of the extra heat trapped by the additional layers. This might be fine in the short term, but it’ll likely cost you more down the line. That’s why experts recommend a complete tear-off. With this, your new roof won’t be undergoing untimely and costly roof repair anytime soon.

Why Choose a Roof Tear-Off A tear-off often results in a stronger, more durable roofing system. You’re technically getting a brand new roof, which can benefit you a lot. Your roof installation contractor can address rotted decking or leaks, and you don’t have to worry about them after your project. Along with your brand-new roof are new flashings, helping keep your home watertight. A tear-off also lasts comparably longer than an overlay. Heat and moisture are more likely to get trapped in between layers of shingles. Keep in mind that excessive heat in your shingles can cause them to curl and deteriorate faster. Another perk of choosing a roof tear-off is added curb appeal, which is great if you’re considering selling your home in the future. This method results in a flatter, straighter and more appealing shingles. Turn to A1 Quality Roofing Inc. for top-notch roof repair, replacement, maintenance, re-roofs, waterproofing and more. We have been in business since 1991, and our team has over 100 years of combined experience in the roofing industry. We are a fully licensed, bonded and insured roofing company serving all of Southern California, and we are committed to doing high-quality roofing work. Give us a call at (951) 877-4406, or fill out our contact form to request a free, no-obligation quote.

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