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Can You Put New Shingles Over Old Shingles?

Posted on December 11, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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can you put new shingles over old shingles

Though there can be many perceived advantages of installing new shingles over old ones, it’s important for homeowners to be aware about the disadvantages of this practice. So, if your question is, can you put new shingles over old shingles, this blog post is for you. 

Along with why this is generally not recommended, we will also discuss why homeowners choose to install new shingles over existing ones. Through this blog post, not only will we educate you about shingle over shingle installation, but we will also provide you with reliable and budget friendly alternatives. 

Why Homeowners Choose To Install Shingles Over Shingles

Homeowners often find themselves enticed by the promise of cost savings and time efficiency, yet these perceived advantages may lead to potential long term issues. 

1. The Appeal of Saving Money 

Stripping off existing shingles involves additional expenses, including labor, disposal fees, and potential repairs to the underlying roof. Therefore, homeowners think that they can save money by installing shingles over old ones. Choosing to layer shingles seems like a more economical solution at first glance, providing a way to refresh the roof without the upfront costs associated with a complete tear-off. 

Removing shingles can be a DIY project, check out our complete guide: 5 Common Mistakes To Avoid During A DIY Shingle Removal

2. Lack of Awareness 

A significant factor that contributes to the choice of layering shingles is a lack of awareness regarding the potential drawbacks. Some homeowners may not be fully informed about the structural implications, building code restrictions, and long term consequences of this practice. Without access to complete knowledge or guidance from roofing professionals, they might make misinformed decisions about installing shingles over shingles. 

3. Speedy Roof Installation

One of the reasons why homeowners choose to install shingles over shingles is the speedy roof installation. The shingle tear-off, disposal, and recycling may increase the duration of the roof installation while also increasing the associated cost. Layering shingles, on the other hand, offers a faster alternative to a complete tear-off and replacement. The faster roof installation can be particularly appealing to homeowners compared to the inconvenience of a shingle tear-off.  

Also Read: 5 Different Ways To Recycle Roof Shingles

Potential Drawbacks of Installing New Shingles Over Old Shingles

Here are five potential drawbacks of installing new shingles over old ones. If you are considering re-roofing or roof replacement, consider the following key points:

1. Structural Integrity Concerns

One of the primary drawbacks of layering shingles is the added weight it places on the roof structure. Each layer contributes to an increased load, potentially exceeding the weight bearing capacity of the roof. Installing shingles over existing ones can compromise structural integrity, leading to sagging, leaks, and other issues that may necessitate costly repairs in the future.

2. Violation of Building Codes

In many areas, the shingle layering is restricted by the local building codes, which often dictate the number of roofing layers allowed. If you install shingles without adhering to these regulations, it can result in violations that may lead to legal complications and challenges. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of and comply with these codes to avoid unnecessary legal and financial complications.

3. Reduced Roof Lifespan

Adding new shingles over old ones may result in a trapped heat between the layers, causing the roofing materials to age more rapidly. This accelerated aging process can lead to a shorter lifespan for the entire roof system. While the initial installation may seem cost-effective, the need for more frequent repairs and replacements could outweigh the perceived savings in the long run.

4. Hidden Underlying Issues 

One of the main drawbacks of layering shingles is leaving the underlying issues unrepaired and unnoticed. These issues can include water damage, rot, or a deteriorating roof deck. If you fail to address these problems before installing new shingles, it can lead to more extensive and expensive repairs down the line, making re-roofing costlier in the long run.

5. Aesthetics and Resale Value

The added thickness from layering shingles can result in a less visually appealing roof profile. This may be a concern for homeowners who value the aesthetic appeal of their homes. Additionally, potential buyers might view a roof with multiple layers less favorably, potentially impacting the resale value of the property.

Can I Install A Metal Roof Over Shingles? 

Similar to installing shingles over shingles, the temptation of installing a metal roof over shingles is understandable. Metal roofs have gained popularity over the years as homeowners want to install them for their unwavering durability and weather-resistance. However, the question remains, can I install a metal roof over shingles? While this practice is becoming pretty common among homeowners, it’s not a good idea. 

As a professional metal roofing contractor in Tulsa, OK, we recommend metal roofs for many reasons. However, when it comes to installing metal roofs over shingles, we never support this idea. 

To learn more about why we don’t recommend this practice, check out our blog post: 5 Common Problems With Metal Roofs Over Shingles: Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore 

Budget Friendly Roofing Shingles As An Alternative To Re-Roofing 

The following shingle options are for homeowners who want to make a budget friendly roofing decision while also avoiding installing shingles over shingles. 

1. Royal Sovereign® Shingles from GAF

Royal sovereign shingles
Source : gaf.com

Royal Sovereign shingles from GAF is a popular choice for homeowners looking for a reliable and affordable roofing solution. These shingles have been the best selling 3-tab shingle in the U.S. for over 50 years. They are made with advanced color sequencing technology that gives them a classic yet refined look. The shingles also come with StainGuard protection, which helps protect your roof from stains and discoloration caused by blue-green algae.

Royal Sovereign shingles are available in a variety of colors and are designed to provide excellent protection for your home. They are also a great investment, as a beautiful roof may help increase your home’s resale value. The shingles are backed by a 25-year limited warranty with Smart Choice® Protection.

2. Marathon™ Plus AR from IKO

Marathon plus ar
Source : iko.com

Marathon Plus AR from IKO is a traditional 3-tab roofing shingle that has been designed to withstand any weather conditions due to its built-in FastLock® sealant strips. The shingle is made of a durable fiberglass mat and has a weather-resistant design. These shingles are also equipped with algae-resistant granules, which help prevent the growth of blue-green algae that can cause stains, streaks, and discoloration on your roof.

IKO is a well-known brand in the roofing industry, and their Marathon Plus AR shingles are a testament to their commitment to quality and durability. If you’re looking for a reliable and durable roofing solution, Marathon Plus AR from IKO is worth considering.

3. Supreme® from Owens Corning

Owens Corning’s Supreme® shingles are a great choice for homeowners who want to balance curb appeal, weather-resistance, and value. These 3-tab shingles come with a 25-Year limited warranty, up to 60 mph wind-resistance, and Class A UL fire rating, which is the industry’s highest. They are also available with StreakGuard® algae resistance.

Supreme shingles are designed to offer lasting durability and a solid value. They are available in a range of colors and can complement any home style.

Closing Thoughts

As a homeowner, you must weigh the immediate advantages of installing shingles over shingles against the long term consequences, considering the structural integrity of your roof, regulatory compliance, and the visual impact on your home.

When making decisions for your roof, consult with experienced professionals. Roofing experts in your area can provide valuable insights about the specific conditions of a roof and local building codes, recommend suitable solutions, and ensure that you make choices aligned with your financial plan and your expectations from the roof. 

Contact A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing In Tulsa, OK, For Your Roof Installation

If this blog post changed your mind about adding shingles over shingles, consider installing a new roof instead. Contact A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing in Tulsa, OK, for new roof installation or a complete roof replacement. The experienced roofers at the company are proficient at handling any roofing project. Update your home look with the proper assistance of professional roofers. Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 and talk to an expert roofer.

can you put new shingles over old shingles