Can You Put New Roofing Shingles Over Old Ones

You can put new roofing shingles over old ones. But while that may be true, it may not be the best option in all cases. Hence, we will discuss why you may want to place new roofing on the old ones. After that, we will give you reasons why it may not be good for you.

Before we move further, it is important to note that replacing old roofing shingles, otherwise called “re-roofing”, is only possible when you are using asphalt or composition shingles. For instance, you cannot re-roof with slate or wood; and roofers do not encourage the mixing of materials like laying cedar shakes over asphalt shingles. Also, your existing roofing must be in good condition. Else, it would be an exercise in futility.

Why New Roofing Over the Existing One May Be Good 

We will begin with the positive part. Many homeowners decide to place new roofing over the existing one because:

1. It is a Cheap Option

This option can help you save some money since you do not have to pay for a dumpster rental service to get rid of the old roofing. There is also no need to place extra felt papers on your existing roof.

2. Less Hassle

Unlike tearing off your old roof, fixing a new one over the existing ones does not take a lot of time. Also, you won’t have to worry about the laborious removal process, which is always messy.

3. It Looks Good and Can Last Long

When the new shingles are placed properly and under good conditions, they can last long. They will also appear like a complete replacement.

4. You Will Still Benefit from the Warranty 

If you use the services of a professional roofer, the manufacturer will provide a warranty for the roof. It is the same duration as re-roofing.

5. It Provides Extra Protection from Storm

If the current shingles are in good condition, an extra layer of the roofing will provide additional protection. This is especially true in cases of storms that can blow away the top shingle. You may want to check out this website to know how to protect your shingles from wind damage.

As discussed above, there are several benefits that come with placing new shingles over the existing ones. However, there are situations that will require you to do something different, like opting for a total replacement. 

When Removing Your Old Roof May Be a Good Option

Here are some reasons why removing your old roof in order to start afresh may be good for you:

1. You Already Have Two Shingle Layers on the Roof

Some building codes make provision for only 2 layers of roofing. So, if you already have 2 layers, you cannot have more. You are left with the option of removing it entirely and installing new ones.

2. Leakage

If there is a leakage on your roof, it would be better to remove it in order to locate the cause and fix it. Placing new roofing on a leaking one won’t solve the problem.

3. The Shingles Are Now Curling or Are No Longer Good

Your new roofing has to stay flat on the old ones. However, if the existing shingles are already curling, that won’t be possible. Thus, it will be better to remove the old shingles.

4. The Roof Feels Soft or Spongy 

If you or a roofer walks on the roof and most parts feel soft or spongy, the sheathing underneath it may be faulty. And to repair it, you have to remove your roof.

5. The Roof Can No Longer Support New Weight

Shingles weigh around 350 to 450 oz per square. And it is possible that the structure of your roof can only handle a single shingle layer, plus an additional allowance for snow as well as a margin for safety. Hence, installing new shingles on the old ones will double the weight. You have to confirm that the structure can handle extra weight to prevent the decking from sagging.

You may want to click on to find out when your roof needs replacement.


You do not have to be indecisive about whether replacing your roof or adding new roofing will be good for you. This article has discussed some of the reasons why laying new roofing on the old ones will be good and when it may be better to replace it. You can also contact a professional roofer to help you make a better decision.


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