Should I Tear Off Old Shingles or Overlay New Shingling?

There are many difficult and confusing processes in general life and one of them, which is at the top of the list, is house maintenance.  Maintaining your home is a difficult task because it can be quite expensive and time consuming.

Many times homeowners have to choose between two to three options.  For example, should we get the fumigation done in a particular part of the house or the entire home? Should we get the whole house drainage cleaned or just the kitchen and bathrooms?  Usually, the best choice also turns out to be the most expensive!

One of the many confusing questions when it comes to maintenance that surrounds your home is whether you should tear off your old shingle roof completely and get a brand new roof installed or overlay the existing roofing with new shingles.

The battle of overlaying shingling versus tearing the old ones off is without doubt easily won by… Okay wait, before talking to roofing contractors let us check out the pros and cons of each before being all judgmental to any of them too quick.

Pros and Cons of a New Roof verse Overlaying the Old Roof

New Roof Overlay

Overlaying Pros:

Time Savings

There is a high possibility you are considering over laying because it is convenient, and promises to save a lot of your time.  This is all true. It will definitely save you time in comparison with having to remove the existing shingles.


This may seem quite obvious. In comparison with the process of completely tearing the existing roof off and putting a new one on the process of laying a new roof on top of an older one is a whole lot less complex.

Overlaying Cons:

The Look

There are times that no matter how a roof is completed that the old roof is still visible under the new roof.  It is a layered affect that can’t be disguised.  When homeowners choose to have a new roof put on over the top of old one, homeowners should be prepared to see some overlapping around the edges.


There are some buyers that will not purchase a home because it has been shingled on top of older roofing.  This could occur for no other reason than the inspector bringing it to the buyer’s attention and showing cause for concern.  Once a sale has fallen through on your house it can gain a reputation on the market.  This could be an issue if you are looking to put a new roof on only to turn around and sell the house.

Science Stuff

Why does a sweater help in the winters? It is because that extra layer of woolen stuff traps the heat for you, providing you warmth. This is exactly the case here but HERE it isn’t a pro. When you dump more shingling over the old ones, more and more heat is trapped between the layers which cause the material to decay faster than it normally would.

Old Roof Tear Off

Tearing Off Roofing Cons:


It is true that tearing off old shingles will be expensive. More labor cost in that the old roofing will need to be tore off and discarded.  This means that you will pay more for the roofing contractor and his crew as there will be more of them needed to complete the entire job in a timely fashion.

Time Consuming

The time is takes to tear off a roof and install a new one is naturally longer than overlaying a new roof over old shingles.  Depending on the square footage of the homes roof it could take two to three days to tear off and replace a new roof.

Tear Off Roofing Pros:

Merits of tearing off are exactly the opposite of the cons of overlaying.

  1. Your roof will look all new (because it is) and give a great fresh look to your house.
  2. A new roof is a great selling point for your house when you put it on the market.
  3. Tearing off shingle roofing means you will have one fresh layer of shingling which is excellent, scientifically. The maximum allowance is of two layers and you will have one in total. A light and happy roof!

Added Benefits

  1. You get to find all the flaws in the wood underneath and so now you can fix them.
  2. You can get your roof the latest designs of shingling that a roofing contractor will suggest and this will increase market value.

Final Verdict

Roofing contractors would most often agree that there are more reasons to bite the bullet and tear off the existing, old roof and replace it with a fresh new single layer of asphalt shingles.

Learn more about Home Pro Roofing and their vast line of custom roofing options installed by professional roofing contractors including: , shingle roof repair, and new shingle roof installation at  To contact one of our roofing contractors call 810.225.9080 today.

Share →