If you need a new roof on your home you may be asked about the option of re-roofing or a tear off of your old roof. There are advantages and disadvantages of both and I’ll address those in the roof tear offs article. Before you decide on which you should choose be sure to read the rest of this article.
Roof Tear Offs : Why They Are So Important
When a roof needs replacing there are several options the homeowner is faced with. They can decide to tear off the existing roof and install a completely new roof. The other option is to simply cover the existing roof with new shingles. The later option is usually more inexpensive but there could be some drawbacks to a re-roof rather than a tear off.
So What is a Roof Tear Off?
When you home needs a new roof the existing roof shingles and felt paper need to be removed. A roofing company will remove all the shingles and felt paper and discard them as they can not be reused. Areas around chimneys, pipes, and other roof protrusions are inspected and likely repaired using new boots or sealant.
The installer may only tear off part of a roof. Especially in larger homes with lots of angles and roof area. This helps to keep the home protected in case problems arise such as weather. The tear off may only be part of the roof and then new shingles installed before moving onto the next part of the roof.
Tear Off Existing Roofing or Shingle Over Existing Roofing
There are many components to your roofing system. There is the sheeting that is laid under your shingle roof along with felt paper. These two items serve a function to strengthen and help to weather proof the roof. When you’re re-roofing, a roofing company likely won’t replace any sheeting and also they won’t apply new felt paper to the roof. This can save the homeowner money. Since the existing roof will act as a barrier to moisture.
The problem is when there is damage to the underlying roof. When there is a problem with the sheeting on the roof it may not be structurally sound. And simply re-roofing over that problem area is much like putting a band aid on a leaking pipe. It simply won’t hold up over time. And what’s worst is that the roof may seem okay but isn’t.
If the current roof was giving you problems such as leaks, those leaks may have started long before you noticed it. A leak could have started the underlying sheeting of the roof to rotten and may also be responsible for mold growth inside the roof itself. By only doing a re-roof you may not even know these problems exist.
The problem is when there is damage to the underlying roof. When there is a problem with the sheeting on the roof it may not be structurally sound.
How Tear Offs are An Advantage
Unlike a re-roof, when you get a tear off done you actually get down to the sheeting on the roof. The existing shingles are removed and also the felt paper or tar paper that is installed under the shingles. This exposes the wooden sheeting on the roof. It allows for the roof installer to see clearly the existing structure of the roof and inspect it. If there is a bad place on the sheeting it also makes it much easier for the installer to repair. By doing this repair you also protect the new roof that is being installed.
Problem areas like valleys, skylights, and other roof penetrations can be better sealed and inspected. Although an installer will check in the attic during a re-roof the inspection isn’t as thorough as with a full tear off and new roof installation.
So Which Should You Choose? Roof Tear Offs or Re-Roof
Ultimately the choice is yours. There are advantages to both and each roof is different. Your home may be able to use a re-roof or it may need to get a new roof installed with a complete tear off of the old roof. The best way to decide is to have a roofer give you a free estimate. Many times they can help you make a much more informed decision since they look for things that most home owners would over look.