Roof layover vs. roof replacement: which one would be the most beneficial for you?

If you’re considering a new roof and you’re unsure whether you should do a roof layover vs. roof replacement, we’re here to present the facts.

In general, a faulty roof should get replaced in its entirety. There are pros and cons to each option, but in the end, the layover is the most costly choice.

Roof Layover vs. Roof Replacement

What Is a Roof Overlay?

When you add a layer of shingles over an existing roof structure, that is called a layover. This is the option chosen by those that are on a budget. Usually, they don’t want to spend the money that it costs for a completely new roof.

The goal is to extend the life of your roof since you don’t have to pay for roof removal or disposal. It also takes less time to do a roof layover because there are no labor costs for removing or disposing of the debris.

Though this method will save you a little money upfront, there are notable disadvantages to a roof layover.


  • No Warranty: Roofing companies will not always offer a warranty on the service because they cannot account for the work previously done. Therefore, they can’t guarantee a solid installation on their end.
  • Shorter Lifespan: Too much heat gets accumulated because you’re putting shingles on top of other shingles. That will inevitably cause improper ventilation and the deterioration of your new shingles.
  • Water Damage: It’s difficult to locate leaks in the roof, depending on their location. When you do a roof layover, it becomes increasingly difficult to find and even more expensive to fix.
  • More Costs: Eventually, you will still have to fix your roof, as a layover is just a temporary fix. At that time, you’ll have to pay more than you would have had to if you opted to get a standard roof replacement. Now you have to remove two sets of shingles; that’s double the cost.
  • No Decking Inspection: One of the most crucial parts of a new roof replacement is the ability to check the decking beneath the shingles. You have to get it inspected for damages and ensure that it’s a solid, sturdy foundation for the new shingles.

roof layover vs. roof replacement

What Is a Roof Tear-Off?

A roof tear-off is just that; the roofer tears off the old roof and replaces it with a new one. With this method, the advantages far outweigh any inconveniences. For starters:

  • New Materials: All of your roofs will get replaced by new materials. If your underlayment or decking was damaged and deteriorating, you could get that repaired during the replacement. A skilled worker will also go through and search for leaks and seal up any cracks or holes. That prevents rot and mold from occurring in your home.
  • Upgrade: Aside from using all new materials, you can ask the roofing companies to examine your roof’s structure and recommend materials based on structure and climate.
  • Durability: This is a no-brainer in the sense that obviously, a new roof made of new materials will be much more sturdy than an old roof with new shingles on top. Any developing problems on the old roof will be eliminated, preventing serious damage down the line. A new roof will last you from two to three decades before it may need to get replaced. That’s about ten years more than a layover lasts.
  • Higher Property Value: A new roof can add as much as $10,000 or more to the resale value of your home. It’s also the main selling point when you’re trying to attract buyers. A new roof is the way to go if you want to sell your home in the next 2-5 years.

Here are the disadvantages of a tear-off:

  • You’ll Pay More Initially: The new roof replacement will cost you more money upfront. It’s about a 25% difference when compared to a layover. There’s more labor involved when you have to strip and remove old shingles and dispose of them in addition to installing new shingles.

As you can see, you might save time and money in the beginning, but the long-term risks aren’t worth it for your roof. Your home is susceptible to more water damage and other roofing problems when you simply put new shingles on old shingles.

roof replacement

The most critical factor is that you won’t have the opportunity to inspect the foundation beneath the old shingles. That can wreak havoc on your home if there is indeed underlying damage that’s not visible to the naked eye.

In the end, a layover is a bad idea. It’s best to invest in the new roof replacement and secure your home properly. If you find that you want a professional to do your roof replacement, Red Canyon is here to help! Contact us today to get your free estimate!