Can You Put a New Roof Over an Old Roof?

Last Updated on 12/12/2023 by Matteo Lombardo

Can You Put a New Roof Over an Old Roof? The answer is YES; placing a new roof over an old one, known as re-roofing, is often a workable option.

This method can be a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to a full roof replacement. Let’s dive deeper into what this involves and the various aspects to consider.

Key Takeaways

spectRe-roofingRoof Replacement
DefinitionAdding new shingles over existing ones.Removing all old shingles and installing new ones.
Best ForRoofs with minor wear and tear.Roofs with severe damage or multiple layers already.
CostGenerally less expensive.More costly due to extensive labor and materials.
TimeQuicker since it involves less work.Takes longer as it involves complete removal and replacement.
LongevityShorter lifespan than a complete replacement.Longer lifespan as everything is brand new.
Structural CheckLimited inspection of underlying structure.Full inspection and repair of the roof deck and structure.
RecommendationSuitable for budget constraints and less severe issues.Advised for long-term solutions and when underlying damage is suspected.

Can You Build a Roof Over an Existing Roof?

Yes, building a new roof over an existing one is possible and quite common. This process involves laying new shingles over the old ones, effectively protecting your home. Assessing the existing roof’s condition is crucial to supporting the extra weight.

What is Re-Roofing?

Re-roofing is the layering of one set of new shingles over a set of existing shingles. It can only be done once—if your roof already has two layers of shingles, you must go for a complete replacement.

This method is ideal for roofs nearing the end of their lifespan but not suffering severe damage.

Roofing Over an Existing Roof: Pros vs Cons


  1. Cost-Effective: Re-roofing is generally more affordable than a complete roof replacement.
  2. Time-Saving: It takes less time as you skip the tear-off process.
  3. Less Disruptive: Minimal impact on your daily routine.


  1. Shorter Lifespan: Re-roofed shingles may not last as long as those on a completely replaced roof.
  2. Hidden Damages: Potential issues under the old shingles might go unnoticed.
  3. Weight Issues: Additional layers add weight, which could be a problem for older structures.

Tearing Off the Old Roof Instead of Reroofing

Choosing to tear off the old roof instead of just re-roofing can be a wise choice in certain situations. Here’s why:

  • Severe Damage: If your current roof is damaged, it’s better to remove it. This way, you start fresh and avoid covering up big problems.
  • Underlying Issues: Sometimes, issues are hidden under the shingles. Removing the old roof lets you see and fix these problems.
  • Roof Deck Check: The roof deck is the base for your shingles. Tearing off the old roof lets you look at this deck closely. You can fix any weak spots or rot.
  • Long-Term Solution: While it might cost more now, taking off the old roof can be a better choice for the long run. It can make your new roof last longer.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that all the old, possibly damaged parts are gone can give you more confidence in your new roof.

In short, tearing off the old roof allows for a complete do-over. This can be a good path if your roof is in bad shape or if you want to be really sure that everything is fixed right.

Re-Roofing vs. Roof Replacement

Re-roofing means putting new shingles on top of the old ones. Roof replacement is removing all the old shingles and putting on new ones. Learn more in-depth about the differences here


When deciding about re-roofing, think about a few key things. First, look at how your current roof is doing. Is it in pretty good shape, or is it worn out? This matters a lot.

Then, think about your budget. Putting a new roof over the old one can save money, but it might not always be the best choice. Also, consider what you plan for your home in the future.

If you’re staying long, you might want something different than if you plan to move soon. The best step is to talk to a roofing expert. They know much about roofs and can help you make a smart choice.

They’ll look at your roof, discuss options, and guide you on what’s best for your house. Remember, a good decision now can save you trouble and money later on.

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