To Re-Roof or Replace? Here’s How You Decide

There comes a point in every homeowner’s life when they must answer a crucial question: roof repair vs roof replacement; which one is right for you?

Several factors come into play when looking for an answer, from the average lifespan of a roof to various cost considerations. The roof is a huge investment, so this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly.

So, where should you begin? In this blog, we’ll guide you through the main differences between re-roofing vs roof replacement to help you decide.

Let’s take a closer look at both processes and their pros and cons.

What Is Re-Roofing?

Simply put, re-roofing is the process of adding a new layer of shingles over an existing one. This new surface becomes an extra protective coating to effectively plug leaks; a quick and easy solution to deal with minor wear and tear.

Most homeowners opt for this process while their roof is still in good shape, especially if it is less than 15 years old. It’s important to note that you can’t re-roof more than once, as the weight of three layers of shingles is too much for the structure to bear.

These are some of the advantages of re-roofing a house:

  • Quick, cost-effective solution to mitigate minor issues.
  • Requires less labor.
  • Reinforces a roof by adding an extra layer of protection.
  • Gives the roof a new and improved look.
  • Fewer materials are required.
What Is Re-Roofing

Here are some of the drawbacks of re-roofing:

  • Roofs cannot be re-shingled more than once.
  • Working on a single section of a roof may result in a patchy look.
  • It is a temporary solution.
  • Increases the weight of a roof and may cause sagging.
  • Impacts warranties and may reduce a home’s resale value.

What Is Roof Replacement?

In many cases, re-roofing may not be possible. A roof that’s made of any material other than asphalt—such as clay, slate, or cement—cannot be re-shingled. Furthermore, a roof that has already been re-covered can’t handle the weight of a third layer.

Re-roofing also isn’t recommended for a roof that is sagging, at risk of collapsing, or has suffered a lot of water damage. In these cases, a complete roof replacement makes more sense.

The process usually involves discarding the existing shingles and roof underlayment altogether and starting the roof installation process from scratch. This allows roofing contractors to look for damage to the decking and inspect other crucial roof components, such as the gutters and vents.

Here are some advantages associated with replacing a roof entirely:

  • Fixes all lingering issues, including water damage and rot.  
  • Lasts significantly longer than simply adding a new layer of shingles.
  • Allows experts to thoroughly inspect the structure.
  • Increases a home’s value and energy efficiency.
  • More long-lasting and comes with extended warranties.
What Is Roof Replacement

That said, here are some of the biggest downsides:

  • Requires a significant investment.
  • High cost of labor and materials.
  • Roof installation is a much longer process than re-roofing.

New Roof vs Reroof: What to Consider?

Now that we’ve understood the differences between a reroof vs new roof, let’s take a look at some critical considerations for homeowners making the decision:

The Roof’s Age

All roofs have a predetermined lifespan assessed by the manufacturer or contractor. This is a crucial factor to consider when deciding between repair or replacement. Depending on the types of residential roof shingles used or how well the roof is maintained, this could be 10 to 15 years or even longer.

A roof that’s only a few years old could be fixed with a simple repair or re-roofing of a single section. One that’s nearing the end of its lifespan should be replaced entirely.

If you aren’t sure how old your roof is, look for signs of aging, such as noticeable sagging, leaks, or other major issues.

Harsh weather may also decrease the lifespan of a roof. If you live in a place that sees frequent rain, wind, or hail storms, you may need to replace a roof earlier than anticipated. If this is the case, it may be worth checking out this guide to the best time to replace your roof.

The Roof’s Condition

Leaks, mold patches, rotting, and missing shingles are some of the most common problems associated with roofs. When deciding between a second layer of shingles vs new roof, assess the issues you’re dealing with.

The Roof’s Condition

Common roof problems can be categorized into aesthetic issues, such as fading materials, or structural issues, such as curled or missing shingles. To find and fix these, we recommend going through a roof inspection checklist.

If the only problem you find is a few faded shingles, a simple repair job is sufficient. If you find loose asphalt granules on the ground, wet patches on your attic walls, or mold and mildew growth, your roof should be replaced.

Repair vs Replacement Costs

As mentioned, the costs of re-roofing are significantly lower than replacing one altogether. However, there are some crucial factors to consider here.

For one, if your roof has serious structural issues, the cost of repeated repairs, along with re-roofing, will add up in the long run. At the same time, those who re shingle roofs too early also risk losing out on their warranties.

A complete roof replacement is definitely a bigger initial investment, but it increases a home’s curbside appeal and its value in the long run. Most California roofing contractors also offer warranties for new roofs.

If you want to compare the reroofing vs roof replacement cost in detail, we recommend checking out this roofing cost calculator.

The Bottom Line: AMECO Has You Covered

By this point, you should hopefully have been able to decide whether re-roofing or replacing a roof is the right option for you. Once you’re ready to take the next step, there’s nothing left to do but look out for trusted roof installation services in California.

At AMECO, one of the leading experts in residential roofing installation in California, we offer services related to replacing, repairing, and maintaining roofs. Get in touch with one of our experts to learn how to re shingle a roof or replace one entirely!