A new roof can be installed using the standard method, which involves tearing off the old roof, and the overlay installation, which keeps the old one. Some homeowners choose the latter because it has a lower upfront cost, but can it really save you money?
Tear-Off or Overlay Installation?
If you’ve had your roof replaced by a licensed roofing contractor, you’re probably familiar with the standard roof replacement process. It involves tearing off the old roofing down to the roof deck. If the decking is still in good condition – standard decking material is usually good for two installations – then new underlayment will be installed, followed by the rest of the roof.
Overlay installation, on the other hand, skips the tear-off process. After inspecting the roof, installers will simply cover the old roof with underlayment as if they’re doing it on a freshly-installed roof deck.
Why Some People Choose Overlay Installation
Choosing overlay installation eliminates the cost involved in tearing off the old roof as well as disposal of discarded material, which can significantly reduce the new roof’s upfront cost. It’s worth noting that a roof must meet certain criteria before it is deemed suitable for overlay installation. Roofing installations that involve switching to a lighter material like metal may be deemed worthy for this method.
Is It Worth the Savings?
The significant savings may sound attractive, but you have to consider that your roof is not just some consumable or impulse purchase. It’s a decision you will have to live with for the next couple of decades, at least. Overlay installation is not as durable as a standard roofing system and won’t have as high a wind rating as a standard roof. This means an overlay roof is more likely to sustain storm damage, which means it could incur higher repair costs.
Overlay installation doesn’t allow for a full inspection and repair, which means if there are hidden structural problems like moisture damage, it will stay in the same state until it develops into a bigger roofing problem. Also, overlay installation effectively doubles the weight of the roof, which can place additional strain on a probably compromised roofing structure. These conditions may also affect your insurance premiums.
Ultimately, despite its higher upfront cost, a standard roofing installation is a better long-term investment.
Pritchett Bros is your leading provider of roofing services, including installation of GAF roofing systems. Give us a call at (812) 275-3185. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Bloomington and Bedford.