Remodeling Your Asphalt Roof: Should You Replace Your Roof Or Just Cover It?

Is the roof on your home looking a little worse for the wear? Learn tips for identifying when you need to replace your roof.

Remodeling Your Asphalt Roof: Should You Replace Your Roof Or Just Cover It?

18 October 2016
 Categories: , Articles

If you plan to remodel your home, you might decide to cover up some things instead of replace them to save money, including your asphalt roof. Although installing new shingles over your old shingles may seem like the best option for you right now, it may come back to haunt you later. Depending on your roof's age and overall condition, it might have some damage below the shingles and underlayment you can't see, including wood rot from rain and holes from insects. These issues can potentially affect your attic, walls, and other structures in the future. Here are things to consider if you choose to overlay, or cover up, your roofing shingles and why it may be better to replace the roof instead.

What Lurks Beneath And On Your Roof's Old Shingles?

If you simply cover your old shingles with new shingles, you may not know that you have major problems to repair or replace until it's too late. Asphalt shingles have the potential to last for as long as 20 years, but wind, rain, and animal feces can deteriorate the shingles over time. You can easily see some problems, such as missing or lifting shingles, by standing out in your yard and peering at your roof. However, you might not notice deeper issues, such as small holes and dents, unless you climb your roof and inspect it. It may even be harder to see what lurks beneath the shingles and underlayment. 

Depending on how heavy or frequently rain occurs in your location, water can potentially leak beneath old asphalt shingles. Water can soak through the damaged shingles and pool along the surfaces of your roof's underlayment. The shingles trap moisture, which leads to a problem known as blistering. Blistered shingles can pop open and allow insects and other hazards to invade the wooden structures beneath the underlayment. The damage may potentially travel to the wooden beams and trusses holding your roof and attic in place. If these structures deteriorate, it may affect the stability of your home.

Old asphalt shingles can also be affected by bird and animal feces. If pigeons, rats, and raccoons perch or climb your roof, the pests can defecate or urinate on it. For instance, pigeon droppings contain strong acids that can wear down, break through, or dissolve surfaces, including wood, metal, and other materials. The birds can also damage your roof's gutter system, chimney, and other features by building nests in or near them. The nests can potentially block water drainage from your roof, which leads to additional problems for you. 

To prevent or repair the issues above, replace your old roof.

What Can You Do Instead?

It's a good idea that you contact a roofing specialist and have them do the roofing job for you. A roofing contractor will generally tear off the old roof completely before they install a new system. The process allows a contractor the opportunity to examine or inspect the structures of your roof, gutter system, and attic and make the appropriate suggestions for them.

For example, if water penetrated and saturated the beams holding your attic in place, a contractor may suggest that you replace the wood. Rotting wood can grow fungi over time. The organisms can spread throughout the wood and potentially deteriorate it. 

A roofing contractor may suggest that you install a new gutter system with the new roof to help protect your home, especially if it has drainage problems from blockages or deterioration. A blocked or deteriorated gutter system may cause rainwater to back up onto your roof's edge, soak into your home's walls and attic, or settle around your basement or crawlspace. All of these issues can cause extensive problems later on for your home and new roof.

If you wish to learn more about replacing your old asphalt roof, contact a roofer who specializes in remodeling services today.

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how to identify when your roofing needs replaced

How's the roof on your home looking? The roofing on your home should look nice and it should keep out any rain or snow. When your roofing begins to fail, you will find the sandy particles in your gutters and possibly on the ground below. There are several signs that will alert you to the need of a roofing replacement. Our blog will show you what signs to be aware of so that you can quickly identify the problems before they spread from the outside of your home to the inside of it causing far more damage.