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Chesapeake Roofers: Article About Shingle Overlay Drawbacks

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As homeowners work with various Chesapeake roofers to narrow down a roof replacement quote, the costs involved will usually be considerable for any structure. A roof investment is a valuable one, but many residents look for clever ways to reduce costs with an overlay project. An overlay service occurs when contractors add another shingle layer to existing materials, creating another barrier to leaks and weathering damage. Although overlays reduce costs because there's no tear off process, they can pose a disadvantage to homeowners in the form of repeated service calls that are necessary to maintain the structure. Evaluate overlay drawbacks to make an informed decision during the estimation process.

When contractors overlay a shingled surface, they do not have a chance to evaluate the roof deck. This sheathing represents the plywood surface that all materials will be attached to. Even a tiny leak into the sheathing creates potential rot, mold and mildew. Part of a new roof replacement involves examining the deck and repairing it as necessary. Because overlays hide all issues with old materials, roofs could deteriorate faster than a new installation.

Another material that can't be evaluated is the underlayment. This synthetic layer resides between the shingles and decking.

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Although it's hidden from damaging sunlight and weathering elements, underlayment can break down over time. Contractors prefer to replace this material during a complete reroofing project. The application of overlays skip this critical step, making the roof more vulnerable to future leaks.

Even if the old roof is relatively stable, leaks can still occur through overlaid shingles. Because this overlayment is stacked higher than the other roofing layers, additional gaps and crevices will allow leaks to form in the attic below. Homeowners should weigh this concern against the costs of an overlay project, because water damage repair is expensive in its own right.

Overlaid shingles also pose an uplift issue. As winds strike a home, they move up the roof surface and over the peak. When shingles are overlaid, winds have greater purchase on the rooftop layers. Tabs can be easily pulled up in gusty winds, creating leak issues and permanent shingle damage. Replacing the shingles is almost always a better solution than an overlay project.

Choosing a complete shingle replacement project over an overlay also gives homeowners a chance to improve the structure's ventilation. During shingle installation, contractors can add helpful turbine vents to the rooftop. These spinning louvers pull air from attics to keep ventilation consistent. The home and rooftop remain at steady temperatures through the year to reduce energy costs and encourage long lasting shingle materials.

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