Instead of removing your existing roofing, you may have the option to do an overlay. An overlay is where a new roof is installed over an existing roof.

When roofing companies refer to “tear off”, it means they are removing the existing roofing and installing a completely new roof from the deck.  It is important to know that you could possibly have these two options if you are in need of roof replacement. In this photo, we are removing two layers of shingles and than we had to re-deck the roof. The previous roofer installed an asphalt shingle roof over an existing wood shake roof, we do not recommend doing this. Sometimes a core is required to determine how many roof layers you may have, especially with flat roofs. 

Please see below pros and cons of an overlay:


  • Less expensive option. You don’t have dump costs or labor involved with removing the existing roofing.
  • Takes less time to get installed. The roofing crew does not have to tear off, so it will speed up the process of getting a new roof.


  • More weight on your roof than just having one roofing layer. This could be detrimental to older homes.
  • You have the extra cost of removing both layers next time you need to replace the roof.
  • May not look as good.  If you install shingles over existing shingles, it may sometimes look wavy.
  • Roof leaks will be more difficult to diagnose and repair. 
  • Can negatively impact your property’s value. 
  • The roofers will not be able to inspect the deck for any possible rotten or damaged wood.

Give us a call and schedule a FREE Roofing consultation today!

(505) 842-ROOF (7663)

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