Re-Roofing vs. Roof Replacement: What’s Right for Your Sacramento Home?

Residential Roofing Tips

Every roof will eventually need to be replaced, as storms and unexpected events can shorten its lifespan. When it’s time to buy a new roof, you’ll have two options: re-roofing or roof replacement. Both options are distinct, and you should take time to understand both processes before committing to one.

Re-Roofing vs. Roof Replacement: What’s Right for Your Sacramento Home?

Many people are familiar with roof replacement, but another great option (re-roofing) is often less understood. Both options are distinctly different. Re-roofing refers to the application of new roofing material over the existing roof. This is sometimes known as an overlay in the roofing industry. Only certain materials can be re-roofed. For example, asphalt shingles do not allow for this option.

If the existing material is in good condition, the roofing company may recommend re-roofing as an economical alternative to replacing a roof. Re-roofing effectively extends the lifespan of the existing roof. Re-roofing can be performed as routine maintenance and to protect the underlying layers of the roof.

This step can also be performed alongside other upgrades, like adding solar panels. One advantage is that re-roofing is generally not labor-intensive and is usually more cost-effective than replacing an entire roof.

What Is Roof Replacement?

Roof replacement is often recommended to address significant damage to a roof. Depending on the material your roof is made from, it likely has an expected lifespan ranging from two decades to multiple decades and longer. Other than repairs, roof replacement is the only option for asphalt shingles because there is no safe and effective way to nail asphalt shingles over old shingles.

Roof replacement comes with the benefit of knowing that the entire roof has been replaced and that there is no underlying damage that the homeowner can’t see. Once a roof is completely removed, the roofing company can assess the condition of the supportive structures and protective layers under the roofing material. Some insurance companies even offer discounts for full replacements due to the efficacy of replacing a roof.

A roof replacement also affords homeowners the option of going with an entirely different roofing material. Upgrading your asphalt shingles to slate, tile, or wood shingles can greatly enhance the appearance of your home and increase its value.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Re-Roofing vs. Roof Replacement

While it should not be the only factor when deciding between these two options, many people understandably focus on the cost differences between roof replacement and re-roofing. The labor costs for re-roofing are lower because work crews do not have to remove the existing roof on your Sacramento home.

Future Costs

When the re-roofing job needs to finally be replaced, the roofer will now have to remove two layers of roof, which will add to the cost of that job. While the short-term gains of re-roofing are enticing, some of those savings will be lost years later when you finally have to replace your roof.

Roof Condition

Another important consideration is the condition of the roof. Serious structural damage could mean that re-roofing is not an option. Your roofing contractor will closely examine the condition of your roof before recommending either option. Remember, covering up damaged portions of your roof does not make the problem go away. You are delaying repairs that will eventually need to be addressed and fixed.

Roof Structure

Most re-roofing projects are for roofing materials that lay flat. Angled roofs often make use of different materials than flat roofs, and materials used for angled roofs (like slate or tiles) are not suitable for re-roofing. Lastly, the structure of the current roof should be an important consideration. Adding a second layer of roofing will add considerable weight to the existing structure. You will want to make sure that the current roof can support the added weight.


Q: Is Roof Restoration Better Than Roof Replacement?

A: From a cost-savings perspective, roof restoration is preferable to roof replacement. At some point, any roof needs to be completely replaced. Roof repairs can extend the lifespan of your roof by addressing minor issues before they cause serious damage to your roof or home. Be sure to work with an experienced roofing company that does quality work that will last for years.

Q: Is It Better to Replace the Shingles or Buy a New Roof?

A: Whether it is better to replace the shingles or buy a new roof can depend on your circumstances. If your roof needs to be replaced, no number of repairs will suffice. If your roof has reached the end of its expected lifespan, replacing individual shingles will not reduce the risk of leaks and moisture entering your home. If you work with a trusted roofing company, listen to the roofing contractor’s reasons for recommending replacing shingles or buying a new roof.

Q: How Often Should a Roof Be Replaced in California?

A: The main factors that determine how often a roof should be replaced in California are the type of material the roof is made of and the environment. Metal, slate, and wood shingles have a longer lifespan than asphalt shingles. Climate and weather can age any type of roofing material and shorten the roof’s lifespan. For specific figures on your roof, consult with a trusted roofing company.

Q: What Is the Difference Between Re-roofing and a New Roof?

A: The difference between re-roofing and a new roof is that a new roof involves completely removing the old roof, while re-roofing adds a new layer of roofing material to the current roof. Both will completely revamp your roof, but through different means. Both options come with pros and cons.

Schedule Your Roof Inspection Today

Roof replacement and re-roofing both add protection to your home and can improve its curb appeal. Re-roofing is generally a more cost-effective option, but it only extends the life of a roof. Re-roofing is not an option for every residential house, but roof replacement is.

If you have questions about which option is right for you, one of our roofing contractors will be glad to explain both options in detail. Contact our team today so we can help you improve your home’s appearance and energy efficiency.

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