Roof Overlay vs. Tear-Off: Which Is Better in Sacramento, CA? 2024

roofing materials

A full roof replacement is not the only option when a roof has reached the end of its lifespan. For some homeowners, a Sacramento Re-Roofing is another option for extending their roof’s lifespan on a lower budget. Re-roofing, or a roof overlay, is an option if you only have one layer of asphalt shingles in place. This can avoid the costs of a complete tear-off and replacement.

However, it’s important to determine which option for roof replacement is right for your situation. You can discuss your unique circumstances with a Sacramento Re-Roofing Contractor, who could provide you with individualized advice.

The Benefits and Disadvantages of a Roof Overlay

Getting a re-roof over existing shingles has several benefits, including:

  • Lower Cost: By completing a re-roofing project rather than a full roof replacement, you save on the labor costs of tearing up the existing roof shingles. Instead, you will only need to pay for the cost of the new materials and the labor to install it. You also do not need to pay for the removal of the materials stripped from the roof or a dumpster rental to put them in.
  • Quicker Turnaround: Because there is not an additional step of removing materials, a roof overlay takes much less time. This means that the construction project on your roof will be completed more quickly.
  • Additional Protection: For some roofs, an extra layer of shingles can increase its ability to withstand blunt damage from hail or debris. It can also add insulation to your home.

There are downsides to a re-roof, however, including:

  • New roof shingles will reflect any uneven dips or curls of the old shingles.
  • The home’s resale value may decrease.
  • There may be structural strain from the added weight.
  • Overlayment shingles are not as durable and have a shorter lifespan than a new roof.
  • The deck and underlayment can’t be inspected for issues and repairs.
  • It will be harder to trace the problem if your roof begins to leak.

There are also situations where you are not eligible to have an overlay put on your roof. In California, you can only have a maximum of two layers of asphalt shingles on your roof, according to the building code. If your home already has two layers of shingles, you are required to tear up those layers if you need a roof replacement. If the roof shingles are curling and in especially bad shape, you are typically not able to get an overlayment.

Additionally, overlayment is only possible when you are installing asphalt shingles on top of asphalt shingles. If you want to install tile, metal, or other roofing materials, you must get the existing roof torn off.

The Benefits and Disadvantages of a Roof Tear-Off

There are many benefits to a complete roof replacement, including:

  • Full Inspection: A roof tear-off means that the underlayment, sheathing, and other roof layers will be in good shape.
  • New and Improved Materials: The materials in a roof tear-off will be all-new, and they won’t be impacted by mold or moisture trapped in lower shingle levels. Additionally, if you want to choose new roofing materials and do not want asphalt shingles, you can do so when you get a tear-off.
  • Durability and Longevity: A roof replacement will last longer than an underlayment, and it will be more durable.
  • Less Maintenance: There is less upkeep required of a fully new roof, and it will be easier to determine where potential leaks are coming from.
  • Resale Value: A roof replacement will significantly increase the resale value of your home.

A full roof tear-off also has its downsides, including:

  • It is much more expensive, as you will have to pay for the tear-down labor.
  • The project will take longer to complete.
  • Old materials from the roof require a lot of waste removal costs.

The cost of a full roof replacement is often offset by the longer durability of the new roof.


Q: What Is the Average Price to Re-Roof in California?

A: A re-roof or roof overlayment is less costly than a full roof replacement, as you do not have to pay for the removal of the old materials. This also makes the project go more quickly. A re-roof may cost anywhere from $5,000 to $11,000, depending on the type of shingles and the size of your roof. More complicated roofs may also be more costly.

Roof materials are priced per square foot, so determine the size of your roof and the cost of the materials you want. A professional contractor may be able to provide you with a low-cost quote to help you determine the price of your specific roof.

Q: Do I Need a Permit to Re-Roof My House in California?

A: Yes, for larger roof projects like a full re-roof or roof replacement, you need a permit in California. For residential roof replacements, these permits may be fairly quick to obtain, depending on your specific location. However, there may be an inspection process or review, depending on the building codes of your specific location. When you work with a licensed contractor, they can guide you through the process of getting a permit, or they can obtain the permit themselves.

Q: What Is the Law for Roofing in California?

A: Some roofing laws in California include:

  • Extensive roof repairs or a roof replacement typically require permits, depending on the local building codes.
  • Roofing contractors who work on projects costing more than $500 must be licensed by the state board.
  • Contractors with state licenses must also have workers’ compensation insurance.
  • State and local building codes require certain materials to be used in roofing, insulation, and re-roofing projects.

Q: Instead of Replacing the Whole Roof, Can You Replace Some of the Shingles?

A: Yes, in many situations, you can replace individual shingles without replacing the entire roof, and you can even do a re-roof overlayment. If you only have one layer of asphalt shingles on your roof, it is possible to put another layer of shingles over the old shingles to refurbish your roof.

Many state building codes, including those in California, do not allow you to re-roof more than once, and you cannot have more than two layers of shingles on a roof. If your roof is made of other materials, you are likely not able to re-roof. In those instances, you must have the old roof removed before getting a roof replacement.

Contact Noah’s Roofing With Your Project

A professional roofing contractor can help you determine what may be in your interests for roof repairs and replacement. Contact Noah’s Roofing to learn more about how we can help with your roofing project.

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