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Can I install a new roof over my old roof?

Curled Roof Shingles

Moss on Shingle Roof

Missing Shingles


Asphalt shingles can be installed as layover roofs under the right conditions. Problem signs when considering a layover roof would be curled, missing shingles or moss on the shingles. If your existing roof is problem-free and building codes allow it, installing a layover roof can save you time, money and a big clean up job! However there are many conditions that require the old roof to be torn off before a new roof can be installed.

First, check your local building codes before applying a layover roof. Most building codes allow for one layover roof (or maximum of two roofs) on a structure. If your roof already has two layers of shingles, you will need to tear off all the layers before you install the new roof. Occasionally codes allow for three layers of roofing, but the structure must be very carefully inspected to before the third roof is installed.

Second, the roof structure (frame) must be strong enough the handle the weight of multiple roofs. Do an Inside Inspection and Outside Inspection to determine if your roof will safely hold a layover roof. If you see signs of sagging, rotten or decaying ridgelines, hip lines or decking, remove the old roof and repair the frame before installing the new roof.

Third, the finished appearance and effectiveness of a layover roof should be considered. If the existing roof has any of the following problems, the finished roof will be unattractive and prone to leaks if a layover roof is applied:

  • Peeled, curled, cupped, split or otherwise damaged shingles
  • Moss growth
  • Missing Shingles
  • New shingles are lighter than the old shingles allowing the bumps and lines to show through the new layer.


Finally, if you live in a cold climate where the average temperature during winter months is below freezing, an overlay roof will increase the chance of Ice Dams, unless water/ice proof membrane has already been installed on the sheathing.

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