Installing a Home Theater? Leave the Wiring to an Electrician

Should You Retain Your Shingle Roof Or Completely Replace It?

If your asphalt shingle roof needs to be replaced, you will usually have the option of either leaving the old roof to be built over or completely tearing away and replacing the original roof.

You will want to consider the opinion and input of roofers who are giving you quotes on the replacement job. However, it's also a good idea to do some research on your own when deciding whether to have the roof torn off or built over.

Below are the major pros and cons of each option:

Tearing off the roof


  • Repair of rotted or damaged portions- When an old roof is completely removed and replaced, any damage will be completely torn away. Roof damage- in particular, rot problems- can potentially spread to the new roof if the old roof is left underneath. 
  • Maximum resale value- In general, every roof layer that is built over could detract from the sale price of the home once it comes time to sell. Roof replacement will typically be preferable in the eyes of future buyers and could make selling an old home easier.
  • Total inspection of roof- When a roof is completely removed and replaced, the contractor in charge of the job can perform a complete inspection of the roof that includes examining all chimneys, valleys, eves, and rakes. 


  • Cost- Removing the previous roof takes a lot of labor, and this makes roof replacement the more expensive option over the short term. 

Retaining the original roof


  • More affordable- A homeowner can save a significant amount of money in labor costs by opting to retain the old roof. 
  • Added protection- Leaving the original asphalt shingle layer on a roof can in some cases increase the protection against the elements that a roof offers. 


  • Future replacement costs are higher- Even homeowners who opt to retain their old shingles should know that they eventually might want to remove old layers for a future replacement job. Having multiple shingle layers can make future replacement jobs even more expensive than they would be with only one roof layer to remove or work with. 
  • Problems with old shingles could affect the new layer- Over time, older shingles can start curling and rising up. This can damage the new layer of shingles and cause it to prematurely require repairs. 
  • Decrease in resale value- A decreased home resale value is a major disadvantage of building over the existing roof. If you're considering retaining your old roof, you should consult with your contractor like one from Welty Custom Exteriors, Inc about how keeping an old shingle layer may affect your home's resale value.