How a Roof is Installed

Builder installing roof shingles.

The Basics of Roof Installation

Missouri – The Show Me State. Residents of this state won’t hesitate to show you the beauty of their home state. Many of them can also show you their new roof installation! Now, maybe you don’t see a reason to brag about that, unless of course you’ve experienced this recently. Then you can appreciate the cost of a roof installation, right? 

Cost of Roof Installation

A new roof installation in any state isn’t cheap. While it isn’t necessarily something to “show off”, the cost of one can make you check out having a re-roof job done instead. What is it and is re roofing a good idea? 

Re-roofing is when the roofing contractor installs new shingles over the existing shingles. If your existing roof and the structure below it are in good condition, re-roofing is a great option. An existing roof with more than one layer of shingles already or has any damage to the underlayment and roof structure, re-roofing is not a viable option. 

A re-roofing job is good for an existing roof that is close to the end of its life but still in good condition overall. With some minor issues or small leaks, re-roofing is possible instead of a new roof installation. Not every roof installation company will do a re-roof, instead they prefer the completely new roof installation for quality control. 

What is the difference between a re-roof and a new roof?

Re-roofing refers to when the roofing contractor recovers or replaces an existing roof covering. A new roof installation is a complete roof replacement and is when the roofing contractor tears off all of the existing roof covering, makes any repairs needed to the substrate, then does a completely new roof installation. 

When you’re trying to decide to go with a re-roofing for your existing asphalt shingle roof, or have an all new roof installation done, there are several factors that you and the contractor need to review. Depending on where you live, the local building code may not allow a re-roof job or will limit how many previous roofing layers are allowed. 

Still, there isn’t an easy or universal answer to the question if re-roofing is okay or is an all new roof installation the better choice. For some roofs, tearing off the old shingles may not be necessary, but the roofing contractor won’t do a re-roof for warranty purpose. That is warranty on their work and that some shingle manufacturers do not honor their warranty when it isn’t an all new roof installation. 

Most roofing contractors that provide you with an inspection and estimate of roof installation will also evaluate the possibility of a re-roof if they provide that service. Still, there are basic guidelines that a roofing contractor will follow in determining if an all new roof installation is the better option.

Considerations for a re-roof job include: 

  • If there is only one existing layer of shingles in place
  • If those shingles are lying flat
  • If the roof decking is in good condition

A re-roofing will create a secondary back-up of roof protection with the new shingles. A re-roofing is also cheaper because there isn’t any tear-off and disposal charges of the old shingles. 

Considerations of a new roof installation include: 

  • Local building codes may not allow re-roofing
  • Local business codes may limit the number of roofing layers
  • New roof installation may be needed to allow adequate roof ventilation
  • The roof decking has gaps, is rotted, or warped
  • New roof decking is required by building codes
  • The roof structure is sagging along the ridge or trusses
  • There is structural damage to the structure, or the structure can’t sustain weight of 2nd roofing layer
  • The existing shingles are distorted, lifted, and uneven
  • Shingle manufacturer will void warranty if not a new installation

As a homeowner, you want to also consider the architectural curb appeal of your home with a new roof installation. How well the re-roof or the new roof installation is done will impact this and as the homeowner, you want your home to look its best. 

Is it OK to put new shingles over old?

In some cases yes, but it may not be the best choice. While it will save money from the tear-off and disposal fees, it can affect future insurance claims in addition to the items we’ve discussed already. 

If you decide to place your home for sale, the prospective buyers will have a structural inspection performed. If the inspector can’t see the condition of the roof decking and underlayment due to 2 or more layers of shingles, they won’t pass the house. 

Also, if you have the need to file a roof damage claim later, the adjuster may deny the claim because of multiple roofing layers. Insurance adjusters consider not only the damage you’re claiming, but they are also considering any roof installation issues they find.

Will homeowners’ insurance cover a new roof?

Most homeowners’ insurance policies will provide coverage for roof replacement due to acts of nature or sudden accidental events. However, coverage will be denied if the insurance adjuster finds that the roof needed repair prior to the damage happening. If your roof is 10 years old or older, you won’t get full roof replacement, but a prorated amount.

Worker standing on a roof and installing shingles.

In Conclusion 

To save money, you may wonder “Can I install a roof myself?”, and for a handy DIY homeowner with a few friends and basic tools, the answer is yes. You can install your own roof. There are multiple videos on the internet with simply explained roof installation steps. It can’t be stated enough to take care precautions like firmly placed ladder, protective eyewear and glove, and a safety belt. If you aren’t completely certain you’re up for the job, it’s always best to hire a professional. Reach out to United Roofing Services at 816-896-4195 to learn more about roof installation in Grain Valley and Kansas City, MO.