Re-roofing vs. Roof Replacement: What's the Best Option?

Roofer doing a shingle roof replacement

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Getting regular roof inspections and proper maintenance makes your roof last much longer. However, there comes a time when all roofs get old and need extensive work. At this point, the question becomes, “What’s the best option – re-roofing or a roof replacement?”

In this article, we’re going to help you understand the differences between a roof replacement and “re-roofing” so you can make the best possible decision.

The short and sweet answer is: roof replacements are almost always the best option. While a professional roof inspector can make an official recommendation based on your property, it’s best to get a roof replacement the vast majority of the time.

What Is Re-roofing?

contractors re-roofing a residential home with shingles

Re-roofing involves the adding of an extra layer of new shingles on top of an already existing roof. Additionally, it can also involve just replacing the worn-out parts of the roofing system to reinforce its structure. 

Re-Roofing Pros

  • Budget-friendly: Re-roofing is focused mainly on the worn-out or damaged areas of your roof, which makes it a budget-friendly solution for minor roof problems. 
  • Fast and easy: Re-roofing can be quicker than a roof replacement (but this can also be negligible. At RoofClaim, we can do entire roof replacements in one day in many cases).
  • Less work: Re-roofing is often a quicker and easier task for roofers.
  • Instant facelift: Helps restore the overall exterior appearance of your home and gives it a new look for a lower price. 
  • Extended protection: Re-roofing helps keep minor roof issues at bay for a longer period of time.

Cons

  • Puts extra strain on your home: Adding another layer of shingles puts extra strain on your home’s infrastructure. In fact, if you already have two layers of shingles, re-roofing is no longer an option.
  • You can’t see what's beneath: Underlying damages may be overlooked and can even be covered up by installing a new set of shingles. 
  • Uneven results: New shingles, even those made of the same materials, seldom match the quality and color of the old ones due to prolonged exposure to the elements. Doing a patchwork may result in uneven sections of your roof or visible color inconsistencies.
  • It's temporary: Re-roofing can be an easy option in certain situations. But, doing patchwork on a potentially defective roof won’t solve the problems. Essentially, it’s a temporary fix.

What Is a Roof Replacement?

contractors performing a roof replacement on a residential home with shingles

Roof replacement, as the term implies, involves the removal of the old roof and everything attached to it such as the shingles, felt paper or moisture barrier, and other roofing materials. Then everything is replaced with new materials. 

Roof replacements may also involve the replacement or repair of the roof deck and the repair of other issues discovered during a roof inspection.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a roof replacement:

Pros

  • Complete peace of mind: There's no feeling more comforting than knowing you have a safe and secure roof above your head. After a roof replacement, you’ll have a roof that doesn't leak, has no damages, and won't fail in the years to come.
  • It changes how your home looks from the outside: A newly replaced and well-maintained roof boosts your home's aesthetics. No curled shingles and no stains – your roof will look brand new.
  • Increases the value of your property: Roof replacements are very beneficial for re-sale value (if you’re thinking about selling). Buyers love to know that something as important as a home’s roof is already taken care of.
  • Replacing your roof can maximize the energy efficiency of your home:   Advancements in technology paved the way for energy-efficient appliances that can significantly trim down the annual utility bills of an American household. Going green can make your home more comfortable. 

Cons

  • Can be more expensive: A roof replacement can be more expensive (but not always). At RoofClaim, the vast majority of the roof replacements we do are fully covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy, so cost is barely a factor.
  • It's more work: Roof replacements require more work for roofers. Thankfully, our team is experienced and none of that extra work or hassle falls into your lap. We know how to make the process smooth and painless.
  • It can take longer in some cases. Since we're doing more work, it can sometimes take longer to do a full replacement. For most roof replacements, though, there's not a huge time difference. It doesn't take very long to do a typical roof replacement.

Re-roofing Cost vs. Roof Replacement Cost

The cost of re-roofing is often less than a full roof replacement, but this is only relevant if you’re paying out of pocket. At RoofClaim, we replace a lot of storm damaged roofs, which is covered by insurance in most cases.

If your situation does call for paying out of pocket, then you’re going to spend between $4,707 and $10,460 on average for a roof replacement according to HomeGuide. Re-roofing will often come in a bit less because of the reduction in necessary labor. Again, this is only if your insurance isn’t covering the costs.

If your roof is tile, the costs are significantly higher. See our breakdown on tile roof replacement costs in the U.S. for more details.

Does Insurance Cover Re-roofing or Just Roof Replacement?

At RoofClaim.com, we're experienced at reviewing the items on the statement of loss to ensure that your roof is properly replaced.

We’ve put together some helpful articles for you to help you better understand the process:

How to Decide Between Re-roofing and Fully Replacing Your Roof

Re-roofing can be a prudent choice if your roof is still in good shape, has no soggy or missing shingles, has no storm damage, and no major leaks or extensive water damage. It can only be accomplished once in the entire life expectancy of your roof as part of its regular roof maintenance.

On the other hand, if the cost of re-roofing is almost as costly as replacing the whole roof, it’s sensible to opt for a roof replacement. Many factors should be taken into consideration when deciding between re-roofing and having your roof fully replaced, such as the cost, timing, weather, availability of materials, and equipment.  

This isn’t a decision we recommend you trying to make on your own as a homeowner. We offer free roof inspections and can give you expert advice once we’ve inspected your roof. Schedule a free roof inspection today.

The Bottom Line

Re-roofing can temporarily solve roofing issues where a roof replacement fixes things completely. If your roof claim is covered, then a roof replacement is what you need. If your roof claim isn’t covered, then you have some decisions to make.At Roofclaim.com, are here to help you make a decision that fits your needs and budget. Contact us today for a free inspection. We are happy to help!

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