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Can I Place a New Roof on Top of my Existing Shingle Roof?

Lifespan of roof shingles

Did you know that during monsoon season, Phoenix, Arizona, receives nearly one-third of its annual rainfall? On average, the monsoon season lasts between June 15 and September 30.
If you have already noticed some minor cracks or broken shingles, it could be time for a roof repair or replacement.
Roof replacements can cost thousands of dollars and aren’t always necessary. If your roof is under 20 years old, you might be better off with simple repairs.
Luckily, we have put together a complete guide on whether or not you can add a second shingle roof onto your existing one and if tile overlays are an option, so keep reading for more information!

What Are Roofing Shingles?

There are two main types of roofing shingles:


Asphalt shingles are arguably the most popular shingle type and one of the most prevalent roofing materials on the market. Standard asphalt roofs include three-tab shingles. Why do many homeowners opt for asphalt shingles during their roof installation?

-More affordable
-Available in various colors

Many roofing contractor companies guarantee asphalt shingle roofs for 20 to 30 years. You can choose architectural designs that bulk up asphalt shingles with additional layers if you want a unique look.
Fiberglass shingles contain a fiberglass base mat and asphalt. It is more expensive but offers better durability and is water and fire-resistant. Surprisingly, not all shingle materials are fire-resistant.
During hot summers in Phoenix, Arizona, you want a roof that can withstand the unbearable heat and protect your home from potential hazards. Fiberglass shingles are a Class A fire resistance.
Organic shingles, such as wood shingles, are listed as Type B and Type C, making them less resistant to fires. While wood shingles can look great, your best bet is the two options listed above.

Reroofing vs. New Roof Installation

Reroofing can simply entail placing a new roof on top of your old one. On the other hand, a new roof installation is gutting and replacing your old roof. How can you tell which one you need with your shingle roof?
Think of reroofing your roof as a repair job. There are several instances where you might experience roof damage in Phoenix, Arizona, such as:

-Monsoon winds and rain
-Aging materials

You could have broken tiles or shingles, exposed underlayment, and more. Monsoon season is especially brutal in the valley, and you should call on the professionals immediately if you notice broken or exposed roofing materials.
Repairing roofing shingles is typically recommended for smaller areas of damage. For example, if you had a few shingles torn during a storm, it is more cost-friendly to reroof that area.
Yet, most roofing experts recommend replacing your shingle roof if it is 20 years or older.
Signs of aging materials are:

-Shingles lifting up
-Cracked or missing shingles
-Curled edges
-Water staining

If your roof is under two decades old and does not have significant damage, you are in luck!

Fixing Your Shingle Roof

Placing new shingles over your existing ones is possible. Remember that this is only recommended for certain roof damage. If you have significant signs of aging or water damage, your roofing contractor will likely advise a roof replacement.
You can save time and money on minimal roof damage by adding a second layer of shingles. Why? Most roof repairs require pulling off the old shingles and replacing them with new ones.
This increases labor-intensive costs and the price of disposing of the old materials. In most cases, this process is only done one time. If you experience damage in an area where the second layer of asphalt shingles was placed, you will likely need to remove and replace the old shingles.

Can You Place Tile Materials Over Shingles?

Now that you know it is possible to place a second layer of shingles, you may wonder if you can do the same with tile. Tile roofs are excellent options since they hold a few key benefits living in the hot Phoenix climate, such as:

-Damage resistant
-Fire resistant
-Incredible durability

Some slate tile roofs can last over 100 years with proper maintenance. The underlayment can wear down more quickly, though, and you should have it regularly inspected every four to five years. Asphalt felt and synthetic asphalt underlayment is the two most popular options.
They last between 20 to 35 years. If the underlayment is damaged, you may be limited in stacking tile over shingles. New tile roofs need an underlayment anyway, whether on top of the old shingles or not.
If you need a new underlayment, you are better off replacing your roof with tiles. If the underlayment is undamaged, you can avoid the cost of tearing out your old shingles by having your roofing contractor place a new tile roof over top.

How To Maintain Your Roof

Regular roofing maintenance is the key to avoiding hefty repair and replacement costs. Asphalt shingles should be inspected every six months.
If you are suspicious of damage after a particularly heavy storm system, experts advise that you have your roof checked after the storm subsides. Some ways you can help prolong your roof’s lifespan are:

-Check into warranties
-Keep gutters clear of debris
-Hire professional maintenance and roof repair teams
-Ask about insurance options for your roof

Bi-annual inspections are quick, cost-friendly, and save you the headache of leaks and repairs down the road.

Your Next Home Improvement Project

Your shingle roof may be cheaper to fix than you initially thought. A roof installation or repair should always be handled by a professional roofing company with the experience and safety equipment to get the job done right the first time.
Whether you want a second layer of shingles or have an interest in transitioning to tile roofing, we have you covered at Ky-Ko Roofing Systems. Give us a call today and see how we can help you fix your shingle roof before summer comes into full swing!