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Union County Roofers: Article About New Roof Installation

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If a homeowner has decided the time has come to replace his or her roof, there are a lot of decisions to make. One major decision is whether to install the new roof over the old one or to tear off the old roof before the installation. This type of lay over technique is relatively common with asphalt shingle roofs. The main reason to do this is to save money on roofing labor costs, since skipping the tear off step will save on time. Homeowners may wonder if this is the truly most cost effective option, however.

Many Union County roofers think that this process is ultimately not the most cost effective technique for a few different reasons. By not removing the outer layer, some trouble spots in the roofing system might be overlooked. There can be areas of the roof deck that are rotting but aren't visible until the outer layer of shingles is removed. This rotting wood will get worse over the years and shorten the lifespan of the new roof. The nails that secure the shingles into rotted wood won't have as good of a grip as they need which can lead to loose shingles that may blow off in high winds.

During a reroofing, the eaves and valleys of the roof need special attention.

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Colder climates can be especially tough on the eaves of the roof, since the eaves bear the brunt of snow buildup and ice dams. When a new roof is put on, the eaves and roof valleys should receive new ice and water barriers as well as drip edges at the eaves. If the new roof is being laid over the old roof without any tear off, roofers will need to reuse the old water barriers and drip edges. Unfortunately, it's not unusual for those parts of the roof to be near the end of their useful life by the time the rest of the roof needs to be replaced.

Another problem with laying the new roof over the existing one is that it adds extra weight without taking any off. This additional weight is especially problematic in the case of older homes. Many older homes have framing that builders today would describe as undersized. The extra weight of new roofing materials can put excessive strain on the rafters that will lead to premature roof failure.

Many roofing contractors estimate that a roof that's laid over an existing one will have a 25 percent shorter life span than a roof installed over a tear off. Depending on how long a homeowner intends to stay in the home, the lay over roof may not be the most cost effective option, due to its decreased life cycle. Whenever possible, roof owners should consider having the old roof torn off to find any hidden problems and avoid excessive strain on old rafters.

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