Next to replacing an HVAC system, installing a new roof is one of the most expensive repairs all homeowners eventually face. If your time has come, and a new roof is quickly becoming more of a need than a want, then you should not delay. If you wait too long, and your roof starts leaking, then you will also be out the costs to fix expensive water damage. If your home has one layer of asphalt shingles, and you live in a state where a second layer is acceptable under the building code, then you could save a lot of money by installing a new layer of shingles without stripping off the old ones. In fact, if you have DIY skills and are comfortable working on the roof, then you can save even more money by doing the job yourself using these tips:
Tip: Clean the Existing Roof
Before you start putting down new tar paper and shingles, first you need to clean the existing roof. Since you don't want to get the roof wet and make it slippery, the best way to clean is sweeping it off with a stiff broom. Start at the higher peaks and sweep off any dirt, leaves, or old roofing nails.
Tip: Remove All Vent Covers, Flashing Pieces, and Drip Edge
When you re-roof over existing shingles, you need to remove and replace all of the roof's:
- Vent covers
- Metal flashing pieces
- Drip edges
This step comes with a bit of extra cost, but your roof will look better and be more water-tight when you replace the flashing pieces, vent covers, and drip edges with new materials.
Tip: Install New Tar Paper or Underlayment Sheeting On Top of the Existing Shingles
While some people choose to install the new shingles directly over the old ones, it is always better to first lay down a protective layer of tar paper or synthetic underlayment sheeting. This layer helps protect the roof from water intrusion and also will make the new roofing shingles lay flatter.
Tip: Use High-Quality Roofing Adhesive or Caulking to Seal All Cracks
Once your shingle re-roofing project has been completed, then make sure you walk around the entire roof and use a roofing adhesive or caulking product to seal any cracks you see. Take extra care to seal the newly installed flashing pieces and around the chimney if your home has one.
Finally, if you decide this project is too far above your skill or comfort level, then you are advised to contact a licensed roofer to do your shingle re-roofing for you.