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roofing......to strip or not to strip

Hi, I am confused and would like some knowledgable advice. My "builder's basic" 25 year shingles are at that magical time....ie, I need to think about reroofing. The trouble is that it seems there are as many different opinions as there are contractors. What are the advantages vs disadvantages of striping off the old tar shingles vs leaving them on and roofing over. I understand code states that you can have 2 layers of shingles. Secondly, although I can't really afford real tile or slate, but there are a lot of new resin look-a-like products out there now. How would these compare to tar shingles or even metal ones?

Joe in Indiana

Re: roofing......to strip or not to strip

Are you experiencing problems with your existing roof? A "25 year" roof can last longer, you know.

If you have the basic "3 tab" shingles, reroofing (with new paper of course) on top of it will look just fine, and will cost less.

If you have a "dimentional" roof, a new roof won't look as it should look. In this case, rip the old roof out.

As far as the "new and improved" versions out there...I would not be tempted to use any of those.

Re: roofing......to strip or not to strip

first off, this shouldn't be a question. a roof should always be stripped before putting on new shingles. by stripping the roof the new shingles will last longer and their warranty won't be voided. not stripping a roof shortens the life of the new shingles and adds alot of weight to the roof which can cause the roof rafters to sag. also, to keep in mind are any repairs that might have to be done which lie beneath the existing shingles, broken sheating, no ice and water shield, etc.

secondly, the new roofs out there, composite slate tiles, composite teracotta tiles, real slate are all terific. i haven't seen any problems with any of them so far. the only issue you have to deal with is how much you like the look and how much additional the cost of the materials and installation is.

Re: roofing......to strip or not to strip

in regards to asphalt shingles, architectual shingles are better than 3 tab. they actually last longer do to being thicker

Re: roofing......to strip or not to strip

I agree with jkirk; architectural shingles are the way to go, and always strip the old layer down to the wood sheathing---this gives you the opportunity to repair any wood sheathing here & there that is broken, and install a watertight membrane at the lower parts of the roof to prevent ice dam water leakage in winter; a vented row of shingles at the peak is a standard practice these days.

White aluminum trim around all exterior edges is also strongly recommended---this will give a great appearance to the roof that will increase the value of the house, and be an asset if the time comes to sell in the future; make sure the contractor installs a temporary tarp along the sides of the house when stripping the old shingles, so that the falling shingles will not stain the siding on the way down; the contractor has to make sure all old nails that have collected on the ground around the house are picked up for the safety of humans & pets.

Re: roofing......to strip or not to strip

Strip the old roof, then use what ever type of shingles you like the appearance of.


Re: roofing......to strip or not to strip

Strip the old roof --- in addition to what others have said ---if the old shingles are uneven this will telegraph through to the new shingles which will look crappy.

The only pro to leaving the old shingles is the contractor does less work -- sure you wil save some money but it isn't in your best interest.

A. Spruce
Re: roofing......to strip or not to strip

Break out the dollar bills, 'cause honey, there's gonna be a stripper! ;):D

Another vote for stripping, for all the same reasons that everyone has already posted.

Architectural shingles vs 3-tab is better. The primary difference between a 25 year shingle and a 30 year shingle is the price tag and the warranty, you're actually just paying more for the warranty - which will be in jeopardy with an overlay vs a fresh start.

The new fangled shingles you speak of, I would recommend asking the distributor for local installers that are familiar with the product, as well as some structures with the product installed. The older the better, to give you an idea of what they will look like as they weather. The only caution I'll throw in about using new products is that most are a flash in the pan, which means will there be a company or installer around when you need them? With asphalt, metal, or tile, you'll be covered, no pun intended.

Re: roofing......to strip or not to strip

The old roof needs replacement if;

1- The granules are gone from sections of the shingles
2- Leaks at 25 yrs
3- Torn or missing shingles
4- Curling shingles
5- The shingles look "burnt" or "singed"
6- Shingles / pieces falling off by themselves
7- Your roofer needs to make an alimony payment

If the roof is fairly steep, the shingles will last longer than a flatter roof. Do you know what your pitch is?

Re: roofing......to strip or not to strip


8. OR another child support payment.

Re: roofing......to strip or not to strip

If you are in your house for the long haul, strip the roof. If however, you are thinking of moving within several years, it might be prudent to merely go over the old roof. However, most prospective homebuyers do check how old the roof is. Whether you recoup the extra cost is questionable.


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