September 27, 2022
As I pulled up to a recent roof inspection I immediately spotted a problem. From the ground I noticed that the roof had a wavy appearance. Closer inspection from the eave affirmed that this roof had a roof laid on top of a roof or what is commonly called a layover. Unsurprisingly, the homeowner told me he had active leaks in his upstairs bedrooms. After walking his roof, taking pictures of the many issues, I stepped down my ladder and explained to him why he had his leaks and that the only reasonable method of repair was a full roof replacement.
Never, ever, do a roof layover. You will end up like this homeowner.
Here are just three reasons why doing a roof layover is asking for trouble and will only cost you more in the long run.
- You inherit the problems of the old roof. By reusing valley metals, step, counter and chimney flashing, and covering old shingles and leaks, you are simply putting a hat on them. You are not addressing the root of the problem.
- If layering over an architectural shingle (not a smooth 3 tab shingle), the shingles are not smooth and have no way to lay flat and properly seal. This allows wind and water to penetrate. Additional leaks result on top of the ones you were trying to cover up.
- Roof layovers add double the weight and height to the roof. It seals in the heat from the roof below because it can’t ventilate properly. The resulting heat from the extra roof layer literally cooks the shingles and cuts their lifetime value in half.
Aside from making a roof look wonky and actually diminishing the curb appeal you set out to achieve, most are disappointed to learn that roof layovers create a loss in equity in your home!
You cannot offer a warranty for a roof layover. Manufacturer’s material warranties to not extend to shingles on top of shingles, and without this warranty, a seller can’t offer a transferable warranty to a buyer. Any buyer will find out about the extra layer of roof during a basic home inspection and either ask for a new roof as part of the purchase, or walk away from the sale. You not only lose the sale, but now you add to your days on market while still needing to install a new roof. Adding insult to this will be that you now will pay double the fee for the tear off and removal charges for the extra layer of roofing.
I felt like an archaeologist last week when I met the mother lode of all roof layovers. On top of a Slate roof, were an additional 6 layers of shingles! This is an all time record for me. Until then I had never seen more than four layers on any one roof. To make matters worse, this homeowner actually called me because she wanted an estimate to repair and replace the water damaged ceilings and walls to all of her upstairs bedrooms and bathroom. Imagine her disappointment, when I explained why she needed all of this interior work done. It turns out that her grandfather, original owner of her turn of the century city home, did the first of many layovers. As they say, the hurts get passed down through the generations.
Marathon highly discourages roof layovers.