Roof Replacement vs. Re-Roofing: Which one to choose for roof maintenance?

Working in property management in today’s fast-growing market comes with too many responsibilities, and property maintenance is one that is both time-consuming and essential to be done properly if you want to avoid additional complaints and delays. All property managers know how important it is to keep every part of the house in excellent shape, but very often roofs get left out because more importance goes to the parts of the house that are more visible and easy to spot. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the importance of roof maintenance and take action before it’s too late, and more expenses come up as a result. 

Before diving into roof maintenance itself, let’s first get this straight: the roof is not simply another part of the house, it is one of the most important components, standing between the interior and the outside world and serving us the main protection for the house. A structurally sound roof is extremely important for the house and its safety, while a badly maintained roof can easily ruin the other parts of the house. 

What is roof maintenance and why it is important?

This is why roof maintenance must be more prioritized by all property managers. As part of property maintenance, roof maintenance is the regular checking of the roof in all detail and making sure that it is in good condition at all times. Roof maintenance must be done on a regular basis, however, the frequency depends on the specific type of the property. However, having a roof maintenance check at least once a year is essential for properties of all types in order to avoid damage, additional expenses, and effort. 

Why is roof maintenance important, you may ask. The answer is simple—the reasons are more than one. 

1. First and the most obvious one is the one mentioned above—the roof is the most important protection of the interior of the building, and having regular maintenance will ensure the roof is in a sound and healthy condition, and the house will be protected from rains, snow and all types of leaks. 

2. Second, a good roof will help save energy. Continuing about the protection function of roofs, it is important to also note that it also saves energy and reduces the bills by keeping the house warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

3. Finally, the most asked question is, does a new roof increase property value? The answer is, yes! A sound and properly maintained roof will add to the curb appeal of the overall house, resulting in an increase in the property value. If you want to raise the value of the properties, make sure your roof is in excellent condition.

Now that everything is clear about roof maintenance and its importance in property management, the most asked question about roofing comes up: Should you go with re-roofing or roof replacement? The immediate answer is, it depends. You should make a decision once you know everything about both practices and have a better understanding of what to expect from each one. Let’s go over everything you need to know about re-roofing and roof replacement before going with one of them. 

What is Re-Roofing?

Re-roofing is a way of updating the roof’s condition and freshening it up without having to fully replace it with a new one. Re-roofing involves placing an extra layer of shingle over the old roof shingles to update the external appearance of the roof and increase protection. If your roof is in a bad condition you might consider re-roofing as an option to restore it fast and make it fresh-looking. However, it is important to consider the roof’s current composition as it might be completely impossible to do re-roofing in some cases. 

This is why it is important to determine how many layers of shingles the roof already has. If there is only one layer, then re-roofing is possible to be employed, and you can go with this option. However, if the roof has two layers, then adding the third one will be impossible. Well, practically, it is not impossible, however, it is prohibited by the 2018 International Building Code to add an extra layer if the roof already has two layers or more. 

Pros of Re-roofing: 

1. Re-roofing is quick. Since it requires adding an extra layer on the already existing roof, it requires less time to complete the job and refresh the roof. 

2. Re-roofing is easier. Not only does it take less time but also considerably less effort to complete the job. 

3. Re-roofing is more affordable. Restoring an already existing roof will cost you much less than completely changing the roof with a new one. 

4. Re-roofing protects the building during the installation process since the protective layers are not touched. 

Cons of Re-roofing:

1. Re-roofing is less durable than roof replacement. 

2. Re-roofing is not the best option for metal roofing, as it will be impossible to detect any damage underneath the roof. 

3. Re-roofing can be prohibited if there are already two layers of cover on the roof. 

What is Roof Replacement

Roof replacement refers to the full change of the roof instead of restoring the old one with an additional layer. For a whole roof replacement, the existing roof should be replaced with a new one. Meanwhile, during this process, the roofers can inspect the decking after tearing out the shingles and underlayment and fix any damage before putting on the new roof.

Unlike re-roofing, which is possible only if the roof has one layer of shingles, roof replacement can be installed without any restrictions, as long as there are at least a few minor problems with the roof. 

Pros of Roof Replacement:

1. Roof replacement ensures a sound and strong roof. While restoring can help maintain the existing roof for a little longer, roof replacement will provide you with a brand new and structurally sound roof. 

2. Roof replacement lasts longer. A new roof will last 20 years and more, depending on the materials. 

3. Roof replacement has no restrictions unlike recovering the existing roof. 

Cons of Roof Replacement:

1. Roof replacement is more expensive. However, on the longer run, this can save you more money than re-roofing since roof replacement lasts much longer. 

2. Roof replacement requires more work. Since a new roof is installed and in many cases many damages are repaired in the process, roof replacement will cost you more labor than re-roofing. 

3. Roof replacement requires more time to execute. Together with more labor and materials comes the need of a longer time to finish everything. 

So, now that the distinction between re-roofing and roof replacement is made, the most important question comes—which one is the right option for you? Here is what we suggest.

Choose Re-roofing if: 

  • There are considerably smaller issues with the roof but it’s overall in a good condition. In this case, you must be cautious and make sure the issues are not big enough to cause potential internal damages, as re-roofing does not allow you to detect the possible damages. 
  • The existing roof has only one layer of shingles, and you prefer the quicker and more affordable option. There might be emergency cases when neither time nor financial means are sufficient to implement a whole roof replacement, and re-roofing in such cases is an optimal solution. 

Choose Roof Replacement if:

  • The existing roof has more than one shingles installed. As mentioned, in such cases, it is restricted to implement re-roofing and you can only go for a complete roof replacement as your main option. If the roof has at least two shingles, you can still do re-roofing by tearing out the shingles, which will be more expensive and time-consuming, which is why roof replacement is a much better option. 
  • There are signs of damage, such as leaks or mold, on the deck. This is a sign that your deck is damaged, and re-roofing cannot address this issue. You need roof replacement to repair all damages. 
  • You want to be calm and worry-free about the roof for a long time. Roof replacement addresses the issues from the core and provides a fresh new roof that is free of any damages and can serve for years. 

Now that you have it all mapped out, you should consider starting your roof maintenance as soon as possible if it’s showing any signs of damage or smaller issues. However, whether you choose re-roofing or roof replacement, it is important to hire credible and qualified crews if you want to ensure the roof is in excellent condition. The most professional contractors will make sure they inspect and address all damages properly. 

The licensed crews will also make sure all work is done in accordance with building codes and standards and will acquire any permits if needed. This will also help avoid additional issues caused by lack of professionalism. And the durability of your roof will mainly depend on the credibility and experience of the roofers you work with. This is why the first step you need to take to get started is finding professional property maintenance services in your area, and you can be confident your roof maintenance is done properly.