When it comes to reroofing your home with asphalt shingles, homeowners are often faced with a critical decision: should they opt for a complete replacement or a recover? Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately depends on various factors such as the condition of your existing roof, your budget, and your long-term goals. In this article, we'll explore the key differences between asphalt shingle replacement and recover to help you make an informed decision for your reroofing project.

Asphalt Shingle Replacement 

Asphalt shingle replacement involves completely removing the old roofing materials, including the shingles, underlayment, and flashings, down to the roof deck. This option is typically recommended when:

  1. Your existing roof has multiple layers of shingles

  2. The roof deck or underlayment is damaged or deteriorated

  3. You want to upgrade to a higher-quality roofing system

  4. Your roof has exceeded its lifespan and is showing signs of significant wear and tear

Advantages of Replacement:

  • Allows for a thorough inspection of the roof deck and underlayment for any damage or deterioration

  • Provides the opportunity to upgrade to better-quality shingles and underlayment

  • Ensures a clean, stable base for the new roofing system

  • Can increase the longevity of your new roof

  • May improve your home's energy efficiency and ventilation

Disadvantages of Replacement:

  • More expensive than a recover due to the added labor and disposal costs

  • Requires more time to complete the project

  • May be more disruptive to your daily routine during the reroofing process

Asphalt Shingle Recover 

An asphalt shingle recover involves installing a new layer of shingles directly over the existing roof, without removing the old materials. This option is generally considered when:

  1. Your existing roof has only one layer of shingles

  2. The roof deck and underlayment are in good condition

  3. You want to update the appearance of your roof without the extra cost and time of a full replacement

Advantages of Recover:

  • Less expensive than a full replacement

  • Faster installation process, causing less disruption to your daily life

  • Can improve the appearance and functionality of your roof

  • May provide additional insulation and weather protection

Disadvantages of Recover:

  • Does not allow for a thorough inspection of the roof deck and underlayment

  • May not address underlying issues, such as moisture damage or poor ventilation

  • Can add extra weight to your roof structure

  • May have a shorter lifespan compared to a full replacement

  • Some manufacturers' warranties may not cover a recover installation

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Replacement and Recover

  1. Age and condition of your existing roof

  2. Local building codes and regulations

  3. Climate and weather conditions in your area

  4. Your budget and long-term roofing goals

  5. Potential energy efficiency and ventilation improvements

Before making a decision, it's essential to consult with a professional roofing contractor who can assess your roof's condition and provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Choosing between an asphalt shingle replacement and recover for your reroofing project is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. While a recover may be more cost-effective and less time-consuming in the short term, a full replacement may provide better long-term value, improved performance, and peace of mind. By weighing the pros and cons of each option and consulting with a trusted roofing contractor, you can make an informed choice that best suits your home, budget, and roofing goals.