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Exploring the Difference Between a Re-Roof and a New Roof


For Florida homeowners, keeping their properties in optimal condition is essential. Doing so protects their families and belongings against the elements. It also helps them to make the most of their most significant investments: their homes.


While a long list of considerations comes to mind when thinking of all the responsibilities weighing on homeowners’ shoulders, roof maintenance and repairs are among the most important. Re-roofing and roof replacement fall into this category. Of course, knowing the difference between the two can be helpful.


Understanding the Importance of a Home’s Roof


Roofs are crucial for many reasons. As the largest component of the building envelope, the roof plays a significant role in sealing a home and preventing heat transfer. That, alone, improves energy efficiency, interior comfort, and indoor air quality among other factors.


Roofs can also give a home’s appearance a visual boost. That being said, keeping the roof in top-notch shape is the key to success. This includes having repairs promptly carried out when storm damage occurs and keeping up with preventative maintenance. Re-roofing and roof replacement come into play here.


What Is the Difference Between Re-Roofing and Roof Replacement?


That leads to the primary question on everyone’s mind right now: what is the difference between re-roofing and roof replacement? On the surface, those may seem like identical concepts. In truth, though, the two are very different.


Taking a Closer Look at Roof Replacement


As the term indicates, roof replacement entails removing an existing roof and building a new one in its place. Roofs are made up of numerous components. This includes the shingles, shakes, tiles, or other surface materials, but those are only part of the picture. 


There are also underlying structural elements in place, such as the underlayment. Roof underlayment protects against moisture penetration and increases efficiency. Beneath that layer is the roof deck. That’s what gives a roof structural integrity. It also acts as an additional safeguard against outside forces.


With roof replacement, the roofing materials on the surface as well as the underlayment and roof decking are removed and replaced with new ones. This is a labor-intensive project and is more expensive than re-roofing. Still, it results in a new roof that will last for years to come.


Delving Deeper into Re-Roofing


Re-roofing, on the other hand, is a less involved process. Instead of replacing the entire roof and its underlying components, re-roofing entails laying new shingles over those that are already in place. It’s a restoration as opposed to a replacement. Since it requires less labor and fewer materials, it’s a less costly project than roof replacement.


Keep in mind, re-roofing can be beneficial even though it doesn’t involve replacing the underlying materials of a roof. It can restore a roof’s original efficiency while shielding against moisture penetration. As such, it can protect a home and its contents. Re-roofing is generally used to cover worn or damaged shingles.


When Is Re-Roofing a Suitable Alternative?


Re-roofing isn’t a suitable option in all situations. It’s helpful if shingles are worn or damaged. It’s not beneficial if shingles are missing or the underlayment or roof decking is damaged. Re-roofing isn’t the right solution if water damage has occurred.


It’s also important to point out that re-roofing is only a temporary solution. It won’t last as long as roof replacement. At the same time, re-roofing can only be done if there’s a single layer of shingles in place on an existing roof. Placing more than two layers of shingles on a roof isn’t advised. In fact, it’s not allowed in most areas. Re-roofing isn’t recommended for all types of roofing materials, either.


Is Roof Replacement or Re-Roofing Right for You?


Roof replacement may be more expensive and time-consuming than re-roofing, but it’s the best choice for many homeowners. It’s the right solution when the materials underneath the shingles have been damaged or have outlived their usefulness. It’s the only option if extensive damage is present or the roof already has two layers of shingles in place.


Re-roofing is designed to mitigate minor damage and maintain visual appeal. Remember, in many cases, the new shingles added during the re-roofing process may not match the surrounding ones due to natural fading. Since this isn’t a permanent solution, roof replacement will still be required at some point.


Making the Best Choice for Your Home


Severe weather, heat, humidity, and other hazards can take a toll on roofs here in Florida, making maintenance and repairs vital. Because re-roofing is faster, simpler, and less expensive than the alternative, many homeowners lean toward this solution. It’s certainly beneficial in instances where only minor damage or wear is present. It won’t reverse extensive damage, though. If major damage has occurred or if there are structural issues with a roof, replacement is the more effective option.

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