Ask Roofstar: Is It Possible to Install a New Roof Over an Old One?

Double-Decked Durability: Can You Top Up Your Roof?

Picture this: the Arizona sun, relentless and fierce, beats down on your home’s weary roof. It’s seen better days and you’re pondering over a replacement. But then, an intriguing option surfaces—what if you could simply add a new layer of shingles over the old? Is this the home improvement hack of the century, or a short-term fix to a long-term problem?

Layering Up: The Basics of Roof Overlay

A roof overlay involves installing a new roof on top of the existing one. It’s like giving your home a new hat without taking off the old one. But is it possible? The short answer: Yes, it is possible. The long answer involves a bit more than a simple nod of approval.

To Overlay or Not to Overlay?

Let’s weigh the pros and cons, shall we?


  • Quick Fix: It’s faster than a full replacement.
  • Cost-Effective: Initially, it’s cheaper because you save on labor and disposal costs.
  • Less Disruption: Your daily life gets to carry on with minimal interruption.


  • Hidden Issues: Like slapping paint over a wall crack, you might be covering problems that will haunt you later.
  • Heavier Burden: Your home now carries twice the load, which could affect structural integrity.
  • Shortened Lifespan: An overlay doesn’t last as long as a fresh start.

How Long Does a Roof Overlay Last?

Let’s crunch some numbers. A standard, single-layer shingle roof in the Mesa-Phoenix area might last you a solid 20 to 25 years, if you’re keeping it healthy with regular maintenance. A roof overlay? You’re looking at shaving off a good 25% of that lifespan. We’re talking about 15 years, maybe 20 if the roofing gods are smiling down on you.

The Crux of Longevity: Underneath It All

A crucial component that affects an overlay’s lifespan is the condition of the original roof. Here’s where things get sticky. Consider these factors:

  • Age: If your roof is pushing two decades, it’s wise to think twice.
  • Damage: Existing issues with the old roof will compromise the new one.
  • Ventilation: Proper airflow is non-negotiable for roof health.

The One Bullet List You Need to Read:

Before you say yes to a roof overlay, ponder over these bullet points:

  • 🔍 Inspection First: Always have a trusted professional evaluate the condition of your current roof.
  • 💧 Moisture Matters: Trapped moisture can lead to decay and mold—a no-go for overlays.
  • ⚖️ Weight Watch: Your home’s structure must be able to support the extra weight.
  • 📜 Codes and Regulations: Some areas have strict building codes—doubling up might not be legal.
  • 📅 Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain: An overlay is a Band-Aid, not a cure.

The Roofstar Verdict: Transparency on Top

Here at Roofstar Arizona, we’ve seen our fair share of roofing wonders and woes. We understand the appeal of a roof overlay—less time, less money, less hassle. But as your trusted Mesa-Phoenix roofing contractor, our advice comes down to what’s best for your home and future peace of mind.

If your existing roof is relatively young and free of major issues, an overlay could be a viable option. However, for those roofs that have felt the full force of time and the elements, we’d recommend a full replacement.

A Commitment to Honesty

Your roof’s health is a non-negotiable asset. When it comes to making the call between an overlay or a new roof, we stand by ready to inspect, advise, and act with the full weight of our expertise behind every decision. Call us today at 480-426-1915, and rest assured, we’ll tell you the truth about your roof.

Free Assessment for Homeowners

We can handle all kinds of residential roof repairs. Call us today to schedule an assessment with one of our Field Inspectors. We also assist with insurance claims. Learn more about Our Real Estate Services.

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