Re-Roofing: Re-Cover or Tear Off?

Your Roofing Experts

The experts at Garn-Tee Roofing Inc. are familiar with the building codes of Utah and we’ll always make sure that our work is in compliance with local ordinances. We are qualified to maintenance your old roof, inspect your existing roof, or perform replacement if necessary. The following section offer additional information about roof re-covers and tear-outs. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to Contact Us anytime!

worker on roof putting shingles down


There is no absolute definitive list that outlines specifically when it is best to lay down shingles over the existing singles or have the old shingles removed. The main reason for this is due to environmental factors. Weather, pests, molds and other varibles unqiue to locations can make it dangerous to simply lay down shingles over an existing roof, even if there is no readily apparent wear and tear.

There are, however, many situations where tearing off the old roof isn’t necessary. A general list of guidelines might highlight a few features for determining whether not to replace a roof in its entirety, including:

  • the existing roof is only composed of one layer of shingles
  • the shingles are laying flat and still have a unifrom arrangement
  • the roof decking is in good condition (no stress points, cracks, mold, etc.)

If these general criterian are met, then the old roof will serve as a secondary layer of protection against the elements. It can also save money in cleanup and disposles costs that can be quite high in some areas. However, before making the final decision, it is important to contact your local officials, or work with professionals that know if laying over existing roofing is within local building code standards.

Roof Shingles


If a roof inspection indicates that any roofing sturcture is warped, rotted or damaged in anyway, it is a good idea to have the old shingles removed so that the problem areas can be fixed. This includes any sagging or uneven looking parts of the roof surface. The entire roof should be replaced if any section of the roofing plane isn’t flat or doesn’t feel solid.

If there is already more than one layer of shingles on your roof, local building codes may specify that the old layers need to be removed. Additionally, even if having more than two layers is legal, it is important to check the building structure to make sure that it can support the weight of more layers. The texture of the shingles is also important, becoming a potential long-term problem if they are too worn.

Worker installs bitumen roof shingles - closeup on hands