Tear-Off or Re-Shingle When Replacing Your Roof

Need to decide whether to tear-off or re-shingle when replacing your roof? The GreenPoint Roofing experts in Longmont, Colorado are here to help. We know it can be a big decision to make, and there are benefits and drawbacks to each. Today, we provide our valuable insight to assist you in deciding what is best for your unique situation.

In order to completely understand the decision as to whether to tear-off or re-shingle when replacing your roof, here are some definitions to clear things up. A roof tear-off is a complete replacement of the roof resulting in a brand new roof. Whereas, a roof re-shingle will add a layer to the existing roof without tearing off much at all.

Re-Shingle Pros

The two main pros of a re-shingle are that it is less expensive and less time is needed to get the job completed. It’s less costly because there are fewer labor costs involved with time focused on adding to the existing roof instead of removing and starting from square one. Avoiding completely tearing off the existing roof simply saves a lot of time. Additionally, it is less expensive because the materials needed to complete the job are fewer.

Re-Shingle Cons

However, there are quite a few cons to choosing a roof re-shingle as opposed to a roof tear-off. Let’s take a look at the downsides.


By merely adding a new layer of shingles to an existing roof, excess heat will inevitably get trapped inside creating two negatives situations. One, your home will heat up faster during our warm Colorado summers and two, the shingles will deteriorate quicker, even curling and possibly lifting up.

Hidden Damage

By only applying a new layer of shingles to the existing roof, any damage such as rotten wood will be hidden from view and hence continue to rot away, leading to more problems. Additionally, leaks will be harder to track within so many layers of roofing.

Eventual Re-Do

A re-shingle job is more of a temporary fix than a new roof installation. Even though new materials are used in a re-shingle, they will not hold up as well when installed over an existing layer. So, the inevitability of needing to replace the roof is high and remember a re-shingle can only be done once. More than one layer of shingles will cause damage to the structure and should never be attempted.


Because shingles are designed to be laid down on a new roof only, they will simply not hold up as well while using for a re-shingle as opposed to new roof build. They will tend to curl and lift up, furthering the risks of leaks and damage.


The mere weight of a re-shingle can pose a problem for the existing structure, especially if it is older or compromised in some way. Because you are adding practically an entirely new roof, in terms of the weight, you and your contractor must ensure that the re-shingling will not negatively affect the home or cause damage. A roof inspection might be a good investment before you move forward.

Lower Re-Sale Value

Obviously, a new roof is more valuable than a re-shingled roof. There may still be problems lying below a re-shingled roof that a re-roof would have taken care of. Hence, if you are planning to put your home up for sale, it is preferable to re-roof than re-shingle. Prospective home buyers will want to know that the roof is in good condition before they buy.


And lastly, aesthetics play a part in the downside of a re-shingle job. Because existing elements of the roof will still be visible including flashing and trim, re-shingling will not appear as finely finished as an entirely new roof will. You may still be able to see lumber and elements of the old roof. These may distract from the overall picture of the house. It’s merely another aspect to consider when deciding. whether to tear-off or re-shingle when replacing your roof.

Tear-Off Pros

There are quite a few positives for choosing a tear-off and new roof as opposed to a mere re-shingle. Here we lay them out for you.

High Quality

Because you will be starting from scratch on the roof, it will have every element of quality right from the start. The roofing materials, including lumber, shingles, and flashing will be brand new and installed correctly. This will prevent leaks and will withstand years of pressure from the elements.

Zero Problems

A re-roof from a qualified and experienced professional will be free of any issues. You are getting a brand new roof. So, it will last many, many years compared to a re-shingle which is more of a temporary fix.


When deciding whether to tear-off or re-shingle when replacing your roof, remember that a new roof will last a much longer than simply overlaying with new shingles. That means that you will not have to worry about your roof or address roofing issues for years to come.

Higher Re-Sale Value

Without a doubt, a new roof will fetch a higher price tag than a mere re-shingle can. A re-roof gets rid of all issues previously present, whereas a re-shingle only somewhat covers problems up temporarily. Prospective buys will like the sound of a new roof being part of the purchase price instead of knowing that they will have to install a new roof themselves after a few years with the re-shingled one.

Tear-Off Cons

The only real cons to choosing a re-roof are the expense and the time involved. It costs more due to the labor involved and the possible need to stay elsewhere during the process. The roofers must remove all of the roofing structure in order to install the new one. Also, it takes more time to put on a new roof, than simply adding shingles to an old one.

The team at GreenPoint Roofing is here to help you determine if a tear-off or re-shingle when replacing your roof is the best option. Our dedication to quality will be an asset to you, and our service-minded approach will ensure quality results ensue no matter the size of the roofing project.