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Tear-Off Roof vs. a Layover Roof: Which is Best for Me?

August 27, 2021 | 4 min. read

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The time has come: you need a new roof. Nothing like a costly investment in your home to spice up your life. But the first step starts here: what roofing service am I looking to get? Can I just do a cosmetic upgrade? Or does the whole thing have to go? There are options for you: a layover roof or a tear-off roof, but which one should you choose?

Education is our top priority here at Rescue My Roof. After seeing so many families struggle through the roof replacement process, we want to equip you with the information you need to know to make the best investment in your home. 

The difference between a layover and a tear-off roofing project may sound simple but factors such as price, longevity, and timelines will look a lot different when comparing the two roofing projects. 

Tear-Off vs. Layover: What’s the big difference?

A Tear-Off roof is a complete replacement of all of the shingles and materials. 

In a tear-off project, all of the layers of your roof- insulation, ventilation, and waterproofing- are stripped down to the plywood underneath and replaced. This allows roofing professionals to see if there are any rotting issues, solve leaks and directly fix the issue, as well as install new waterproofing and synthetic underlayment. 

A Layover is exactly how it sounds. We lay a new layer of shingles over the existing ones, minimizing costs and making your roof look brand new. However, a Layover will not work with all roofing types. Only Traditional Shingles can be laid over other shingles of the same type. If you have traditional shingles and no known leak issues, a layover may be the right path for you.


Tear-Off Roof

A Tear-Off roof has a lot more labor involved, including the costs of a dumpster, additional time, and more material costs. Therefore, a Tear-Off roof is typically double the cost of a layover project. However, along with the additional costs are additional benefits: 

  • A better warranty
  • Added value to your home
  • A bonus with home insurance companies
  • Longevity

At Rescue My Roof, we have a 50-year warranty. All materials and labor are covered for 50 years, meaning your forever home will be safe. Warranties will vary from company to company, so talk to your salesperson and verify you are getting the value you want. Whether it’s for a longer or shorter period, it is up to you to determine what standard you want for your home. 

Additionally, if you do need to sell there will be increased value in your home. You have invested in a new roof, and with the added curb appeal and updated home safety, it is an additional cost that many buyers are willing to pay. 

Your insurance company may also be doing a celebratory dance when they find out you want a new roof for your home. Updated roof = fewer issues with water damage, wind damage, and makes the probability of any harmful incidents go down. Because they know your home is safer, you may find savings that can help pay for the cost of the new roof.

Finally- longevity. Chances are, you may never have to foot the bill for a total roof replacement again (unless you move, of course). With warranties, you may also have coverage for repairs. 

Layover Roof

A Layover roof again is lower in price. While roof prices may vary depending on square footage, a Layover is approximately half the price of a Tear-Off roof. There are benefits to this as well:

  • An improved home appearance
  • Minimized costs
  • Shorter project timeline

If you are looking to simply boost the curb appeal and overall appearance of your home without a hefty price tag, then a layover may be for you. As long as you or a professional has noticed signs of leaking or water damage, it may be more cost-effective to go with a layover instead of a complete replacement. With less labor, materials, and time involved, this project is less expensive overall.

Furthermore, if you are in a rush and have a deadline to meet for roof completion then a layover is an ideal choice. It is typically completed in one day without any delays due to weather and rotting wood, so you will have your new roof in no time. 


A Complete Roof Replacement (Tear-off)

If you are in a time crunch, you’re in luck. A Tear-Off roofing project typically takes two days, granted any unforeseen roof issues. However, this is not a guaranteed timeline. 

Depending on the roofing materials you chose and potential weather delays, your roof installment may take up to two weeks. While some of these variables are in your control, it is important to brace yourself for any additional time.

A Layover Roof Installment

A Layover will typically take one day, as it is a painless operation, and less labor and materials are involved. While this will be a much shorter process, it will be vital to prepare yourself if anything goes wrong. 

Your roofing contractor may find signs of leaks, rotting wood, or loose shingles that will need to be fixed. If this is the case, you may find yourself in for a longer project than anticipated.  

Which One Lasts Longer, a Layover Roof or a Tear-Off Roof?

One of the biggest things to consider in any home improvement project is longevity. In the end, you want to make sure you maintain a high quality for your roof over time (and make the money you spent worth it). Depending on the warranty, your home will look nice and stay safe for years to come.

Regardless of the service you chose, you can trust that Rescue My Roof has your back. We hope to provide exceptional education across the board and to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of what to expect when you purchase a new roof. 

If you have any questions we have not answered, let us know how we can best serve you!