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Why a Layover is a Bad Idea for Roof Replacement

Bad contractors only do this
Roof Layover

Hey there, homeowners. I’m a grizzled old contractor with more years in the contracting business than I care to count. I’ve seen it all—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Today, I want to talk to you about a practice that gets my blood boiling: roof layovers. If you’re considering a roof replacement, hear me out.

What is a Roof Layover?

A roof layover involves installing new shingles directly over the old ones instead of tearing the old roof off. It might sound like a quick fix, but let me tell you why it's a bad idea for roof replacement, roof repair, and roof maintenance.

Why Layovers are a Bad Idea

  1. Hidden Damage: When you lay new shingles over old ones, you’re covering up potential problems. Water damage, rot, and mold can hide beneath the surface. Without removing the old shingles, there’s no way to inspect the roof deck for damage. This oversight can lead to expensive repairs down the line.

  2. Increased Weight: Your roof is designed to handle a certain weight. Adding a second layer of shingles puts extra strain on the structure. Over time, this can cause sagging and structural damage, making your roof repair much more costly than a simple replacement would have been.

  3. Shortened Lifespan: Layovers can drastically reduce the lifespan of your new roof. The underlying shingles can cause the new ones to wear out faster, meaning you'll need another roof replacement sooner than expected.

  4. Insurance Denial: If you ever need to file an insurance claim, having a layover could be a big problem. Many insurance companies see layovers as a risk and may deny your claim, leaving you to foot the bill for repairs or replacements.

  5. Warranty Voided: Manufacturers often void warranties if their products are installed over old roofing materials. Without a valid warranty, any issues that arise will be your responsibility, and trust me, that’s not a place you want to be.

Do It Right the First Time

I get it—roof replacements aren’t cheap. But cutting corners with a layover can end up costing you a lot more in the long run. Here’s what you should do instead:

  1. Full Tear-Off: Always opt for a complete tear-off. Removing the old shingles lets us inspect the roof deck and make any necessary repairs. This ensures the new roof is installed on a solid, damage-free foundation.

  2. Proper Roof Maintenance: Regular maintenance and inspections can catch issues early, extending the life of your roof and preventing costly repairs.

  3. Choose Quality Materials: Use high-quality materials and trusted brands. They may cost more upfront, but they’ll save you money in the long run with fewer repairs and replacements.

  4. Hire Trustworthy Contractors: Work with contractors who care about doing the job right. Avoid those who suggest a layover as a viable option. They’re either inexperienced or cutting corners at your expense.

A Word to My Fellow Contractors

If you’re in the business, do the right thing. Layovers might make you a quick buck, but they’re a disservice to your customers. We’re here to help, not make things worse. Educate your clients on the importance of a full roof replacement, proper roof repair, and roof maintenance. It’s about integrity and pride in our work.


When it comes to roof replacement, don’t take shortcuts. A layover might seem like an easy fix, but it’s a recipe for future problems. Always opt for a full tear-off and work with contractors who prioritize quality and honesty. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense—treat it with the care it deserves.

Stay safe up there, A Grizzled Contractor Who Cares


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