Is It OK to Put a Metal Roof Over Shingles?

Is It OK to Put a Metal Roof Over Shingles

Want to upgrade your shingled roof to a metal one? Are you hesitant about making the switch because metal roofing is considerably more expensive than shingles? If so, you should know that a portion of that extra expense is tied to metal roofing’s installation process.

Completely tearing off a shingled roof to install a brand-new metal roof can be quite pricey. Luckily, you have an alternative installation option known as an overlay, which can save you a decent amount of money. When you get a metal roof overlay, your roofing contractors install a metal roof on top of your existing shingle roof rather than tearing everything off and starting over.

Should you take this route? Read on to learn whether it’s a good idea to put a metal roof over shingles.

Should You Install a Metal Roof Over Shingles?

It is perfectly fine to put metal roofing over shingles. However, whether or not you should opt for an overlay depends on the structural condition of your existing roof. If your current roof is old but structurally sound, you can get an overlay. But if there’s any degree of structural damage, putting a metal roof over your shingles isn’t a good idea.

Although a metal roof overlay is relatively light and won’t place considerable stress on the existing roof, it will prevent you from detecting problems with the underlying asphalt shingles. And if you can’t see budding problems, they will inevitably grow worse over time.

Factors to Consider When Deciding If You Should Get a Metal Roof Overlay

Before you decide you’d like to put a metal roof over your existing shingle roof, you’ll need to consider several things. Although it might seem like your roofing contractors can just slap some metal panels on your roof, and it’ll be good to go, that’s not how the process works.

Rather, determining whether your roof is eligible for an overlay depends on several things, including:

  • Roof warranty requirements. This isn’t always the case, but if you choose not to get a complete tear-off of your existing roof, that may void the warranty on your new metal roof. Are you okay with that? If you have any questions about warranties on overlays, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced roofing company about your options.
  • The weight of your existing roof. If your roof has just one layer of asphalt shingles, and everything is in good condition, an overlay should work fine. If, on the other hand, you have more than one layer of roofing, adding another layer is almost never permitted. That’s because three total layers of roofing add too much weight to the top of your home and can cause major structural issues in the long term.
  • Resale value of your home. While opting for an overlay will save you money in the short term, it may not add much (if anything) to the value of your home. Overlays tend to have shorter lifespans than complete roof replacements, so if you know you’ll be selling in the near future, opting for a brand-new roof may be in your best interest.
  • Long-term roof performance. Although it’s perfectly fine to install a metal roof over shingles, doing so may contribute to long-term problems. That’s because an overlay may serve to camouflage shingle problems, such as mold or organic growths, which will only grow worse when undetected and untreated.

Advantages of Putting a Metal Roof Over Shingles

Aside from cost savings, why else would you want to opt for a metal overlay in lieu of a tear-off and reinstallation? There are several reasons homeowners choose this option, including:

  • Aesthetics. Metal roofing is quite versatile and can be manufactured in many colors. It can even mimic the appearance of other roofing materials. If you want to upgrade the look of your roof without the investment required for a brand-new roof, an overlay is a good option.
  • Shorter installation timeframe. Installing a new metal roof from scratch is a highly involved process that can take several days. Installing an overlay, on the other hand, requires far less time since the existing roofing doesn’t need to be torn off.
  • Metal roofing lasts longer than shingles. If you’re considering an overlay, you may already know that you can opt to overlay your existing shingles with more shingles. But opting for metal roofing in lieu of shingles is a better choice since metal roofing has a significantly longer lifespan than shingles. Although a metal overlay won’t last quite as long as a brand-new roof, it’ll still last longer than a shingled overlay.
  • Metal is low maintenance. Since metal roofing is virtually impervious to rot, mold, mildew, and other environmental issues, it’s much easier to maintain than asphalt shingles. Provided your existing roof is in good structural condition, installing a metal overlay can help cut down on the amount of annual roof maintenance you need to do.

Contact Alpine Sheet Metal Systems for Custom Metal Roofing Fabrication

If you’re in the market for a custom metal roof overlay, get in touch with our team at Alpine Sheet Metal Systems to discuss your project! For more than 20 years, we’ve been providing custom metal fabrication and installation services throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana, and we’d love to make you our next satisfied client. To learn more, give us a call today at 972-556-3825 or request a quote online, and we’ll get in touch!

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About Jeff Folsom

Jeff Folsom is the founder and president of Alpine Sheet Metal Systems, a key player in North Texas’s commercial construction sector, specializing in roofing and architectural design. He also leads Alpine Roofing Construction and Alpine Thermal Imaging Systems, expanding his influence across the U.S. Residing in Dallas, Jeff enjoys travel, auto racing, and boating in his free time.

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