2 roofs, what to do?

oofelixooMay 17, 2009

We want to re-roof our home. Upon inspecting the roof area, there are two different roofs on our home. There's the first roof, and what looks like 2 layers of shingles, and then the second roof on top of that.

why? I have no idea....we just bought it, and we knew we'd have to be re-roofing anyway, but what I want to know is, will it be easier to strip it down to the first roof, and then re-roof it there? or just tear the whole thing off and start over?

its a relatively small house, and not too big of a project but I'd like to know what you guys think.

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Take all the roofing off, down to the sheathing. Inspect the sheathing, repairing any bad places, and install new felt(roofing paper) and shingles.

Or whatever roofing material you select.

That does several things. Most codes only allow 2 or sometimes 3 layers of shingles. Brings the roof back to code.

Makes the sheathing reliable.

Cuts down on heat retained in the attic.

Allows a layer to be added later if necessary.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 7:22PM
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Consult your local Building Code Office.

Most building codes take the guesswork out of this scenario:

No more than 2 roof covering layers are ever allowed.

Strip the roof of both layers and start over...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 8:09PM
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And before you strip down to the sheathing, have some large tarps ready for use to cover your roof. One rainstorm on the bare roof and you will have all kinds of water damage. Been there.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 1:12PM
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There's the first roof, and what looks like 2 layers of shingles, and then the second roof on top of that.

I actually saw two old guys do this next door to our previous house. There was one or two layers of shingles and these guys added another layer of plywood and reshingled on that.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 2:59PM
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A single layer of asphalt shingles is two actual shingle layers thick.

Each course lays over the tabs on the course below.

If you have two roof on the house it will have 4 layers of shingles, 2 layers for each roof that has been applied.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:28PM
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Your description is not clear. A roof is made up of a roof deck, underlayment, and roofing (shingles). Do you have a roof deck and two layers of roofing shingles or ssomething else?

If you are asking if you should remove the top layer of shingles and install roofing over the bottom layer of shingles, the answer is no because the removal of the top layer of shingles would disturb the lower layer and the cost of full removal is not enough greater to give up the the opportunity to repair the roof deck.

There are many municipalities that allow 3 layers of shingles but that is no reason to do it. The building code is not intended to be a guide to good construction practice; it's a minimum standard to protect the public from bad practices. That leaves a huge gray area.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 9:13AM
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