Roof question -- totally confused!

sarschlos_remodelerSeptember 12, 2008

for those who don't want to read my whole explanation, my question is: is it okay to have a new roof installed over an old one? Are we going to have to remove both layers of roofing and replace the roof entirely?


In the process of "exploratory surgery" in the drywall above our hideous fireplace, we discovered that the flashing around the chimney was not installed properly, causing a windy draft and water intake during rainy periods. Luckily, there is no evidence of mold inside the wall, but there is evidence of damp beams.

When we bought the house last year, the PO reported that the roof had been replaced in approx. 1984. It was originally a shake roof, but is now some sort of tin shingle roof.

We got an estimate from a contractor that specializes in remodeling fireplaces, who works with a roofer for chimney/flashing repair and a separate estimate from an independent roofer regarding the flashing problem (independent roofer found more roof problems and had a higher estimate for the repair).

Both roofers said the flashing was installed improperly and could not be simply caulked or sealed off with silicone, and that a certain number of shingles would need to be removed in order to fix the flashing. The independent roofer said that it looked like the new roof had been installed over an old roof, that people who did not know what they were doing had since walked on the new roof improperly and dented shingles, put nail holes where they don't belong (which would have to be repaired to prevent further leaking), and the roof around the shingles would need to be repapered, reflashed, caulked, and dented shingles replaced.

We have not seen signs of leaking/water damage anywhere in the house -- but then, we would not have discovered the chimney flashing problem inside the walls if I hadn't started to demo the drywall above the fireplace.

Here's a picture of the front of the house (roof looks to be in good shape, but I'm learning that with this house looks are often deceiving):

This is the hideous fireplace after 8' mirrors were removed and the hole was added to the drywall:

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Call an actual roofer or 2 or 4. Taking off a few shingles to fix flashing is easy on most roofs.

Your roof however, 1984 "tin" on top of older shake might be a bit more work. Call roofers.

IF the 24 year old tin roof needs to be replaced then no, you cant add another layer on top, it would be more weight than the roof was built to hold.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 9:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I never roof over existing I dont care if the manufacturer says so or not. It is one band-aid after another. Just tear it off and fix the problem because in 5 yrs your going to have to do it anyway. Write it down and remember what I said.
In 5 years the damage will be greater and you will be replacing all that rotten wood underneath everything too!
Wait untill you see that estimate!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 10:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What tumbiola and gammyt said!

I'm not a roofer, but I spent a lot of weekends replacing sheetrock under a roof that was "re-roofed" by a crew that would have made the three stooges look like experts.

Why have the extra weight of an old roof , anyway?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 5:05PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
home ventilation system (EZ Breathe)
Hello! Has anyone out there had the EZ Breathe Ventilation...
Sidewalk crack
Any way to fill/hide this crack? I could cut slot wider....
Gable Vent Color Suggestions- Insight please
Hopefully someone can give me insight! We recently...
adjusting stop on lazy susan
Hi all, I have recently moved into an older home with...
Help With Siding Repair
I have a problem which is ... this: That is a slat...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™