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Roofing with Asphalt Shingles


Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing material today. They are relatively cheap, they last for a long time (sometimes with 30 year warranties or more), and roofers don’t mind working with them.

Asphalt shingles have become more attractive over the years. No longer are you limited to the standard black or gray asphalt shingle. Now, you can find asphalt shingles that look like wood, slate, and even like…asphalt.

Two Methods of Asphalt Shingling

There are two ways to roof a house with asphalt shingles. The first way is by completely removing all the existing shingles. The second way is to lay a second layer of asphalt shingles on top of the existing layer.

There are arguments for and against both methods. The main argument against laying additional layers of asphalt shingles is that the roofing materials can get too heavy for the underlying roof framing. And this can be a real problem, especially for older houses. In fact, it is often said that a triple layer of asphalt shingles is equal to a single layer of slate roofing materials. And if you know slate, you know this is pretty heavy.

The main argument against stripping off the existing layer and then laying down a new layer is that you’re adding more work to the process. Not a real problem if roofing professionals are tackling the job—they can strip most roofs in a morning—but if you’re doing the job yourself, it can be rough.

Double Laying Means Repeating Current Problems

One other problem with shingling over existing shingles is that you are essentially repeating some of the surface irregularities that may already be there. If you’re contemplating putting on a new roof, there’s probably a good chance that you may have bubbles, bumps, and waves that you need to get rid of. Putting new shingles over that doesn’t do much for the aesthetic aspect.

One way to minimize this problem is to go over the old roof and correct as many problems as you can. It doesn’t take much more than a hammer, some roofing nails, and a handful of shingles to correct the problem of bumps, gaps, and protruding nails.

Be Careful of the Weather

Stripping shingles from a roof can be a very anxiety-provoking activity. You need to make sure that you’re doing this at a time of year when there is no chance of rain or snow. Even the slightest sprinkle can destroy your attic insulation, walls, and flooring. To name a few. This is another reason why you want the professionals to do your roof. A large band of experienced roofers can strip and put up a new asphalt roof on an average-sized house in two or three days.

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