Tear off or recover?

Tear Off the Roof or Recover It?

Your Options

Ready to get a new roof on your home?

There are several considerations you should be aware of. 

You have two options when it comes time to replace your roof:

Recover: This means that we won’t remove the old, existing roof but will instead cover it with a new roof, leaving the original intact below it.

Tear Off: In this case, we completely remove the existing roof and replace it with a brand new one. 

Here’s what you need to know about your two options: 

Recover — while often a cheaper option than tear off, this is often a poor investment. First, recover may not be an option at all if your roof already has several existing layers. Other issues may be curved shingles or signs of rot and or mold. If a roofer tells you that a roof in extremely poor condition can be recovered, we recommend seeking a second opinion as they may simply be telling you what you want to hear instead of what the reality actually is. 

Even in cases where your existing roof is in reasonably good condition, a recover option, while less expensive could still have downsides. For example, you should be aware that recovered roofs have a significantly lower value than a fresh, new roof in a tear off option. As roofers with years of experience, our team of experts can advise you on the best options for your specific needs. 

Tear Off – So why would you want to tear off the old roof? First and foremost, you are getting a fresh start — instead of working with an existing roof which may or may not have some form of underlying rot which is difficult to see without having torn the whole thing off, you know that your roof is brand new. This will increase the value of your home substantially compared to simply recovering the roof. In addition, our team of experts can thoroughly inspect the roof’s foundations to ensure that all the most vulnerable sections of your roof, things like chimneys and sidewalls as well as rakes and eaves can be checked and replaced or repaired as necessary. Tear offs also have a much longer lifespan. The key culprit for the shorter lifespan of a recovered roof is heat — it gets trapped between the layers and causes warping more readily than a tear off. 

On the other hand, a recovered roof is less expensive — you can spend as much as $1,000 more to tear off a roof as opposed to simply recovering it. The reason is simple: less labor and less material costs. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the cost of disposing of the existing roof when you recover it. The roofing job will also take significantly less time to accomplish than a tear off. On the downside, when it comes time to replace the roof because the recover starts to leak or fade, it will cost you more to do a tear off because there are now multiple layers to be removed. In addition, leaks are much harder to track with a recovered roof because the layers may not readily show where the leak is coming from. Finally, you need to consider the heat that gets trapped between layers — this will cause damage much more readily than a torn off and replaced roof and may impact your air conditioning bills come the summertime.

We invite you to discuss your options with one of our expert roofers to see which one is right for your needs.