Re-Roofing Over Architectural Shingles

By Todd Fratzel on Roofing

Can Architectural Shingles Be Installed over Architectural Shingles?

Architectural IKO Shingles Re Roofing Over Architectural ShinglesSeveral readers have recently asked me if they can have architectural shingles installed over existing architectural shingles during a re-roofing project. With the growing number of architectural shingles being used today it’s no wonder the question keeps coming up. So in this article I’ll go over this issue and some of my thoughts on the subject.

Re-Roofing Options – To Tear or Not To Tear Off

Re-roofing used to be pretty straight forward with 3-tab shingles. The standard practice was that you could install a new layer of singles directly over the old layer during a re-roof. Most people would limit this practice to a total of two layers of shingles. Any more than that and you’d have to tear off the old shingles before installing a new layer.

Today the question of installing architectural shingles over an older layer of architectural shingles is a bit more complicated and one that doesn’t seem to have 100% consensus.

shingle types Re Roofing Over Architectural Shingles

The answer to the question starts with the drastic difference between an architectural (laminated) shingle and an old school 3-tab shingle. Three tab shingles are a constant thickness while architectural shingles have  multiple layers that create an uneven surface. If you look at the picture above you can see the difference.

The quick answer is yes you can re-roof architectural shingles over existing architectural shingles (however you must check with the shingle manufacturer as well). Having said that it will be nearly impossible to get a good looking quality installation. As you can see from the photo the architectural shingles will have bumps created by the old shingles which will keep the new shingles from looking flat and smooth.

Best Solution is Tearing Off the Old Shingles First

The professional answer is no you should not attempt to re-roof architectural shingles over existing architectural shingles. I wouldn’t do it to my home and I certainly would not recommend it to a client. The reality is it would be nearly impossible to get a good look and frankly keep the shingles down flat on the roof and prevent wind damage. I also think that many shingle companies probably prohibit it as well.

For a more professional installation I would highly recommend tearing off the old shingles before installing the new ones. Frankly I’ve yet to see an architectural shingle that needed to be replaced except ones damaged by weather like hail.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the author of Tool Box Buzz and Today's Green Construction. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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2 Comments

  1. Todd, I was JUST thinking about this question. Glad to know the pro answer.

  2. Ron Powers says:

    Please, please, please, get references from satisfied customers and check that they actually had work done and are not “professional” reference “people. Installed improperly architectural shingles are a true nightmare.
    A customer had hired an “experienced crew” to re roof her home, the work was actually done by a crew who had never installed these types of shingles.
    Standard shingles are pretty straight forward for installation but if architectural shingles are installed incorrectly and leak the only recourse is strip and re roof correctly. The roofing company owner tried every excuse in the book, “It’s condensation, they will seal when the summer sun hits them” etc, then he disappeared.
    so beware, they look nice when installed correctly but no give if they leak.

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