Is your asphalt shingle roof looking a little shabby lately? If it is nearing the end of your roof's life, you may be considering installing a new roof. However, new roofs are expensive, but with asphalt shingles, you may be able to simply lay a fresh layer of shingles on the old ones. This is known as an overlay. If you are curious about getting an overlay for your roof, check out these four facts.

They Are Less Expensive

Installing a new roof requires a lot of work, and more work always equals more money. If you are getting a completely new asphalt roof, the old shingles must be removed, and the decking must be inspected and repaired (if necessary) before the new shingles can be installed.

An overlay, however, requires much less work because the roofers don't have to remove anything. The new shingles are installed on top of the old ones, covering them and re-protecting the roof. The price of a new roof or overlay depends on many factors, such as the size of your home, slope of your roof, etc.; however, with an overlay, you can save about $1000 than with a new roof.

The Process Is Fast

Because the roofers don't need to remove the old roof, the process is also fast, which is important if you live in an area with heavy rain or winds, and bad weather is approaching. Another advantage to an overlay is that while new shingles are being placed, your roof is still protected by the old shingles, so there is no exposed decking.

Another reason the process is so fast is that there is less cleanup to worry about after the project. With a total roof replacement, there is a lot of waste to collect, and while it will mostly be in a dumpster in your driveway, some may end up in your yard, which will also need to be cleaned.

Too Many Overlaps Are Not Permitted

You may be wondering why anyone would get a new roof if they can just get an overlap. The reason is that you can't get unlimited overlaps. Shingles are thin, but eventually, they buildup. If you are curious, check with your local building codes to see how many layers are allowed (a great roofer should also be able to provide this information to you. Basically, if your city allows two overlays, you can have three layers of shingles: the original and two overlays.

Why is there a limit on the number of overlays you can put on your home? The answer is simple: weight. Asphalt shingles are light, and many homes are only built to hold light roofing materials. However, as more and more layers are added, the weight increases. With too much weight, your roof could collapse, causing damage, injury or even death.

Damaged Decking Is More Important

There is a downside to an overlay: it doesn't fix damaged decking. In some cases, your roofer will be able to make an educated guess as to whether there is damage to the decking or not. If there is, a total replacement will be necessary to fix the decking. Unfortunately, some damage may be hidden even from skilled roofers.

Because there may be hidden damage, getting an overlay is always a risk. If there is damage to the decking, and you get an overlay, you'll likely need to continue paying for more repairs until you finally pay to replace the roof.

Getting a new roof can be expensive, but if you don't have the budget right now, there is another option. With an overlay, you get great protection at a lower cost. For more information or to find out if an overlay is possible for your home, contact a roofer today.