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Nail-Over vs. Roof Replacement: Which is Right for You?

June 23rd, 2020 | 5 min. read

Nail-Over vs. Roof Replacement: Which is Right for You?

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Did you just get the news that you need a new roof? Are you starting to stress out about paying for it? 

If so, a nail-over could be an option instead of a roof replacement. But how do you know which one is right for you? Luckily, we’ve got you covered. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been replacing roofs in the Nashville area since 1990. Our high-quality workmanship ensures you get a roof that gives you peace of mind. That’s why we offer a lifetime warranty.  

For the sake of this article, we’re going to talk about everything in terms of an asphalt roof. By the end, you’ll know what a nail-over and roof replacement are, how they match up on important factors, and which one is right for you. 

What is a nail-over?

Nailing-over is laying (nailing) a new asphalt roof over the top of your old asphalt roof. In most states, you’re only allowed to have 2 layers of shingles on a roof for fire safety reasons. 

However, you’ll still see roofs that have 3 or 4 layers today. If your roof already has 2 or more layers, it’ll have to be replaced for fire safety reasons. 

To learn more about nailing-over your current roof, read this article on if you can nail-over an existing asphalt shingle roof.

What is a roof replacement?

A roof replacement is tearing off your old roofing materials down to the decking and installing all-new roofing components (underlayment, shingles, etc.). 

To learn more about what gets replaced during a roof replacement, read this article on what materials are included in your roof replacement

Nailing-over vs. Roof Replacement: Cost, Lifespan, Warranties

Now that you know what a nail-over and roof replacement are, you’re ready to learn how they match up on the 3 important factors of getting a new roof. Continue reading to learn how cost, lifespan, and warranties could affect your decision to nail-over or replace. 

Does a nail-over or roof replacement cost more?

Budget is going to be what drives a lot of people’s decision making, especially when it’s something as important as a roof. When you nail-over, most of the replacement process is left out. 

It doesn’t require a tear-off, dump fees, underlayment installation, new flashing, or new decking. This allows for the labor and material costs to come down, making nailing-over cheaper than a full roof replacement. 

To learn more about the cost of your new asphalt roof, read this article on how much an asphalt roof costs.

Does a nail-over last as long as a roof replacement?

The lifespan of your roof is how many years you expect to get out of it. For example, a 3-tab asphalt shingle roof has a 25-year lifespan. 

So, will a nail-over roof last as long as a full roof replacement? As long as your new roof is properly installed and adequately ventilated, both a nail-over and a roof replacement should live as long as the roofing materials hold up.  

To learn more about your asphalt roof’s lifespan, read this article on how long you can expect your asphalt roof to last

Does a nail-over come with the same kind of warranties as a roof replacement?

Roof warranties are in place to protect your roof investment. So, it makes sense that you would want the best one possible. 

When you get a roof replacement, you’ll have the opportunity to register your new roof with the manufacturer to get the 50-year enhanced warranty. With the enhanced warranty, your roofing materials are covered for 50 years as long as they’re installed properly.

To qualify for this warranty, you must use all of the roofing components from one specific manufacturer. Well, nailing-down doesn’t require the installation of some of the roofing components. 

This means there’s no way to get the enhanced warranty when you nail-over your current roof. You’ll still have the material warranty on your shingles from the manufacturer. For example, a dimensional asphalt shingle comes out of the package with a 30-year warranty. 

However, this warranty only covers the shingles and not the rest of the roofing materials like the enhanced warranty does. To learn more about your warranty options, check out this article on what roof warranties cover

Is a nail-over or a roof replacement right for you?

Now you know the differences between a nail-over and a roof replacement. But do you know which one is right for you?

Remember, a nail-over is going to be the cheaper option, but you can’t get the enhanced warranty. It also has to be the right circumstances to get a nail over your old roof. 

To be nail-over, your current roof needs to be near the end of its lifespan and still lying down pretty flat. The roof also must have only a few penetrations, a little amount of flashing, and no walls that have to butt up against your shingles. 

A roof replacement is always a great option, but only if you actually need one. What your contractor finds during a roof inspection will determine if you’re able to nail-over your old roof instead of completely replacing it.

Keep in mind you have to rely on a contractor to give you an honest assessment of what your roof needs. This makes hiring a great local roofing contractor crucial to any roofing project.  

What should you consider before you get a new roof?

Now you know how a nail-over and a roof replacement differ on 3 important factors when getting a new roof. If you’re on a tight budget and have a simple roof, ask your roofing contractor if a nail-over is an option for you. 

But before calling a roofing contractor to get your roof estimate, there are some things to consider before starting the replacement process. 

Because we want you to have all the information you’ll need for such an important decision, we already broke it down for you. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been providing high-quality roof replacement to the residents of Nashville since 1990. We provide a level of customer service and workmanship that’s not common in the roofing industry. That's why we say, "When you work with us, you'll never have to worry about your roof again."

Check out this article on the 5 Things You Need to Consider Before Replacing Your Roof to learn what you need to be thinking about before starting the replacement process.

checklist of questions to ask a roofing contractor

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