Monday, May 12, 2014

How Many Layers Of Roofing Is Max?


I received this question this morning 

I have a project with a roof that needs to be replaced.  There are two layers of shingles and the roofer wants to put one more layer on rather than strip the roof.  Is that acceptable?

I know that many don't even know how to count the layers of composistion shingle roofing but to stay focused on the question I'll tell you a story.

I was doing an appraisal years ago when, as I pulled up to the house, I could see a very scolloped roof line. It dipped about six inchues between the four foot spaced trusses. It actually looked like it may have been built that way. 

I did my inspection and when I counted the layers of roofing it appeared to have six layers of roofing. As a 203K consultant I would automatically remove that roof and replace. But on that day I was acting as an appraiser so I called for a roof inspection and certification that it had two years remaining economic life is the FHA HUD rule.

The real estate agent but it let me in was livid. It was the first time in my career that someone actually stood there and yelled at me all the jobs site.

I turned my report in and it seemed like a long time went by, I thought the deal was dead, when I get this phone call asking me to come out and reinspect the property. This time when I arrived I found the roof line was perfectly straight.

As I exited my car the agent who had yelled at me came running out to meet me. I'm already for a confrontation, when I heard him apologizing for his inappropriate actions at our last meeting. That's when I found out that it acts he had seven layers of roofing, and the reason for the scalloped look was merely the weight of the roofing forcing the roof down in that dramatic fashion.

Needless to say me and the Realtor were happy friends again as he indicated the roof are didn't know what was holding that roof up and had we had an earthquake it very easily could have come crashing down on his client and burying him in the rubble.

To my knowledge we used cut the number of layers of roofing off at three layers. No more than three layers of composition shingle roofing at a time. 

Today it's only two. So when you replacing the roof and one layer of roofing exists, it is perfectly acceptable to add one more layer of roofing. This saves the expense of removing the roofing and the expense of putting new tar paper on. I have asked the scene roofers where two layers of roofing existed, remove one layer then install the new layer. They felt this save them having to re-install the felt and possibly repair some sheathing.