Asphalt Shingles Over Wood Shingles – Should You?

Roof with Wood Shingles Installed

Some homeowners think about laying a new set of shingles on top of the current roofing system.  This is a cost effective way to replace a roofing system, especially if the homeowner recently purchased a new house and are on a tight budget for renovations.

Is this safe?
Is this legal?
Is this better than having just one layer?

Before we give homeowners the bottom line, here are a few things people need to know about both types of shingles.

Asphalt Shingles

Most homeowners probably consider Asphalt Shingles as a primary choice for a new roofing system because it’s a common option.  This is probably due to how affordable and long lasting shingles roofs are.  Aside from being inexpensive and durable, homeowners also have a choice as to what type of shingle to use. Each type is thicker and costs more than the previous one.

3-tab Asphalt Shingles

Dimensional Asphalt Shingles

Premium/Luxury Asphalt Shingles


Wood Shingles

The use of Wood Shingles is one of 2 common options for wood roofing, the other being Wood Shakes.  Wood shingles are cut with a machine on both ends and have a cleaner aesthetic, these were commonly used on roofs for old and historic properties. More people have opted for other more modern alternatives because wood roofing requires more maintenance.  Wood is also not one of the more durable materials to use for a roofing system.

Wood Vs Asphalt:  Materials Comparison

Asphalt shingles are a more common choice for homeowners because of the low cost and easy installation.  While this material has its own set of advantages, wood shingles can be better in some regards.

Wood shingles are actually extremely durable materials, especially when acted on by high winds.  They are able to stay on the roof longer than asphalt shingles, withstanding winds as strong as 245mph.

A major downside to wood shingles is that they are prone to molding and can start chipping away if not treated with the right sealants.  Asphalt shingles are made from a sturdy material that doesn’t require much maintenance.  If there is any damage, they are quite easy to replace.

If you’re still rooted in your choice of having asphalt shingles over wood shingles, let’s talk about your choice of re-roofing. When a house needs a new roof, probably because of damage to several parts of the roof or the homeowner’s choice to renovate, they have 2 general options.

First is to get a completely new roof by tearing off the old one and then putting in the new roof, which is recommended for the latter reason.

The second option is to add a layer where the second layer is installed on top of the old one.

The main advantage of doing a simple layover is that it is both time and cost-effective.  The tearing off process may take a day or two depending on the size and current material on the roof.  A homeowner would also have to add in new protective layers to insulate and waterproof the roof deck.  A layover can seem to be a fairly simple process, a homeowner might have thought that an added layer to your roof means more protection.  Unfortunately, doing a layover of new shingles isn’t as good as it sounds.

Picture of Matt Kowalis

Matt Kowalis

Marketing Manager for Central Roofing LLC

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About Central Roofing

Central Roofing is a top quality roofing company in Sullivan, IL that likewise operates in Mattoon and Champaign, and the rest of Illinois. We offer a wide array of roofing services to property owners like you. We have been the leading go-to roofing company of homeowners, business owners, and property managers for almost a decade now here in Illinois.

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