Knowing Many Layers of Shingles Is Needed 

layers of roofing shingles

Roof shingles have been a primary part of any roofing project in a multitude of different cultures and architectural styles.  The materials used for roof shingles vary on the architectural style of the roof.  What they all have in common is that they are all the first line of defense against snow, rain, and hail.

Roof shingles are relatively simple to install, each joint overlapping the other shingle upwards towards the top of the roof.  As rain and water flow down the roof, it flows from one shingle to the next until it reaches the edge where it is redirected towards the gutters.  There are some cases where a house does not have a gutter and it will fall straight towards the ground.


Despite being designed for an aesthetic purpose, roof shingles also have a more practical purpose.  One of the main features of shingles is that the overlapping design gives the main structure of the roof protection from different elements of nature.  Roof shingles also distribute energy and weight evenly towards the roof so that it won’t get out of balance.  However, homeowners have to be mindful that once water gets under their shingles, it will cause wood to rot while and could compromise the structure of the roof.



You may not notice it at first, but roof shingles have a major lasting impact on a house.  If you picked the wrong color scheme for your house’s architectural style, it could ruin the whole atmosphere.  In most cases, the human eye is first drawn to the architectural aesthetics and colors of the house.  Shingles take up a good majority of the roof, this means that it can easily catch a person’s attention. 

Owners will have to be aware that certain neighborhoods will have restrictions on materials and color schemes of roof shingles. They may have limited choices on this matter. 

If the house is new or if a person wants to start out everything on a blank slate, then they will have more liberty to choose a color scheme and motif that goes with the house.


Roof Shingles & Utilities 

Since roof shingles are made out of a variety of different materials, this means that they all don’t have the same tensile strength, energy distribution, and insulation. Owners have to take into account the material that they will be using for their roofs, they will need to be suited for the climate in that area as well. 

Colors will also make a lasting difference, lighter colors will keep a roof cool and dark colors will absorb heat.  

Improving The Lifespan Of Shingles

The materials used for roofing shingles can dictate the lifespan of your roofing system.  Potentially, the lifespan of your house’s foundation as well.  There will be some expensive but durable materials, but should pay off with the protection they offer.


Layers Of Roof Shingles 

Before we can make any rational decision, let’s weigh-in on what are the pros and cons of overlaying roof shingles.


Benefits To Overlaying A Shingle Roof

  • Cheaper – Owners usually perform overlaying to save money and energy.  On average, replacing a whole roof with tear off costs substantially more.
  • Saves energy –  Since all the shingles are not being replaced it will save time and energy.
  • Faster –    Instead of tearing off everything, overlaying can shorten everything by hours.


Cons To Overlaying A Shingle Roof

  • Harder to detect damages –     Since you’re placing another roof on top of the other, people won’t be able to see all the defects and damages that have been done on the older layer. 
  • More Weight   – Essentially, you’re stacking up another set of shingles to your roof and that can cause added weight.  That can be alarming in roofs that are exposed to harsher climates.  If snow or heavy rain stack up on the roof, this will put some strain on the house’s foundation and framework. 
  • The temperature rises  – Adding a different layer of shingles to your roof can mean that more heat is insulated in the upper areas.  As heat is being trapped, the older layer of shingles might decompose faster.  Moreover, added heat can also warm shingles. 
  • Negative impression on home inspectors – By adding a second roof to your house, essentially the person is covering up the damages on the older layer.  This can give a bad impression to home inspectors since they won’t be able to see the older layer.

All-in-all, there is a balance between the advantages and disadvantages of using overlaying.  At the end of the day, this will be entirely up to the homeowner’s planning and personal preference. 


How Many Layers Of Shingles Should There Be? 

Old houses tend to have two layers of shingles while the roofing of much more modern homes can have up to 4 layers.  However, the best way to know how many layers you should have is to reach out to an Central Roofing contractor who can help assess the property and give the best advice.


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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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