Rotten roof deck in Toronto

Rotten deck on a roof in Toronto

Today a client asked to have shingles installed over their old roof.  Meaning that the old shingles stay put, and new shingles are installed over the old ones. The homeowner insists that another company that had provided a quote already said it can be done without hesitation.

Yes, indeed it is commonly done by many roofers in Toronto.

Yes, it’s acceptable under certain circumstances.

And, yes we’re aware of the argument that having two layers of shingles to protect your roof is better than one.

One of the primary reasons for “roof-over’s” popularity is that it simply requires less effort and time, and that translates to it being cheaper.  Installing shingles over the old ones saves the roofer having to do full protection (with tarps/plywood) over your garden and grass, it saves the roofer having to strip the old shingles, clean the roof deck or nails and stuck on shingles, clean up, and finally disposal costs.  Quite a lot of effort goes into preparing a roof for new shingles.  This translates into higher cost.

So we had to explain to the homeowner why we wouldn’t agree to do it on their roof.

We told her the story of a recent job we did for a client in Toronto near Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. We like to use visuals whenever we can to explain something.  Pictures seem to have better impact.  It was a small job and it involved stripping 2 layers of shingles (another roofer had done a “roof-over” a couple of years before us).  Stripping both layers revealed a deck that was in a state of disrepair.  Rotten through in some spots, and a soggy, disintegrating mess in other areas.    Most of the deck needed to be replaced.  The previous roofer had simply nailed the 2nd layer of shingles into a spongy mess.   The new layer of shingles was held in place by the layer of shingles underneath.  No roof deck to nail into, in certain areas.


Rotten deck on a roof in Toronto

Rotten deck on a roof in Toronto









Where to nail?








Today’s homeowner seemed to have a roof deck that was compromised as well in certain areas, and we would only agree to put on a new roof, if we could strip the previous layer to fix what’s underneath.  This fell on deaf ears.

Yes, we lost the job because we wouldn’t budge.  Can’t win them all, right?

If we won’t do it on our own roofs, we won’t do it on yours.  Call 416-427-2437 for a free roof inspection from the best Toronto roofer in the city.