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Residents of Buffalo Want to Know: Can You Install Metal Roofing Over Shingles?

Jul 18, 2018

One of the upsides of metal roofing is that it is extremely easy to install. Coming in large, easy-to-fit panels, installers can replace roofs in a very short time. One factor that makes metal roof installation even easier is that you don’t even need to remove the old roof to install it!

Why Is Metal Different?

Normally, you cannot install an asphalt roof over an existing asphalt roof without voiding your warranty. The underlying layer of asphalt creates a pocket of heat that can degrade your new layer of asphalt shingles, lowering its life expectancy. As heat does not warp or damage metal, however, this is not an issue. In fact, one expert points out that the vast majority of his metal roofing installations are over existing shingles.

Benefits of Skipping a Removal

Not removing your old roof layer means saving time, money, and resources. Those old shingles will only end up in a landfill, and as they are oil-based products, this means they’ll only sit there, not decaying, for a very long time.

Steel – the most common metal roofing material – is a very lightweight metal when used in shingles. This is why you can easily install it over an existing layer of asphalt. Skipping this step means you don’t have to waste money to completely remove an older layer, further saving you in costs.

Finally, not having to remove your old roof can simply save you time. There is no need to uproot your old shingles to add new metal panels, as it’s unnecessary and wastes your time. This is a big reason metal roofs have a reputation among Buffalo residents as being easy to install.


Before you order a new metal roof installation, keep in mind that there are exceptions to the rule. Most state building codes, for example, permit a maximum of two layers of roofing at any one time. The thinking goes that, despite the lightweight nature of metal roofing, adding too much to your roof can overload your house’s support. This can cause structural damage, if not outright failure, for your house’s roof.

Make sure you review your local county and municipal building codes as well – New York state produces a set of minimum requirements, but your local jurisdiction may require a complete roof removal nonetheless. Always check with your city and county governments to avoid violating any codes, and to determine what to do with your old shingles.

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