Can You Install a Metal Roof Over Asphalt Shingles?

The simple answer is yes, you can install a metal roof over asphalt shingles. Unfortunately, the installation isn’t as simple as answering the question. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about installing a metal roof over asphalt shingles.

Most homes in America feature asphalt shingle roofing, but the demand for metal roofing has risen in recent years. This raises the question of whether you should remove your existing asphalt shingles in order to gain the benefit of a new metal roof.

Installing new metal roofing over your existing shingles is referred to as an overlay. When old roofing is removed from your house and replaced with new roofing, this is considered a total residential roof replacement. Each method has its pros and cons and is used for different reasons.

In this article:

Residential Metal Roof Replacement

Why do you want to install a metal roof over your existing shingles? Does your roof need repair, or is it time to replace your metal roof? What kind of shape is your existing asphalt roof in?

An Erie Home Installer - Installing a Metal Roof.

If your roof has seen previous damage or repairs or is in poor condition, overlaying your asphalt shingles with a metal roof may not be the best decision. Removing the old asphalt roofing allows installation professionals to address all the underlying issues before laying down the new metal roofing.

If your roof is in good shape but you want an upgrade, installing a new metal roof over your existing asphalt shingles is a possible option. However, it’s best to have a thorough roof inspection and then speak with a reputable roofing contractor like Erie Home to determine the right roofing solution for your home.

When to Install an Overlay

To the untrained eye, it may seem like an overlay is a quick, easy, and obvious answer for most roof replacements, especially when compared to a total replacement that requires the tear-off and removal of existing roofing.

After all, it sounds simple, doesn’t include disposing of the old roof, and it’s cheaper. However, unless you’re familiar with the details of residential roofing, you may miss a crucial issue that an overlay doesn’t address.

That being said, an overlay can be a good option for some homeowners under the following circumstances:

  • Your existing asphalt shingle roof is in good condition and unblemished.
  • There are only one or two layers of old roofing.
  • The structure of your existing roof is solid enough to anchor the new metal shingle roofing.

Pros and Cons of a Metal Roof Overlay

A metal roof overlay is a viable option in some circumstances, but a new residential roof replacement is typically preferred.

Some pros and cons of a metal roof overlay include:


  • More affordable than a complete replacement
  • Quick installation and less cleanup
  • Can provide double coverage and protection


  • An overlay can only be done once
  • Increases the cost of a future roof replacement due to the removal of extra layers
  • May cause more damage by missing underlying issues
  • Local ordinances may not allow overlays
  • Potential added weight to the roof
  • Doesn’t last as long as a complete replacement
  • May not look as nice as a newly replaced roof

Final Thoughts

While it’s possible to install a metal roof over asphalt shingles, it might not always be the best solution for your home. The roofing experts at Erie Home will help you compare the options and determine the best roofing solution for your home. Call us today at 1-800-862-6400 for expert advice, or contact us online for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to remove asphalt shingles before installing a metal roof?

No, you don’t technically have to remove asphalt shingles before installing a new metal roof. However, if your roof is rough, uneven, or has too much existing damage, a total residential roof replacement is the better option.

What are the benefits of a metal roof over shingles?

The benefits of a metal roof include:

  • Recyclable material
  • Energy efficient
  • Easy to maintain
  • Durable and strong
  • Can withstand severe weather conditions
  • Last for around 50 years

Is it cheaper to put a metal roof over shingles?

It costs less to install an overlay than it does to do a complete residential roof replacement. But while the upfront cost may be less, the overall cost of an overlay could be higher due to maintenance, repairs, and eventually, a total roof replacement that includes the removal of your existing roof (and thus the extra layers from the overlay).

How do you vent a metal roof over shingles?

Roofs require venting for excess heat and moisture so it doesn’t get trapped, damaging your home and roof. Metal roofing installed over asphalt shingles doesn’t overheat, warp, or trap moisture.

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