Roofers shingling over old felt, is this right?


I had my roof done and to say the least it has been a nightmare.

Anyways they were suppose to tear the old roof and felt completly off.

After they did the first job I noticed sections were the old felt paper was left and no new felt was even laid under the new shingles.

So they send a diffrent crew out they ripped off the shingles and laid felt over the old paper.

Then I found 3 more sections with same thing, old felt paper and no new. They sent out another crew and they did same thing, didn’t remove old felt just laid new felt over top.

Roofing company said it will be fine with old felt.

Should I make them redo it again? I’m guessing by the searches on this site its just lasy workmanship but not sure if The old felt will create problems in years to come.



It wont cause a problem later, but it is poor workmanship to do so. Every roof i ever tore off had the felt torn off and then new installed.


The old felt does not cause a problem in the long run, but new felt should have been installed to the entire roof when shingles were removed. I have left old felt on roofs before, but it was at the homeowners request and still installed new over the top. It sounds like the company was cutting corners, its poor workmanship and reflects on other roofers. Sorry to hear of your problems, personally, i would have them do the entire job over again.


You will be ok.

If the shingles dont keep the water out the felt wont keep it out either…new or old.


If your contract specifies install new felt then that’s exactly what should have happened. I’d ask them to correct the problem and fulfill the contract.

The others are right you probably won’t have a problem, unless you end up with a defective shingle warranty claim. Which, if that happens the warranty rep might find that the parts of the decking have no felt and your warranty claim can be immediatly denied.

That’s why all new felt should be installed, on either a clean decking surface or over the old felt.


Felt is used as a barrier between the shingles and the wood and a temporary dry-in.

I didn’t read in your post that they went over bare decking but just went over the old felt.

A lot of roofing contractors do not refelt if the old felt is in good condition.If the felt is crumbly ,dried out ,and brittle it is replaced.

Then there are other roofing contractors that require the roof to be torn off to the deck and new felt installed on every job.

I haven’t seen or heard of any roofs having the warranty voided for going over the old felt.

Felt is pourous,it will not provide any protection from water damage if the shingles leak.

Usually when a homeowner chooses the cheapest quote,the price is cheaper for a reason.Does your contract read ,“felt as needed”,or install new felt.

Personally,I like to strip a roof to the deck and install new felt,but I have to do it like the man says, that signs my check.


The roofing biz seems to be full of lazy fly-by-nighters who will cut every corner in the book. Even when the owner voices objections, these roofers still might not give a crap or will just wait till your back is turned.
This has most definitely been my experience with Roof Management Inc., based out of Farmington Hills, Michigan. Remember that the contract you sign is critical. Make sure that all the details and contingencies are covered. This might require alot of planning/research on the part of the owner who may not be up to speed on what makes for a good job. In that case, get the assistance of a third party (inspector, consultant etc.) before you sign, and remember not to be suckered by the lowest bid.


Ridge, you’re forgetting a more plausible answer which is defective installation.

I have to tell you that for a co. to send out crews & essentially pay TWICE for a re-roofing is pretty crazy. I also have to wonder what other areas they might have tried to skip or cut corners on, considering that for a large house (50 squares of walkable but not low slope (i.e. 4:12 through 8:12), you’re probably looking @ $ 200.00 in 30 # product.

Compare that figure with everything else required for a full roof job…

Ridge is correct in that it’s all really dependent upon how your contract is written. If they never made mention of removing old felt then they aren’t required to do so. If it does state “add new felt” then they ARE required - I suspect it does state new felt somewhere otherwise the sales person or co. would have come back & said “nope” on the full tear-off they did.

Tell you what, you do something for us & we’ll do something for you: Post some digital photos of your house for us (all 4 sides & far enough back so we can see any particulars like a chimney or dormers, photos out a 2nd story window onto the 1st story roof etc).

If there are spots we think might have needed special attention & they might have cut a corner on, we’ll tell you to go & take a closer look or maybe pay another roofer a few bux to come & perform a quality assurance inspection. I can tell you that if you’re in my town, I’d come out for free.

A few questions for you: What was it about this co. that made you select them? All of us regulars here on this forum are always trying to refine how we do business & information on how or why customers select various roofers is always a help to us.

Oh, & please let us know where you’re located - @ least maybe what state.


Yes well I figured it went without saying that if he had a defective shingle claim, that we’d understand that the reason the manf warranty rep would deny the claim is becuase of defective installation. = )


let me appologize for my colleages here turboboy,
for in order to give you some good advise we need to know where your at.
what kind of climate your in.
it makes a big difference in what underlayment system you use, if let us know were you live.



Gweedo is having a reading comprehension problem today, it would seem.


Has anyone noticed the picture at the top of the page across from they installing shingles over bare decking ,it sure isn’t felt.I am just curious if it is an underlayment or decking.

I remember when OSB first came out and was used on new construction nothing was felted.They roofed over bare OSB decking,not sure why they started felting the roofs in unless it was to stop the house from pouring when it rained until they got the roof on.


we noticed that months ago.


[quote=“marshall exteriors”]

we noticed that months ago.[/quote]

Bush, welcome to July.




we noticed that months ago.

Bush, welcome to July.


I’m sure the shingle manufactuers are upset over that picture because they didn’t make the extra money off the felt but I’m sure it will be ok.
30 years ago myth had it that shingles would last longer without felt because the shingles could breath better.Could the requirement for felt be the need to sell more products.


It is good practice to remove all of the felt when re-roofing.
It is not always necessary…
Any area that Ice & water shield is applied needs to have the old felt removed.
These are the critical areas.

I prefer to leave the old felt if possible, much less work and an extra layer of protection.
We end up removing the old felt most of the time, the old felt is simply dangerous to walk on.
In the rare case that the old felt is in good condition and doesn’t pose a hazard, we leave it on.
We always remove the felt in the Ice & water shield areas. but the rest stays on…

If your roofer didn’t put new felt over the old, well…
That is a different story.
Leaving the old felt is NOT a substitution for applying new felt.

It don’t matter, if you are going over it with new felt.
As long as the old felt is fastened securely and layed out flat with no wrinkles or buckles.
It is a judgment call…

If you put on your proposal that you are going to remove all the old felt you must do it.
I think that some of you guys forgot what it is like on the roof…
Removing felt can take a considerable amount of time…
If it is not needed, why do it?

Most of the time it needs to be removed, I agree with that 100%.
You guys that are not there when the new roof is applied, I can understand why you take the position of “old felt always comes off”.
It is a judgment call…
If it is requested by the customer that I remove all the old felt, I do.
It is seldom requested.


Every roof I’ve done this year (around 75 insurance tear offs) have had the old felt removed, some had up to two layers of 30 lb and all had new Roofer Sellect installed.

Insurance pays on felt R&R so it has to come off.

Last Spring my wife and I visited Thunder Bay, ON and while parking at a Perkins I couldn’t help myself watching the roofers across the street working on a 3 story 100+ sq 6/12. They were about half way up the hip end running three tabs with no underlayments. This was the first and only time I’d ever seen a roof put on with no felt. Guessing they also skipped on the ice and water shield. It was new construction.


sorry ranch,
didnt see your important question.
could you put it in front of the advise next time.

and yes, bush, i love that picture in the top right.
it helps show that there is not one way to roof or there is no rite way to roof.
there are many different ways to roof a structure.
what works for some people doesnt allways work for others.



Heres some pictures of the roofing job. Theres lot of other stuff like torn shingles, nails through the facia ect…

They first did the job first of june and they were here last week for the third time fixing things.

It snowed as soon as they left the last time so I couldn’t see if every thing got fixed.

My contract read remove and haul away existing (1) layer asphault roof system. Does that sound like the roof should of been stripped bare?