Top 10 Roofing Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Your roof is arguably one of the most important aspects of your home. Aside from being one of the most visible parts of a home’s exterior, the roof functions as your essential barrier from all of the elements. Whenever everything is in good shape, this means that your home stays cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter and dry when it rains. A damaged roof can lead to annoying issues, further damage and unwanted exposure to the weather. Because of this, it is important to always have a qualified roofing company take care of any necessary repairs as quickly as possible. That being said, it is paramount to choose a highly skilled and experienced roofer with a strong reputation to make sure that you avoid these 10 common roofing mistakes:

  1. Covering Old Shingles Rather Than Replacing Them – This is perhaps one of the largest corners that lower quality roofing companies will cut. The proper way to replace a portion or all of a roof is to remove all of the old shingles and replace them with new ones. This is especially true when the shingles were damaged. Placing new shingles on top of old shingles creates a variety of places for moisture and dirt to collect. This can lead to deterioration and damage much more quickly than if the process was done right. Always make sure that your roofing contractor has removed all old roofing materials before installing your new roof.
  2. Reusing Old Flashing – The metal flashing on your roof helps to stop moisture from seeping into your home at vulnerable places such as chimneys, skylights and roof valleys. When replacing a roof, some roofers choose to cut corners by reusing old flashing. While the old flashing may appear to be in good condition, this could lead to potential issues down the line. Talk to your roofer about their plan for replacing the flashing on your roof to make sure that your old flashing is replaced with new flashing that is less likely to wear down.
  3. Improper Moisture Protection – Although your shingles do a great job of deflecting and diverting water off of your roof, it is very important to have proper moisture protection installed underneath. This moisture barrier not only protects your decking from rain, but perhaps more importantly from collecting moisture sources such as snow and ice. For your roof to be properly protected against moisture, a high quality moisture barrier is a must.
  4. Incorrect Fastener Length – Whenever nails that are too short are used to fasten your shingles, you run the risk of your shingles loosening. Not only can this lead to them shifting, it can result in your roof requiring premature replacement and repairs. Ensure that nails that go well into the decking are used so that you are safe from shifting and displaced shingles down the road.
  5. Incorrect Nail Placement – In addition to fastener length, nail placement is also very important to the overall integrity of your roof. When nails are placed improperly, it can cause some very serious structural issues. Instead of leaving the nail heads exposed to damaging sun, wind and moisture, all nails should be placed underneath the top layer of shingles. This can help keep them from corroding, which can eventually lead to holes in your shingles.
  6. Improper Flashing installation – In addition to replacing your flashing, you should make sure that your roofer installs the new flashing properly. If it is misaligned, improperly overlapped or insufficiently fastened, then your roof is not sufficiently prepared to protect you from ice, rain and snow.
  7. Improper Overhang – Although it does give your home a certain aesthetic appeal, there is a very good reason that your shingles overhang the eaves of your house. If your roofing materials do not hang past the eaves, then you risk wind damage, which can also blow wind underneath the edges of your shingles. Make sure that your roofer gives your roof the proper amount of overhang. To further protect from wind damage, ask to ensure that they are using the correct number of fasteners per shingle for the wind zone that your home is in.
  8. Mismatched Slate Coloring – If you are having a slate roof, rather than a shingled roof installed on your home, then you should be concerned about how well the slate matches. Have your roofer inspect all slate before installing it onto your roof. Even slate that comes from the same source can have a variety of colors. You will want to ensure proper consistency of slate coloring when the slate is on the ground, rather than when it is on your roof.
  9. Improper Ventilation – When thinking about roofing repairs and replacements, many homeowners do not know how important ventilation is. High quality roofing contractors and materials companies use advanced roofing materials to ensure that your roof is not only structurally sound, but properly vented. If your roof is not vented well enough, it can lead to excess heat build-up and damaging moisture collection.
  10. Decking Issues – The decking on your roof lays the foundation for the shingles that are laid upon it. Because o this, it is one of the most important aspects of your home. You will want to make sure that your roofer inspects all decking to make sure that it is in proper shape, and has been installed correctly. Furthermore, it should be properly protected by the elements by moisture barriers, shingles and other coverings.

Whether you are repairing a roof damaged in a recent storm, or just from normal wear and tear, the above mistakes can make or break the overall life of your roof. Although you should definitely be talking with your roofing contractor about these points, choosing a local, reputable company to do your roofing work can help you avoid many of these common errors. This is especially true after a significant weather event or other occurrence that results in a large number of roofs being damaged. This situation brings in droves of fly-by-night roofing companies that may do a substandard job and then be difficult (or impossible) to contact later on. Your roof is the most important part of your home. Make sure you put it in good hands.

Posted in Roofing.

3 Comments

  1. Knowing when a roof needs replacing is the easy part but identifying roofing mistakes once that new roof is installed isn’t as easy, given that issues aren’t always visible to the untrained eye. This is why hiring a reliable roofing company, one you know you can trust, is crucial.

  2. Considering how important the roof is to the safety and functionality of your home, it really does help to learn when there is a problem with it. Roofing errors are inevitable, that is why knowing how to avoid them are crucial and it is a great thing that it is highlighted in this article.

  3. I want to get a new roof installed on my house this July. Thanks for explaining that I will need to consider the type of flashing I want to use. Personally, I don’t know much about roofing materials so I would want to get a roof to help me pick out the right type materials.

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