Common Roofing Mistakes

Common Roofing Mistakes to Avoid

Recently, we wrote in our article about 12 common roofing problems and how to prevent them. In a similar fashion, it's also important to discuss the common roofing mistakes that can result from improper roof work.

Roofing is a critical aspect of home maintenance and construction, yet it's often where costly mistakes occur. For example, failed roofing inspections, voided warranties, and issues with insurance companies can all stem from roofing errors.

As a home or commercial property owner, it's important to understand what some of the most common roofing mistakes are. Specifically, in this article, we'll discuss what inexperienced or substandard contractors might make and what to watch for.

Let's take a look below at 20 of the most common roofing mistakes to pay attention to:

13 Common Roofing Mistakes to Watch Out For

1. No Roofing Insurance/Permit

To start, you should note that hiring uninsured contractors poses a risk, as they may not cover injuries or damages during roofing work. Generally speaking, a reputable roofing contractor won't have any problems providing their proof of insurance before beginning any work on your roof. When in doubt, however, you should contact the insurance company to double check their policy.

Similarly, working without a permit can lead to job suspension and legal issues. Always ensure your roofing contractor has the necessary permits for the job. Fortunately, there are many professional roofers out there who can provide evidence of permits, for a peace of mind.

Read More: What Questions Do I Need to Ask My Insurance Provider About Replacing My Roof?

2. Too Short of Roofing Nails

Let's talk about the importance of using the correct length of nail. In order to properly secure shingles to the decking, you need to make sure you or your roofing contractor are using long enough nails for the job.

As you may have guessed, incorrect nail length might not be immediately obvious, however, it can lead to shingles shifting and an overall compromised roof lifespan.

3. Exposed Roofing Nails

Similarly, another consideration is whether your roofing nails are exposed. The nails will need to be driven into a specific location in your roofing system (the nail should be installed beneath a layer of shingles for protection).

Failure to install the nails correctly will result in exposing them to the elements, leading to corrosion and the need for leak repairs in the future. DIY enthusiasts - make sure you are correctly installing your nails!

4. Mismatched Shingles

Using shingles from different suppliers can result in a mismatched appearance, impacting both aesthetics and property value.

If you are a DIY roofing enthusiast, make sure you aren't purchasing shingles from various suppliers. Also, a reliable roofing contractor will always use shingles from one supplier.

Related:What Are The Different Types of Shingles: How To Choose The Best Shingles for Your Home

5. Incorrect Shingle Overhang

Incorrect overhang measurements can either cause wind damage. For your reference, the proper shingle overhang is 7-10mm, at the eaves. AVOID overhang that's more than this.

Similarly, if your shingles overhang is less than 6mm, your roof is likely subject to water penetration from rain and inclement weather, which will lead to leaks in your roof. Find out more here about the cost of fixing roof leaks.

6. Poor Attic Ventilation

An important aspect of your roofing system is the attic. If your home experiences poor attic ventilation, especially during the hot Texas heat, it can be detrimental to the health of your home's roofing system and even the interior of your home.

Why? Poor attic ventilation can increase energy costs and lead to roof decking failure. Be sure to check with the team at LOA Construction if you have questions or concerns about your attic ventilation, humidity, etc.

7. Not Installing Starter Shingles/Strips

Your roofing contractor should always install start shingles or strips along the eaves and then rake the edges. This is for proper sealing.

Neglecting starter shingles at the edges can result in water damage due to inadequate sealing. Typically, the installation of starter shingles and strips will be included in your contract.

8. Improperly Installed/Sagging Roof Gutters

During the installation of the gutter system on the roof, it's essential to properly place the screws - otherwise, you may end up with sagging gutters. Another common roofing issue happens whenever your gutters are too narrow.

Incorrect gutter installation or inadequate sizing can lead to water backup and sagging, causing both gutter and roofing damage. If you have questions, be sure to ask our team. A qualified roofing company will ensure proper gutter installation.

9. Not Handling Ice Dams

An ice dam on your roof occurs when melting snow freezes at cold temperatures, which can form beneath the roof's shingles. This can cause a lot weight and pressure on the eaves. As such, not preparing for ice dams can lead to significant structural damage, especially in colder climates.

To properly prevent an ice dam, have your roofing contractor install a barrier to cover your roof's edge. Many cities in the United States do require the ice dam barrier due to building codes. Make sure you've hired a reliable contractor that won't neglect this important step!

Related: General Guide to Roofing Codes in Austin, TX

10. Not Installing Underlayment

Your roof is comprised of several layers: the decking, (the foundation of your roof), the underlayment (the part that adds a layer of protection from water damage), and then the upper layer (types of roofs like asphalt, clay tiles, metal, slate, flat, TPO, etc).

A good roofing contractor won't skip the underlayment. The underlayment is comprised of a sheet made of paper or organic material that's treated with asphalt and is invaluable when it comes to the health of your roof. Don't skip the underlayment!

11. Reusing the Flashing

You always want to replace your existing flashing. However, a sketchy roofer may decide to cut corners and reuse/recycle the flashing.

Your roof's flashing serves as a protecting layer of thin metal sheets which help to waterproof your roof. Since it plays an important part in your roof's health, make sure that it gets replaced during the roof replacement project.

12. Disregarding Slope

To avoid the common roofing mistake of incorrect slope, you first need to understand a little bit about the proper slope for an asphalt, metal, or other type of roofing material.

Ensure that your DIY contractor or professinal roofing company has accurately accounted for the slope and uses the proper material. Check out our articles linked above for more information about proper slope.

13. Not Following Manufacturer Instructions

Lastly, let's discuss a little bit about a common roofing mistake that's sometimes easy to make - simply not following the manufacturers' instructions.

Many seasoned roofers need to priortize that the roof installation is done not only professionally, but also to the standards the manufacturer set - otherwise the warranty may be voided. Worse case scenario, the materials may not be properly installed.

Related: 5 Things You Should Know About Austin Roofing

Why Hire a Professional at LOA to Avoid Roofing Mistakes?

At LOA Construction, all of our roofers are fully licensed and ensured, with the proper knowledge, tools, and materials for the job. We follow manufactuer instructions to ensure that the common roofing mistakes discussed in the article above are avoided.

Choosing a professional team means peace of mind, knowing that every aspect of of your roofing project - from nail length to material choice - is properly handled. With LOA, you're not just paying for roof repairs or installation; you're investing in long-term reliability and safety for your home.

Contact Us

Our team proudly serves the cities of Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Belton, Temple, and Killeen. Our services range from roofing installations/replacements, to repairs, maintenance, hail damage assessmtents, emergency services, roof coatings, and general contracting services.

Need a roof inspection and an estimated roof cost for your asphalt, metal, clay, TPO, flat, built-up/mod-bit, EPDM, or other roofing type? Contact us today!

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