Home remodeling projects can range from small to large, and a roofing job is definitely one of the more extensive and costly projects you can undertake. Depending on the severity of the weather in your area, you can generally count on your roof lasting two decades or longer. Unfortunately, not all roofing contractors install roofing systems correctly. When this happens, your roof will not perform as advertised. It is really better to find good quality roofing contractors that will do the job for you. A company which offers good service and has a reliable reputation.
Finding structure problems on the roof is not as easy as seeing the outer portions of the roof that might have issues. The structural elements include roof decking, underlayment, drip edges, and flashing. Structural problems will lead to premature leakage and other issues, which is why a thorough inspection is advised.
Common Visual Signs of A Bad Roofing
- The appearance
It’s actually quite easy to spot a poorly installed roof – you simply have to look up from the ground. Unfortunately, these signs usually don’t present themselves immediately, which means a new roof that is improperly installed might look perfectly fine at first, but after a year or so, the imperfections begin to stick out like a sore thumb.
If your roof looks great on one side but completely different (poor) on the other, the job wasn’t done correctly. This could include mismatched shingles, which means the contractor could have cut corners to save on time and/or money, resulting in a subpar job.
- The roof is missing shingles or has damaged shingles
The decision to replace a roof is often associated with wearing, damaged, and/or missing shingles. A new roof with such issues is a sure sign that the contractor did an improper job of installing the new roof. All shingles should be new and pristine, not recycled or reused.
- Reusing old flashing material
Flashing is the thin piece of sheet metal installed on a roof to prevent water from leaking into the home at various angles and joints along the roof. Just because the roof wasn’t leaking before the new roof was installed doesn’t mean the flashing should be reused. While there is no code violation associated with reusing old flashing, quality roofing contractors know that the nails used installing the new roof won’t always go through the old holes in the reused flashing. The only way to ensure you’re not going to incur leakage is to replace the old flashing with new flashing.
- Roofing materials were not attached correctly
One of the more common roofing mistakes is related to attaching materials with the wrong nail type, or the right amount of materials that weren’t used, which will eventually lead to damage. This type of damage is completely preventable, but choosing the wrong contractor usually means that materials will be attached incorrectly because they don’t follow local and/or state building codes.
- Stains on the roof
Stains, usually dark in color, are a sign that leakage is occurring. Be sure the check your attic, as the leakage, if severe enough, will show through to the surface of the attic. If the leak is isolated, it can usually be repaired. If you notice numerous stains, it’s a sign that there are more extensive issues that could require a roof replacement, including replacing the roof decking.
A properly installed roof will wear in a uniform fashion. In an improperly installed roof situation, you’ll see different colored shingles, missing drip edges, or vents that have been reused instead of replaced. You’ll also notice a difference in how some sections of the roof age compared to other sections. Frequent visual inspections will help you notice issues before they become major hassles.
- Hardware mistakes
The roof is about more than just shingles – it requires the right hardware, which includes flashing, vents, drip edges, nails, underlayment, and decking. They all work in concert to ensure a healthy, uniform, leak-proof roofing system. Also, different hardware requires different nail types, which is a vital component in a properly installed roof. Making hardware mistakes is a sure sign that the roofing contractor is off the mark and needs to be following best practices, codes, and material installation specifications.
- There is missing underlayment
Underlayment plays a big part in your roofing system, as it is a felt-like material installed below your shingles and above your roof decking. It’s an added layer of protection, so if it’s missing, you could experience premature aging of the roof and will most likely experience leaking. By some accounts, a missing underlayment will make a roof that is only 10 years old appear to be at least four to five times its actual age.
With due diligence, you can avoid a bad roofing installation. Make sure your contractor performs a thorough inspection of the roof before they install the new one.