6 Avoidable Mistakes When Installing a Roof

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Not to be Captain Obvious, but the roof on your home is one of its most important features. On a basic level, it protects you and potentially thousands of dollars of furnishings from the elements. We’re talking about furniture, electronics, and appliances – maybe even your world class Pokemon collection. And while Installing a Roof might seem like an easy project at first glance, there are common and completely avoidable mistakes that tend to occur during the process.

Here are a few of our favorite cringe-worthy decisions.

1 – Save a Few Bucks by Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor

Don’t hire a roofing company that keeps calling you. You should be the one doing research, not them. If they are too pushy or don’t answer your questions, consider another company. What is their experience? Do they have any licensing requirements in your area? 

Check out any associations representing roofers in your state and what standards members of those organizations must meet. Roofing companies without proper licensing don’t have a written code of ethics to guide their business practices. They may try to put on new roofs using cheaper materials that aren’t up to code – potentially putting people at risk when it comes time for inspections from building departments or insurance agencies. A reputable contractor is proud to show you their license. They won’t jeopardize it with shoddy work or cut-rate materials.

2 – Believe that You Have Roofing Skills, Even When You Don’t

Check your wallet or purse. Do you have a roofer’s card? If not, and you can safely say you don’t know what you’re doing, consider putting down that hammer. The bottom line – if you don’t know what you are doing, you put the value of your home and the safety of other people at risk, especially those who might have made the bad decision of climbing up on the roof to help you out. Real roofers have safety equipment and training.

Delusional roofers do things like this.

3 – Never Check That New Roof for Leaks After Installation

The reality is that a new roof might last upwards of 50 years. The other reality is that sometimes they don’t. There’s always potential for something to go wrong over time due to weather damage or normal wear and tear depending on where you live. Not only should you check a new installation for leaks, it’s not a bad idea to take a look at it at least a couple of times a year to catch any issues before they do thousands of dollars worth of damage. And if you do notice an issue, have a professional look at it sooner rather than later since putting off repairs could lead to more damage and financial loss.

4 – Ignore Warranty Requirements

When a roofer or material manufacturer refuses to honor a new roof’s warranty, it’s normally not just because they are the Grinch’s step-brother. The issue usually lies in improperly installed products. This can be the case even if you have professionals putting in the new roof. Yes, roof contractors are human. They get in a hurry, forget their reading glasses, and can have a bad day. 

Your best defense to keep warranties valid is to document as much as possible before and during the job so there are no questions later when trying to claim something under warranty. A good rule of thumb is to take pictures each step of the way during installation. This helps in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as high wind, hail, or rain deluges. Anything that could invoke a warranty, especially during the first year after installation.

5 – Trust the Shingles are Correctly Aligned

Poor shingle alignment is one of the most common mistakes that homeowners make when Installing a Roof. This happens because many people think they can do this job themselves and try to rush through it, but if you want your home’s exterior to look great for years to come then hiring a professional is probably worth every penny. If you don’t have the proper equipment to install the shingles correctly, you can always ask your roofer if they have an extra pair of hands who could lend a hand with this. It is not uncommon for them to send someone over in order to get the job done right and ensure that it gets done within their given time frame!

One thing that causes poor alignment when Installing a Roof are badly stretched bundles or individual shingles. This may happen because people try to stretch them themselves instead of using their feet as they should be doing. As previously stated, rushing through this process will only result in having less than perfect results which we all know nobody wants!

6 – Don’t Bother Counting Nails

It matters how many nails go into each shingle and where they are placed. Step outside during the installation and watch the workers for a few minutes. They should be using four nails per shingle (six if it’s a steep slope), and should go below the self-sealing strip. Why so serious about this? Improperly-nailed shingles can slip down. This is a bad thing.

You don’t have to throw a screaming fit about it but don’t be afraid to pull the foreman aside is you think the nailing process is going awry. When the job is done, the contractor will be gone but you’re going to have to live with the product of his labor. Don’t let it be a loose shingle.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the roof installation process is a serious and expensive matter. Even a modest house is liable to cost upwards of ten thousand dollars. You want to make sure that your new roof will stand up for years and be leak-free. In order to do so, it’s important to hire an installer who has been properly trained in all of the necessary skills. 

This includes being licensed with a state contractor license or having passed a national exam on their scope of work competency. It also means understanding how different types of roofs are put together and what products they require based on geographical location. Furthermore, if you plan on doing any type of maintenance yourself after installing your own roofing system, then ensure that you know the shingle manufacturer guidelines before starting. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – violate the guidelines and you can end up with a worthless warranty.

Good luck out there!