Putting a new roof onto a house is a tough job. Not only is it difficult to do and time-consuming, but it can also be dangerous. Because of these issues, even the best DIYers tend to call the professionals to handle this type of project.
A problem with the roofing industry is not all “professional” roofers are as good as they claim to be. Some of them are just new to the industry and trying to find their footing, but others can be more abject about it. Groups of roofers called storm-chasers go to towns that just experienced a bad thunderstorm or tornado to fix people’s roofs for cheap. The problem here is that they put in minimal effort and leave before you have the chance to complain.
Regardless of the reason for the poor roof job, there are some common mistakes that roofers make they’re unlikely to tell you about. If you know what those problems are, it’ll be much easier to call them out, so we’ve listed the most important ones to look out for.
Layering New Shingles on Top of Current Ones
If you only need a couple of broken shingles replaced, you won’t have to worry about this issue. Anything more than that, though, and you’ll want to make sure that the roofers aren’t placing new shingles over your current ones. Not only does this mean that they can’t check for any deeper problems with your roof, but it’ll make the new shingles much less effective. If you don’t see them taking off the old ones, you’ll know there’s a problem.
Improperly Installing Underlayment
Once the old shingles are off, there’s a good chance the roof will need a new underlayment. This covering of water-resistant material is the last layer of defense if your shingles fail to block out moisture. Some companies don’t put in enough effort to fully cover your roof with underlayment, which can lead to unnecessary leaks in the future.
Mismatching Different Shingle Types
Once the roofers have secured the underlayment, it’s time for the new shingles. A shortcut that some companies use is buying their shingles from multiple vendors. While this is sometimes good for saving time and money, it usually leads to you having a mismatched roof. Even though an unsightly roof might seem like the worst part of this, the actual problem is different shingles might not work together as intended, leading to an incomplete seal.
Incorrectly Overhanging the Shingles at the Eves
Although most roofers know how to properly lay shingles, one issue that many seem to mess up is overhanging them appropriately along the edges, or eves, of a roof. Ideally, shingles should hang off the edge by about 6-10mm. Any more than that, and a strong wind will likely blow them off. Any less, and they won’t be able to protect your roof efficiently.
Using the Wrong Types of Nails
Another common mistake some roofers won’t tell you about is using the wrong type of nails. More often than not, this occurs because they’re new to the business and don’t know any better. Regardless of the reason, it’s good for you to take a look at the nails they use. Roofing nails should be on the longer side and have barbed shanks, making them look more like a screw. The heads should also be large and flat.
When watching the worker nail them in, make sure that they use more than two or three per shingle and only put them below the self-sealing strip. Failing to do this will weaken the shingles and cause them to be ineffective.
Passing Over the Gutters
Even though the main focus for these companies is the roof, you should ask them to check your gutters. Many roofers simply look over them, even if they have glaring issues, just to save some time on the project. Whatever it was that destroyed your roof likely damaged the gutters too. If your gutters are sagging or no longer properly attached, you’ll want the roofers to fix those while they’re up there.
Forgetting the Drip Edge Flashing
Gutters don’t control where the rainwater goes all on their own. Many roofers use drip edge flashings to help ensure that water either ends up in the gutter or falls off the edge of the roof. Without them, water can sneak up the underside of the roof and cause damage from within. Whether you want them or not, most building codes in America require drip edge flashing, so you’ll want to make sure the roofers install them in order to avoid unnecessary fines.
Disregarding Rules and Regulations
Speaking of building codes, the main thing that you’ll want to be sure of is that the company you hire follows all the rules. Whether it has to do with having proper roofing contractor insurance, getting necessary roofing permits, or simply following a manufacturer’s guidelines, you don’t want to hire a company that cuts corners. This will likely lead to a bad roofing job that will need repairs soon, as well as you potentially getting fined by the government for the contractor’s mistakes.
Either way, no one should have to go through this kind of treatment. That’s why you need to take the time to find the right company in the first place. A good roofing company will avoid most of these problems. Even if they do occur, a trustworthy company will fess up to its mistakes and fix them before moving on to the next job.
Fortunately for you, if you live in the Chicagoland area, your search is over. Here at Pro-Home Services, we specialize in residential roofing and many other exterior housing needs. We don’t expect you to simply take our word for it, though. Take the time to look at what we have to offer and reviews from past customers. If you decide to go with us, you can even use this guide to grade us as we go. We only want the best for you and your home.