The roof is the protector of the home. When homeowners decide to spend money on new roof installation or repair, they expect to get the best quality. Many roofing companies, however, fail to provide the best quality service to save time and fit in more jobs. Customers want to trust they are not getting ripped off, but they often don’t know how to tell if a roofing job was completed at the highest standards. Before you have roofing work done, make sure you are aware of the common ways roofing contractors cut corners.
1) Reusing Old Flashing
Flashing is used to prevent moisture from coming into the home through exposed or weak areas such as chimneys, valleys and windows. To cut down on costs, some roofers will save the old flashing and put it back after the new roof has been installed. This may seem resourceful, but the metal can become corroded over time.
Even if it looks to be in good condition, it may be weakened by years of weathering. Ask your contractor to use new flashing for your roof. It may increase the cost of your project, but it will keep you safer and could prevent leaks down the road.
2) Covering Instead of Replacing Shingles
To save time, some roofing contractors may place new shingles on top of the existing roof. To the layman’s eye, this could seem like a good idea to double up on the protective power of your roof. In reality, putting new shingles over old ones creates crevices for the collection of debris and moisture. Over time, the buildup of dirt can cause deterioration and weaken the roof structure.
Any experienced roofing contractor knows the best way to install a roof is to remove the existing roof materials before putting the new ones on. Talk to your roofing contractor about planned methods to make sure old shingles will be removed before installation begins. If the contractor tries to convince you that placing the shingles over the old ones is the best technique, it is time to find a new contractor.
3) Overhanging Shingles Improperly
Roof overhang has a functional purpose as well as its visually appealing qualities. Overhanging shingles need to be installed correctly to protect from high winds and prevent water damage. If the shingles hang over the eaves too much, strong winds can catch underneath the shingles causing damage or even completely blowing them off the roof. If the overhang is short, it could create space for water to seep in.
The ideal overhang for roofing is between one and one and a half inches, or half to three-quarters of an inch with drip edge flashing. Let your contractor know you are concerned about the proper overhang. It is likely the roofers will pay more attention to overhang details if they know you are paying close attention.
4) Driving Nails in at the Wrong Angle
Using incorrect nailing techniques is a common mistake among inexperienced roofers. Damage to the shingle mat could be caused by driving a roofing nail in at the wrong angle or using the wrong sized nail. This creates opportunities for water to enter, leading to damage and leaks. Exposed nail heads can cause problems as well, so the adjacent row of shingles should cover them.
While improper nail techniques are not necessarily a way to cut corners, they are a sign that the roofers working on a project are not highly qualified professionals. To make sure the best methods will be used on your new roof, ask your contractor about the experience of the roofing staff.
5) Failing to Properly Ventilate
An important aspect of roof installation is ventilation. If air cannot escape properly, it may cause heat and moisture to accumulate which can reduce the efficacy of the shingles. Contractors should use high-grade materials to ensure proper ventilation.
Make sure that the company you hire for roofing installation or repair has a licensed staff with approval to work in your area. Read online reviews to check the company’s reputation. This can be a good indicator of the quality to expect from the company’s services. They should have the proper paperwork in place, including insurance and permits, before beginning work on your property.
Some roofing contractors are inexperienced and fail to use proper techniques out of ignorance. Others cut corners on purpose to save time and money, thinking you will not catch on. Either way, improper roofing techniques can be unsafe and lead to bigger problems. Knowing how to find an expert contractor and ask the right questions will prevent you from dealing with major roofing issues down the line.
Able Roof is your trusted, local roofer. We are here for you, and for all of your home exterior needs, so ask questions! We are dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service possible. We have been providing premium quality roofing for over 30 years, so you know you are getting it done right.