5 Most Common Roofing Installation Errors (Simple Guide)

From small leaks to major cracks, roofs are prone to many problems, often because of installation errors that lead to unplanned and expensive repairs. And the worst thing is that these issues were wholly preventable – if your roof had been installed correctly.

If you need a new roof, watch out for these common installation mistakes to prevent early roof failure.

How to Avoid Common Roofing Installation Mistakes

Planning to install a new roof? Avoid trouble by making sure your contractor doesn’t make these common installation mistakes.

1) Not Nailing Down Shingles Correctly

Securing your roof shingles requires at least four to six nails per shingle, with the number of nails going up depending on the area and steepness of the roof. Fewer nails can mean loose shingles, and poorly-driven nails can sit either too shallowly or too deeply. These can increase the risk of cracks and weak shingles that make roofs vulnerable to outside elements. In fact, this kind of error can void a roof’s warranty.

2) Covering Over Old Materials 

If your roofing contractor tries to convince you that laying a new roof over the existing one will save time and money, consider it a red flag. Covering a faulty roof and old materials can leave the new one open to serious damage. Remember, the old roof will continue to break down and decay, and the new roof will lack proper support and underlayment. Make sure your contractor takes the old roofing off before installing the new one.

3) Not Securing Your Roof’s Flashing

Flashing is a thin roofing material made of galvanized steel that directs water away from critical areas. It also seals the joints where vents, chimneys and skylights meet the roof. If unsecured, flashing can be ripped off in harsh weather and lead to water leakage. Flashing should be properly sealed to guarantee your roof’s watertight protection. If necessary, replace old flashing.

4) Installing a Wrong Roofing Slope

Laying a roof is a delicately balanced task. Contractors need to make sure it can withstand harsh weather, is well ventilated, and has an adequate slope so water drains properly.

But many inexperienced installers make mistakes when creating the slope, especially during flat roof installation. Although these roofs are for all intents and purposes flat, a minimum required slope must be built to prevent ponding. Installing the wrong kind of slope can result in improper drainage and a shortened lifespan for your roof.

5) Having Inadequate Venting

An experienced roofing contractor will thoroughly examine your attic as part of the roofing process. This is necessary to determine the level of humidity and airflow pattern. An inadequately ventilated attic can lead to moisture build-up and mould, so the contractor needs to add more vents on the roof. Failing to identify this problem can cause the decking and other roofing materials to break down prematurely.

Avoiding these common installation mistakes leads to a strong, well-ventilated, and long-lasting roof. Make sure you hire an experienced and reputable roofing contractor to prevent these problems.

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