Roofing Contractor

Common Roofing Mistakes

When you decide to replace your aging or leaky roof you are faced with two options. Do it yourself or, hire a roofing contractor. I don’t see roof replacement as a do-it-yourself job. Luckily, most people agree with this and hire a roofing contractor. While hiring a roofing contractor can ensure that most common roofing mistakes are avoided. It still comes down to, the knowledge of the roofing contractor, and the quality of his and his roofers work. So, what are some of these common mistakes? Keep reading.

Counter flashing : Counter flashing is a technique generally used where masonry walls meet the roof deck. A quality roofing contractor will cut a groove in the masonry wall (usually in the mortar) that will receive the top of the flashing. This is where the mistake is typically made. Instead of cutting a groove to receive the top of the flashing the flashing is merely sealed to the wall. This is the wrong way to do counter flashing and always results in premature leakage.

Step Flashing : Step flashing is another technique used by a roofing contractor. Step flashing is performed where the roof deck meets your wood walls. When performed correctly step flashing will be leak free. When step flashing is done wrong it becomes a leaky mess. Step flashing when correctly installed is weaved into the shingles as part of the installation process. The flashing must only be attached to either the roof-deck or the wall. BUT NOT BOTH! Quality roofing professionals will attach the flashing to the wall to avoid unnecessary nails going through the roof-deck. The common mistakes here are when step flashing is installed all at once and not weaved into the shingles properly and, when the flashing is nailed to both the wall and the roof-deck. Improperly weaved step-flashing allows water to infiltrate at the joint and migrate under the shingles causing a leak. Nailing flashing to both the wall and roof-deck results in lifting of shingles at the joint due to shrinkage and expansion of the roof, wall, and flashing. Improperly attached flashing results in, damaged flashing, damaged shingles, and shingle lift. All of which will result in a leak and damage to your roof and potentially your houses interior and exterior.

Drip Edge : Problems with drip edge occur when it is installed improperly or not used at all. When installed improperly drip creates opportunities for leaks at both the eaves and the rake edge. Drip edge is designed to protect the many edges of your roof deck and fascia boards. When drip edge is not installed at all you will almost certainly have water infiltration at the edges of your roof-deck. I’m often surprised when I show up to look at a roof and discover there is no drip edge installed. We’ve replaced lots of roof sheathing and fascia because of improper installation or lack of drip edge. Experienced roofing contractors understand the importance of drip edge and will ensure proper installation.

Poor layering : Layering is a term used to describe how the materials involved in a new roof are installed. Proper layering ensures that all the material work together to create a water proof roof. Here is a basic explanation how layering should occur. Starting at the eave, drip edge, ice guard then underlayment. Now we would install drip edge on the rake edges followed by flashing, shingles and vents. Then hip and ridge cap is installed on all ridges and hips. Layering can change based on your roofs design. If roofing material is not layered properly leaks with varying degrees of severity with occur. A mistake in layering may result in an entire new roof needing to be removed and replaced.

Roof Vents : Vents come in many shapes and sizes. An experienced roofing contractor will know what vents are right for your new roof. Vents are necessary to ensure proper air flow through the attic space. Poor ventilation can cause a host of problems that are discussed here, Roof Ventilation Importance. Roof vents are generally weaved into the surrounding shingles to ensure proper drainage away from the opening in the roof.

Valleys : Valleys are completed using many different techniques. Which technique is used is based on both roof composition and customer preference. Common mistakes here revolve around poor material choice and/or improper installation. As a veteran roofing contractor, Anderson Roofing & Home Improvement has a great understanding with regards to valley material and installation. Most roofing contractors use the cheapest material they can get for valleys. This is a mistake! What good are 50-year shingles when the valleys only last 10 years? Or worse yet, the valleys are damaged by a small storm due to poor material selection causing the roof to leak? Material selection is key to long lasting valleys.

Soil Stacks : Soil stacks can easily leak when not sealed properly. A common mistake here occurs when a roofing contractor makes bad decisions. Such as, using caulk to seal the shingles to the vent pipe or using poor quality boots or flashings. I’m at a loss when I see soil stack leaks as they are easily preventable if a roofing contractor plans accordingly. Roofing contractors use inferior materials to save money, increase profitability or get a job. What good is completing a roof with inferior products? Unfortunately, the roofing industry is full of these pretend roofers, scammers and just not so nice people.

These easily avoidable common mistakes are things we see every day. Usually they are the result of a less than stellar roofing contractor. You can avoid these common issues by hiring a Trustworthy roofing contractor like Anderson Roofing & Home Improvement.