Thousands of homeowners embark on roofing projects every year. Roof repairs and roof replacement are common roofing jobs entrusted to professionals to ensure that it is done right. However, it’s not enough to completely rely on your roofer for such a huge investment.
As a homeowner, it’s essential to understand how roofs work to know what to watch out for. Having the basic knowledge will help you determine the signs of a lousy roofing job and contractor. Without knowing what to watch for, you leave too many windows for mistakes that can cause serious property damage and potentially premature roof failure.
Any roofing contractor can tell you that their company is the best, only to discover that their crew isn’t as knowledgeable as they claim to be. Hiring inexperienced roofers is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make. It can lead to avoidable roofing mistakes, including the following below.
Buying the Wrong Materials
Replacing a portion of the roof is normal after your roof has been damaged by the storm or general wear and tear. Of course, you’d want the new section to match the old one. However, there are times when you end up having mismatched shingles.
When roofers are new to the job, they often don’t use a consistent dealer and purchase from more than one supplier. Since manufacturers design their roofing products to complement one another, they won’t harmonize with those made by other brands.
Each batch of roofing materials may have varied color shades. This will result in an odd-looking roof that will affect your home’s curb appeal. Furthermore, it can significantly raise the expenses for fixing this mistake.
Nailing Shingles Incorrectly
A crucial aspect of a standard roofing job is to manage the nails properly to ensure that the shingles stay in place and don’t cause leaks. There are a couple of things that need to be done right, including the placement and the pressure.
Manufacturers include instructions on the proper installation of their shingles, so there is no excuse for not knowing where the nails should be hammered. Unfortunately, inexperienced roofers still make this mistake often. Improperly placed nails can result in various roofing issues. Nails that are placed too high won’t hold as strong while placing them too low can affect the shingles’ adhesive lining.
When it comes to driving the nails, it’s essential to apply the appropriate pressure. Roofing contractors typically use pneumatic nail guns to make the process more precise. However, inexperienced roofers who don’t know how to set the pressure correctly can easily blast the nail all the way through.
Too much pressure can drive the nails too far in. This can increase the risks of shingles getting dislodged and blown off by the wind. It is also possible to set the pressure too low. Under-driven nails will stick out above the top of the shingle. The wrong pressure can also drive the nail at the wrong angle, both of which can result in loose shingles that can be pried off easily during a storm.
Flashing is a material installed around chimneys, vents, valleys, and other parts of the roof that meets the wall. It protects your roof from water intrusion by directing water away from these areas rather than allowing your roofing and underlayment to absorb it.
This essential item should be properly installed as a mistake can lead to the roofing system buckling and water damage. Inexperienced roofers may have trouble using flashing correctly and might even reuse the old flashing to save costs. While these old strips may look salvageable at the installation time, they won’t last long after their application.
Ignoring the Attic
The attic plays an essential role in the roof’s performance. Any roofer who claims otherwise simply does not have the experience to perform this work. Neglecting your attic ventilation can cause your shingles to fail prematurely, ruin your insulation and even increase your energy costs.
Poor attic ventilation can lead to excess heat, which causes moisture build-up that can seep into the roof decking and shorten the lifespan of the roofing shingles and underlayment. This is also the culprit behind the ice dams that form along the roof’s edge during winter.
Failing to Secure a Permit
Roofing projects typically require a permit with the city before they can be started. The permit ensures that a 3rd party entity will inspect your roof and verify that the work meets all city codes. Building inspectors that work for the city keep their eyes open for properties that are obviously under construction.
If they knock on your door and you can’t produce a permit, your roofing project will be “red-tagged” and shut down. Any completed work can also be demolished if the building inspector finds anything that does not comply with the city codes.
Inexperienced roofers are most likely to forget to complete the permitting requirements, leaving homeowners in a bind. Besides stopping the project, the homeowner will be ultimately held liable for failing to obtain a permit. This means you will pay hefty fines while the hired contractor will bear no penalty for their mistake.
If your hired contractor claims that a permit is unnecessary, you can’t just chalk it up to inexperience or ignorance. You need to consider the possibility that they are operating without a license. Roofing contractors need to prove that they are licensed to get a permit. They might be refusing to get a permit to avoid being discovered, especially since unlicensed contracting is a third-degree felony in Florida.
This means you should always make sure your contractor is fully licensed and has obtained the necessary permits to work on your roof.
Avoid these mistakes by doing tons of research on the contractors in your area before enlisting anyone’s services. You need to find which roofers are licensed, insured, and have the most experience. By doing the necessary work, you can narrow down your choice to the right roofer for you.
You also can choose a local contractor with proven expertise and an established reputation in your area, like Universal Contracting of Florida.
Universal Contracting of Florida handles all types of roofing projects, from start to finish. Our team of professionals in Florida is equipped with the necessary experience and skills to ensure that every shingle to your roof will provide top performance and maximum protection. Visit our website or contact us at (866) 603- 4965 to learn more.