Hiring the right contractor to avoid these 11 common roof problems

A home’s roof is one of its most important parts. Aside from being highly visible, the roof protects the home and its contents from the elements. When things are in good shape, a roof keeps the home cooler during the summer, warmer in winter, and dry on rainy days.

However, a damaged roof may lead to serious issues, additional damage, and unnecessary exposure to harsh weather. Because of these risks, it’s important to hire a qualified roofer to address these repairs as soon as possible. Here are 11 costly and dangerous mistakes homeowners can avoid by hiring an experienced roofing contractor.

Covering Shingles Rather Than Stripping and Replacing Them

This is one of the biggest corners a low-quality roofer will cut. The safest and most effective way to replace a roof is to remove the old shingles and replace them with strong new ones. This is particularly true when the shingles have suffered severe damage.

Installing new shingles on top of the old layer creates numerous places for dirt, mold, and moisture to collect. This may lead to degradation and damage much sooner than if the re-roofing process was finished properly. Hire a contractor who will remove the old materials before installing a new roof.

Recycling Old Flashing

The metal flashing on a home’s roof stops moisture from seeping in at vulnerable spots such as valleys, skylights, and chimneys. When installing a roof, some contractors take a shortcut by reusing the old flashing. While it may look like it’s in good shape, recycling the flashing may lead to future issues with moisture intrusion. Choose a roof installation contractor who will replace the flashing instead of reusing it.

Not Providing a Layer of Moisture Protection

Although the roof’s shingles do a good job of diverting and deflecting water, it’s important that there’s an underlying layer of moisture protection. This barrier not only shields the roof’s decking from rainfall, but it also protects it from ice and snow. For the roof to be protected from moisture, it’s best to instal a top-quality moisture barrier under the shingles.

Using Fasteners of the Wrong Length

When too-short nails are used to fasten a roof’s shingles, those shingles are much more likely to come loose. Using short nails doesn’t just cause the shingles to shift; it also increases the need for premature replacement or repairs. A contractor should ensure that the fasteners go deep down into the decking, so the shingles are safe from displacement.

Improper Fastener Placement

Along with nail length, placement is another important factor to consider. When roofing fasteners are placed incorrectly, it may lead to severe structural issues. Instead of allowing the nail heads to be exposed to the elements, the contractor should put them under the top shingle layer. This prevents corrosion, which eventually leads to holes in the shingles.

Poor Flashing Installation

In addition to flashing replacement, the contractor should instal the flashing correctly. If it’s improperly overlapped, misaligned, or if enough fasteners weren’t used, the roof isn’t ready to protect the home from snow, ice, and rain.

Insufficient Overhang

Although it provides aesthetic appeal, there’s another reason a roof’s shingles overhang its eaves. If the materials don’t hang past the roof eaves, a strong wind may lift the shingles and cause serious damage. Ensure that the contractor gives the roof the proper overhang. For additional protection from the wind, ask the roofer to use the right number of nails per shingle for the home’s wind zone.

Mismatched Slate

If a homeowner chooses a slate roof, they should think about how well the materials match. Have the contractor inspect the slate before it’s installed, as pieces from the same source may vary in colour. Slate is heavy, and it’s best to ensure its colour consistency before it’s carried up to the rooftop.

Inadequate Ventilation and Insulation

When considering a roofing repair or a replacement, some homeowners underestimate the importance of proper ventilation. High-quality materials companies and roofing contractors use advanced materials to ensure that a roof isn’t just structurally sound, but well vented. If the roof doesn’t have enough ventilation, it may lead to heat buildup and damaging moisture accumulation.

In addition to ventilation, roofs need insulation. When a roof is well insulated, it keeps the home warm during the winter and cools in the summer. Insulation minimises energy loss, which reduces consumption and helps homeowners save on their heating and cooling bills.

Decking Problems

A residential roof’s decking provides the foundation upon which the shingles are laid. Because of this, the decking is one of the most important parts of the roof and the home. A contractor should ensure that they inspect the decking for damage, and when it’s installed, the job should be done carefully. Finally, the decking must be protected by a moisture barrier, shingles, and other types of cover.

A Lack of Insurance Coverage

Every roofing job carries the potential for serious problems. If a homeowner or an inexperienced contractor handles the installation, severe property damage or personal injury may result. If any of these issues arise, the property owner can be held liable. A reputable contractor will provide documentation that proves they’re properly covered.

Avoid Problems by Hiring an Experienced Local Roofing Contractor

Whether a homeowner is replacing a storm-damaged roof or upgrading due to everyday wear and tear, the mistakes listed above can affect the roof’s durability and lifespan. Although customers should discuss these points with their contractor, choosing a reputable local company like Wildwood Roofing & Construction can help them avoid many of these mistakes. This is particularly true after a natural disaster results in widespread roof damage. These situations bring in dozens of roofing companies that may do substandard work and be hard to contact later.

A roof is one of the home’s most important parts, and it should be left in good hands. When homeowners hire reliable local roofing companies, they’re more likely to get the quality materials and workmanship they deserve.

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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