Most people don’t know a lot about roofs. Let’s face it, there is just too much in this world to know everything, or even a little bit about some things. Most of us are specialists — doing one thing really well, a few things good, and the rest adequately. Luckily for us, there is someone who specializes in everything so when you need a dog trainer, a car mechanic, or a roof repair, you can pick up the phone and call in the experts.
PRN Roofing is the roofing repair, roofing maintenance, and roofing installation expert in the Tuscaloosa area. We work on both residential and commercial roofs, and we’re a to-notch roofing contractor. However, there are roofers out there out to make a quick buck at your expense. They don’t do a thorough job, and you end up with a leaky roof or one that may need roof replacement altogether. This is not just for the roofing industry; there are scammers out there in every industry — there always have been and there always will be just do to the nature of humans. Below, we’ll list some of the common roofing mistakes to be on the lookout for and if you are unsure, give PRN Roofing a call. We offer free roofing inspections to offer peace of mind.
COMMON ROOFING MISTAKES
- Starter shingles missing or laid down incorrectly. When you are doing roofing, a layer of starter shingles of asphalt are laid down first to be a base for your entire roofing project. These are long, narrow shingles that are placed at the edge of eaves and gutters to your home. These serve three purposes: they protect the edge of your roof and keep the water out, they act as a guide as you install the main layer of your roofing material, and they prevent shingle blow off by providing a surface to adhere your roofing material to.
- Improper slope. All roofs regardless of material need to have some slope (unless of course you are installing a flat roof) to allow water, ice, sleet, snow, and hail to run off your roof. If the material isn’t conducive to the slope of your roof, your roof can suffer pools of water on the roof that can result in leaks. Gutters also can be improperly sloped to drain water efficiently, and sometimes gutters aren’t attached at all. Pooled water can cause erosion, foundation and siding damage, rust, and deterioration to the entire roof system.
- Improper use of nails. Believe it or not, there is a proper way to nail in shingles to your roof for optimal performance. If too few nails or used or the shingles are installed shoddily, they can fly off in a windstorm or be more susceptible to damage. Shingles require at the bare minimum four nails and six nails if the slope is steep. This is a very common way for roofing companies to save money in both time to pay employees and in resources (as you can imagine, a lot of nails are used by roofing contractors). Furthermore, nails should never be exposed. Shingles should always be aligned so that the top layer lays directly over the nails in the bottom layer. Exposed nails are not only aesthetically unappealing, but also can rust and become loose.
- Loose installation of valley flashing. Roof valleys are the V-shaped metal channels that traverse the folds of a roof that help direct water runoff. These are common on tiled roofs. Because valleys are metal, they can rust, corrode, and ultimately leak. Roof valleys need to be properly sealed and secured to prevent buckling and minimize leaks down the road.
- Valley flashing improperly installed. These valley are frequently installed upside down, especially by DIY homeowners looking to save a few bucks. The flashing needs to be layered underneath shingles, not on top of shingles. The U-shape on the metal faces the valley. When improperly installed, the water does not run off your roof efficiently or properly, causing damage to your shingles, which results in leaks. Your roof will need constant caulking if the flashing is installed improperly.
- Insufficient planning for ice dams. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that typically forms along the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. This is usually characterized by icicles hanging off your roof, which is beautiful to behold, but hides a potential hazard to your roof. Ice dams can cause water to pool, which allows water to seep in under the shingles. You can install an additional underlayer where ice dams are most likely to form.
- Improper ventilation mechanisms. Ventilation (allowing air to escape) is paramount to preventing moisture and heat from building up under your roof, which can lead to a whole host of problems such as mold and/or mildew build up as well as moisture build up, which will weaken the shingles. Dry rot and eventual roof failure can result.
- Shingles unaligned. Shingles that don’t line up is one of the easiest ways to spot a shabby roofing job. How do you know if your shingles are misaligned? Look for the cutouts on three-tab shingles to be not vertical and the butted joints not on a straight, horizontal plane. Shingles that aren’t aligned allow water to seep in between cracks and ruin the sheathing underneath.
- Shingles with incorrect overhang. The edge of the shingles should hang over a roof a the perfect distance of between an inch and an inch and a half. If shingles overhang your home too much, they are in danger of being blown off in high winds. Too little overhang in your shingles will result in water reaching the rake of your roof, sagging, or cracking.
- Shingles exposed to the elements. There is an optimum amount of five inches of shingle that should be exposed to the elements: Too little shingle exposure may at least cause a cosmetic issue while too much shingle exposure risks leaks or shingle blow-off, wind damage, and moisture collection.
When roofers cut corners, you’ll end up paying more in the long run. An underlying theme in most of these common roofing mistakes is allowing water damage to your roof. Do your due diligence on any roofing contractor you are considering hiring for your roof repair, roof installation, or roof maintenance job. Read online reviews on reputable sites such as Google and Top Rated Local®. Ask for references from other customers. Check out their website, which should exist at the very minimum and look professional. Ask friends, family, or others whom you trust for recommendations. See if they are active on social media and have posted recent pictures of their latest roofing repairs or roofing installations.
PRN Roofing in Tuscaloosa is a local roofing company with a stellar reputation. We pride ourselves on installing, maintaining, and repairing both commercial and residential roofs. We offer free roof inspections to see if your roof may have been installed hastily. We’ll check for all of the common roofing mistakes, from your shingles to your fastenings and gutters. We’ll give you an opinion on if there is anything wrong and what needs to be fixed — and we only repair what needs to be repaired. As the Top Rated Local® roofing contractor in Tuscaloosa, PRN Roofing promises integrity, honesty, and value in all of our residential roofing and commercial roofing repairs, installations, and replacements. Contact us today for your free estimate!