8 Signs Your Roof Was Poorly Repaired or Installed

How do you tell if a roofing contractor did a subpar installation or repair job on your roof? A non-uniform, leaky, or roof that’s missing shingles are some of the clear signs of a poorly installed roof.

You need to know what to look out for when inspecting your roofing work, as some contractors may be more focused on cost-saving at the expense of quality, durable roofs.

Below are tell-tale signs of shoddy roofing jobs.

man inspecting roofing with a checklist

1. Missing or Mismatched Shingles

Shingles may come off with time due to harsh weather or the normal wear-out. However, they should serve you long enough to enjoy their worth. They should not be missing or appear damaged just after installation.

If they start losing granules or breaking off after a short time, it is an indication that they are poorly attached.

If the shingles look out of place, it could be because the roofer nailed them with a dispositioned or bent nail.

All the shingles on your roof should be the same color. After your roof’s installation, take a quick look and check if all your shingles match. If they don’t, your roofing contractor might have done a careless job.

2. Heavy Trailing Footmarks on the Roof

As your roofing contractors fix your roof, they must step on it. However, a professional roofer will maintain a strategic pattern while installing the roof to avoid leaving footmarks on the already completed parts.

When a skilled roof contractor does your roof, you can barely notice where they stepped while fixing a particular part. This is because they follow a specific work routine to avoid ruining the often delicate roofing materials.

If your roof looks scuffed or stained with either paint or tar after installation, that should cause an alarm. The installers might not have followed a professional pattern while working on it, and it should give you a reason to question what else might not be right on that roof.

3. Missing Underlayment or Drip Edge

Underlayment is the layer of material, mostly paper, beneath the shingles that work as a waterproofing barrier. If it’s missing, you will notice a leaky roof, and your roof will wear out much quicker than it usually should.

As you inspect the underlayment, look out for the drip edge too. The drip edge is the metal sheet between the underlayment and the shingles that protect the fascia (the board below the edge of your roof) from water damage.

It is easy to notice as it extends below the gutter when properly installed. If the drip edge is missing, you will experience a flooded basement and a soil erosion streak along your house’s foundation. You may also notice mold growth along the edges of the roof and walls.

4. Closed Roof Valleys

The area where two adjacent slopes meet is called a roof valley. This area is where water runoffs from both slopes flow off the roof into the gutters.

In most cases, a valley is either open or closed, depending on the installation of roofing materials around it.

For the open valley, a metal pan gets placed between the two open edges of the shingles from both slopes.

For the closed valley, a contractor will interlock the shingles by placing those from one slope underneath those of the other.

Open valleys are more expensive to install because of the additional metal costs, and they are far more effective in water-shedding than closed valleys. The closed valleys are also prone to degrading, as the granules easily fall off where the shingles overrun each other.

Closed valleys are therefore less effective and are subject to leaks than open ones. If your roof contractors opt to go for the closed valleys, it is a sign of cost-saving while disregarding the quality and longevity of the roof.

5. Lack of Uniformity in the Roof’s Appearance

Your roof should be uniform from different viewpoints after installation. Look for bumps, ripples, unevenly aligned materials, or mismatched colors. The presence of any of these faults signals an inexperienced roofer or one that’s trying to cut corners.

Focus on the rooflines too. They should be straight with no visible dips or curves whatsoever. If the roofing materials used were of the same quality, they should age uniformly with no overly worn-out roof patches.

6. Improper Nailing Technique

A professional nailing technique is necessary when working on the roof to ensure the roof doesn’t leak. The nails used should be of the right type, size, and grade, depending on the roofing materials used.

The contractor should drive the nails to hold the roofing materials together and form a strong roofing network.

A lot can go wrong from a contractor’s poor nailing technique. For example, whenever an under-driven nail fails to connect with the deck, it increases the risk of missing shingles and exposes the roof to leaks.

On the same note, if a nail gets driven too low on the shingles, it can result in slippage or even shifts. Conversely, placing it too high prevents it from holding together the shingles aligned below it.

The manufacturer always labels the direction the nail should go. Therefore, there is no excuse for improper nailing on the contractors’ side.

7. Reusing Old Flashing Materials During Roof Replacement

Reusing flashing materials is a dangerous corner-cutting habit practiced by dodgy roof contractors.

The old flashing metals get manipulated and bent during reuse, which can split the metals and allow water to slip into the property. The infiltrating water may also pool in the ruined parts of the metals and cause problems to the entire roof.

This manipulation destroys the sealants used on the roof flashings, making them ineffective. The sealants are thus unable to hold for long as they should, which is a big blow to you as a homeowner.

Ensure only new metal flashings get used to repair your roof and that the old ones get removed.

8. Experiencing Water Leakage After Installation

Leakages are dangerous to most of your home equipment and can lead to unimaginable losses. With time, you may encounter a devastating collapse or breakage if the roof deck rots due to leaks.

Several roofing problems can lead to leaks in your home. If you notice any leaks indoors after a roof installation, it is an unmistakable sign of poorly done roofing, and you need to respond quickly.

Water damage may not be noticeable at first, so you should look for other signs of a leaky roof, such as mold growth.

A leaky roof indicates a contractor who only took care of the structural work to make the roof look good but ignored the structural integrity.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve noticed any of these signs on your roof, the chances are that a contractor has poorly repaired or installed your roof.

If you require a professional, reliable contractor to assess your roof and give advice on the way forward, get in touch with our team at 123 Roofing today.

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