5 Common Roofing Errors

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Roofing errors happen, but they can be avoided by learning from mistakes, understanding the trouble spots, having some common sense, and utilizing an aesthetic touch in the installation.

Throughout the years of conducting roofing training and sharing information with roofing inspectors and architects around the country, we have come to the conclusion that roof problems keep repeating themselves. Below is a list of the 5 out of our 10 most common mistakes made during roof installation and how they can be avoided.  To learn about the other mistakes, check out a CARE training course.

  1. Installing on decks too low sloped. Although the majority of residential roofs are steep, it is very common to find areas with little or no inclination. If the roof has no slope, a contractor needs to create one. If the roof has a low slope, make sure you use the correct materials to prevent major water infiltrations. When shingles are not an option, understand how to use low-slope materials, such as SBS cold application, TPO, etc.
  1. No drip edge. The lack or incorrect installation of this component can cause serious problems, including premature damage to the deck and fascia, general roof aesthetic issues, an opening for animals and/or insects to enter the attic, and more. Make sure you cover the perimeter with a metal drip edge.
  1. Starter problems. The absence or incorrect installation of the starter can bring about many aesthetic problems in the eaves and rakes, allowing for water infiltration in each shingle close to the eave. It’s very important to understand and use the correct starter for each shingle.
  1. No leak barrier. The installation of the leak barrier is necessary since it provides extra protection in vulnerable areas or places with perforations due to nails or fasteners. The parts of the roof in which we recommend the installation of leak barriers are valleys, vertical walls, accessories, eaves, chimneys, and skylights, but it could vary depending on the region of the country in which you live.
  1. Nailing problems. When an installer does not know the amount of fasteners needed per shingle or their placement on the shingle, it can cause catastrophic problems. We find mistakes in the form of exposed nails (AKA shiners) and underdriven, overdriven, and high nails.

The best way to avoid making these mistakes is by following the installation instructions, updating your knowledge by attending training seminars, lectures, and webinars, and asking your trusted shingle manufacturer for help when needed.

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  1. Paige Smith

    These are really common errors. I have actually experienced missing a drip edge. This had caused a few problems with my roof until we got it fixed again. Thanks for explaining how to fix these things, to correct roofing installation.

  2. Zach Thalman

    The number one problem I see all the time with roofing is not nailing the shingles correctly. If you don’t nail them in correctly, they can cause all sorts of problems. The over driven nails basically make a hole in the shingle which is not fastened to anything.

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