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7 Common Roofing Mistakes You Should Avoid

As with anything to do with your home (or in life for that matter) there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. Usually, knowing the right thing to do comes from experience, something that can’t be discounted when installing and maintaining a quality roof. A new roof can be incredibly expensive, so settling for anything less than perfection simply won’t do – which is why we wanted to share some of the most common roofing mistakes that you should look out for.

Roofing Mistakes

1. Choosing the wrong materials for the slope of your roof

Even if the materials are new, choosing the wrong ones for your roof’s slope will provide very little protection from rain and moisture permeating your roof. Asphalt shingles, for example, aren’t waterproof by any means so having too low of a slope will allow water to pool and permeate the barrier that these shingles provide. If your roof’s slope is at least 4 units of rise per 12 units of run, asphalt shingles will do just fine. Otherwise, speak to your roofing contractor about other material options.

2. Not using nails correctly

Something as simple using too few nails can actually be very detrimental to the longevity of your roof. To save on costs, some less than honourable contractors may use too few nails to secure your shingles. As a rule of thumb, no fewer than 4 nails should be used per shingle; improperly secured shingles can come loose – and a loose or missing shingle doesn’t do a very good job of diverting water.

Nailing too high or too low can also be a big problem. Shingles have a nailing strip that should be used when securing your shingles to your roof. When roofers properly use the nail strip, all of your shingles will be held much more securely in place. For example, if you use 4 nails per shingle, each shingle will, in actuality, have at least 8 nails holding it in place. This is because using the nail strip will actually catch the underlying shingle. At D’Angelo and Sons, we go one step further by using 6 nails per shingles, meaning that your roof will be even more secure.

3. Improperly installed valley flashing

Valley flashing can only do its job if it’s layered beneath the shingles. Surprisingly, many contractors will incorrectly install this protective element atop the shingles. Further, failing to use enough sealant and securing materials when installing the flashing can significantly reduce the flashing’s ability to divert large volumes of water.

4. Failing to take the winter climate into consideration

If you live in an area that sees some pretty harsh winters, your roof may be prone to the formation of ice dams. Ice dams occur when heat escapes a home’s attic, melting the snow on the roof. The snowmelt then freezes and, over time, an ice dam develops. Ice dams are notorious for allowing runoff to enter between the shingles. A responsible roofer will anticipate the possibility of ice dams and install an adequate underlayer in the roof to protect against the formation of ice dams.

5. Over and under driven nails

Time is money right? Unfortunately, some contractors take this idiom a little too far and, in their haste to get the job done they can accidentally over or under drive the nails. Over driven nails can damage the shingle, providing an easy access point for water. Alternatively, under driven nails can create gaps between the shingles, again allowing water to permeate the roof.

6. Re-using flashings

If you think about it, the areas of your roof that require flashing (like a chimney or walls) are two of your roof’s most compromisable areas. Sometimes when contractors are replacing a roof, they’ll reuse the existing flashing as a way to reduce the time and cost of the project. Installing new flashing does take time, but it will do a much better job at protecting your home.

7. Omitting crickets behind chimneys

If you’ve got a chimney, a cricket is a vital component for diverting water away from it. Typically made of metal (but it can be made of wood and shingles) a cricket is a gabled roof plane that’s installed behind a chimney. This diverts water away from the chimney and prevents water from permeating this vulnerable area.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does provide some insight into the many ways that roofing can be done incorrectly. For more information, speak to a roofing contractor in your area.

If you have any roofing questions you’d like to ask us please don’t hesitate to call us at (905) 387 3000 or contact us using the contact form on our website. We’d love to hear from you!