Every now and then, we receive calls on our weekly WCCO radio show with questions from homeowners about work completed by other roofing companies. On one show, a caller stated the roofing contractor he used installed the same brand of shingles our company does. However, the homeowner was calling to say how concerned that the work wasn’t done correctly and was questioning if his warranty could be voided. We explained how critical it is to work with a contractor that routinely performs the work you’re having done. Here, at Lindus Construction, our window crews only install windows and our roofing crews only install roofs. This dramatically decreases the probability of installation errors because our crews have pretty much seen and done it all.
Here’s our list of amateur mistakes we’ve witnessed roofers without adequate training make:
Failing to Pull a Permit: More often than not, a permit is required when installing a new roof. If the contractor fails to pull one, the liability still falls with the homeowner. Consequences of not pulling a permit can include fines, being forced to remove the new roof, or your insurance company refusing to insure the new roof.
Misapplication: If roofing installation had a cardinal sin, this would be it! Each roofing manufacturer has strict instruction about items such as nail type and volume, amount of ice and water shield, and shingle exposure. Failure to adhere to these standards can void your roof’s warranty.
Ignoring the Attic: It’s called a roofing system because shingles are just one part of a properly functioning roof. Any contractor, who claims otherwise, simply does not have the experience to perform this type of work. Skimping on attic ventilation can cause your shingles to fail prematurely, ruin your insulation and increase your energy costs.
Installing Multiple Layers of Shingles: In many municipalities, it is against the law to install new asphalt shingles over old ones. Even if it is not, best practice is to remove the old shingles. This allows the installing contractor to inspect the roof deck for weak areas. Additionally, the weight of multiple layers of asphalt shingles can damage your home’s walls and roof structure.
Recycling the Flashing: Flashing is metal that aids to protect your roof from water intrusion where your roof meets a wall. The intention of flashing is to defer the flow of water away from the home, rather than allowing your roofing and underlayment to absorb it, which can cause water damage. As a cost saving measure, your contractor may reuse the old flashing. This is a penny-wise, pound foolish mistake. While at the time of the roofing installation the old flashing may look salvageable, it does not mean that it’s going to last as long as the materials that have just been applied. When compared to the cost of the entire roof, the investment for flashing is a minor expense. Be sure to always install new flashing.
Mismatched Shingles: Asphalt roofing is produced in batches. Between batches, there can be varied color shades. If you’ve got a roofer who doesn’t use a consistent dealer, it’s possible for them to end up with mismatched shingles from various batches due to purchasing from multiple vendors. This is a highly noticeable and frustrating problem that can be avoided completely by using a contractor who works with a consistent dealer.
Being Underinsured or Uninsured: If the roofer performing your work is underinsured, or worse yet, uninsured, and property damage or a worker is injured on your property, you can be held liable. A reliable roofing company will have no problem providing documentation of their insurance policy and their insurance company will be willing to confirm that they are insured for the amounts they claim to be.