How to Spot and Fix a Bad Roofing Job

Poor roofing tasks can result in damaged or unsightly flashing compared to regular roofing jobs.

Bad roofing jobs can leave a homeowner with a damaged roof or unsightly flashing. Fortunately, there are ways to spot and fix a bad roofing job. These include mismatched asphalt shingles, exposed nails, sagging roofs, and reusing old flashing. Here are some tips: – Ask for references. Ask friends and neighbors who have had their roofs replaced. Follow up on those referrals to make sure that the contractor is qualified.

Mismatched shingles

A mismatched shingle problem is often indicative of poor quality. It shows a need for more concern for the appearance and value of the home. Moreover, it may lead to future problems if the shingles are installed in a different pattern. Therefore, it is vital to get a second opinion from a professional.

First, you should check the roof’s line. The line should be straight and not curving or dipping. If it is curved or dips, it could indicate a faulty roofing job. You should also check the nail spacing. Different nails work better for different roofs, and improper nail spacing can lead to leaks and future problems. The shingles themselves must also be new.

You can also check the nailing by climbing a ladder and lifting shingles. If the nails are appropriately nailed, you should see the head of the nail resting on the surface of the shingle. If the nails are too deep or too shallow, the shingles may be loose or will fall. Similarly, if you see patches of mismatched shingles, it may be a sign that the quality of the roofing job was compromised.

While inspecting the shingles, it is essential to notice the drip edges. A drip edge is mandatory at the roof’s edges to protect the underlying board from water damage and pests. If the drip edges do not meet the edges, it can lead to leaks and moisture problems. Usually, you can tell that a drip edge is not installed correctly if there are leaks or water concerns.

Exposed nails

One sign of a bad roofing job is exposed nails. Exposed nails can cause leaks in the roofing system. To prevent rust, the nails should be sealed with a sealant, such as roofing tar. It is also essential to cover nail heads with a waterproof sealant. Sealants like polyurethane and roof cement commonly repair exposed nail heads. However, sealants deteriorate over time, especially if exposed to sunlight.

Exposed nails often appear at the ridge and flashing of a roof. This can happen because of a poor roofing job or nail pops. They are often complicated to spot and will cause water to leak through the roof. These leaks can even void the manufacturer’s warranty.

To fix exposed nails, first, ensure that the nails are hammered down to a level that can be sealed. Once done, you can use a roofing tar tube to squeeze the tar on the nail and around the head.

If the nails are loose, you can either hammer them down to hold them in place or use asphalt cement to seal them. If you need help with your ability to fix this issue, call a professional.

Sagging roof

Sagging or varying rooflines can indicate that a roofing job was not correctly done. Sagging rooflines may also indicate improper framing or rot in the roof deck. In such cases, a new roofing contractor should inspect and repair the existing roof before installing a new one. A properly installed roof will be level and straight from the ground.

The first step is to check the roofing materials used. Check if the shingles and other materials used for the roof are of different sizes and colors. If the shingles are not the same size or color, this can lead to uneven roof aging, leading to additional repairs in the future.

While spotting a lousy roofing job may seem complicated, a poorly installed roof can quickly become a problem. If left untreated, it can lead to further structural problems and even cost you more money. It can also harm the overall aesthetics of your home.

In addition to visual signs, the shingles should be evenly spaced and wear out evenly. If they’re uneven or discolored, this could indicate that a professional didn’t do the roofing job. A damaged shingle can also cause stains in the attic. An experienced roofing contractor can repair these problems without replacing the entire roof.

Reusing old flashing

A bad roofing job can lead to leaks and cracks, causing a lot of hassle and expense. A professional roofing company will install metal flashing around leaking areas, including chimneys and vents. However, a lousy roofing contractor will often reuse old flashing instead of new ones. This is a clear code violation and leads to leaks.

Reusing old flashing to spot and fix bad roofing jobs is not only unsafe but can also be hazardous. Old metal flashings can still have nail holes from their previous installation. Additionally, metal flashings must be bent and manipulated during roofing. The stress of these changes can cause the metal flashing to split, allowing water to seep through and pool on the roof. Not only can metal flashings split, but the sealants attached to roofs are rendered useless when metal is manipulated during installation.

A qualified contractor should replace the entire flashing system when repairing a roof. Unqualified roofers may also use caulk instead of metal flashing, which breaks down quickly. The result is a leaky roof and additional costs. A qualified roofing contractor will replace the old, rusted flashing and install new waterproof ones. By getting this right, you can prevent a costly leak problem down the road.

Flashing is an integral part of a roof. It helps seal seams where shingles may not be applicable. For instance, it is often installed near chimneys, where a roof meets a siding or pipe boot and along a roof corner. A lousy roofer may not bother replacing the step flashing as they are more interested in completing the roof quickly and cheaply.

Poorly installed metal flashing.

Poorly installed metal flashing on a roofing job can indicate a more severe problem. If it is not installed correctly, it can pull away from the roof or cause a leak. Even worse, poorly installed flashing may become rusted and unusable over time. To avoid this, hiring a professional to perform the installation is essential.

The first step in preventing a roofing job with poorly installed metal flashing is to inspect the roof for signs of damage. You should check for signs of corrosion, damaged nails, or loose or missing sealant. It would be best if you also looked for damaged flashing. Depending on the severity of the problem, it might require a costly repair or replacement.

If you notice holes in the metal flashing, you should immediately hire a roofing contractor. Even the smallest hole will allow water to leak and cause significant problems. It may break through the galvanized coating on the metal flashing, exposing it to rust. A complete inspection of the flashing will reveal the source of the leak.

Another common sign of a roofing job with metal flashing is poor-quality quality. A qualified roofing contractor will replace the old flashing with new metal flashing. Unqualified roofers may substitute roof cement or caulk for metal flashing, which will not last long and could lead to leaks. Proper installation will prevent costly leaks from occurring.

Poor ventilation

Harmful roofing can lead to a variety of problems, including inadequate ventilation. In addition to making your home uncomfortable, poor ventilation can cause your heating and cooling bills out of whack, especially during colder weather. Poor ventilation can also create an environment that is ripe for infestation.

One of the most obvious signs of poor ventilation is the presence of mold. Poor ventilation in a roof area can cause excessive humid air to collect. Even when your central heating is on, this moisture can persist and cause a musty odor. Additionally, it can result in black and green spotting. Over time, these problems can lead to serious mold problems in your home.

Another sign of poor ventilation is shingles that have become loose and brittle. Additionally, poor ventilation can cause the wooden decking on your roof to delaminate. This condition makes it impossible for materials like shingles to adhere correctly. If you notice these problems, call a professional to assess the damage.

Installing roof vents is an integral part of a good roofing job. Proper ventilation will keep your attic dry and prevent costly repairs in the future. Inadequate ventilation can also lead to voiding warranties.

Kyle Houck


About the Author

Kyle Houck is the President of Eastern Exteriors, LLC.

Eastern Exteriors, LLC is a family-owned company based in Frederick, Maryland. From new roof installation and roof repairs by professional roofers to premium window installations and expert siding installation, we are a full-service exteriors and contractor roofing company. And, if storms blow your way, we’ll be there to assess and repair the damage quickly.

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