How Roofers Identify a Bad Roof Installation
How Roofers Identify a Bad Roof Installation

How Roofers Identify a Bad Roof Installation


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The roofs are one of the most extensive parts in any home to repair and one of the common areas to discover poor workmanship. A poorly built or repaired roofs can ultimately lead to various roofing issues in the future, including structural damage due to leaks and costly roof reworks. Many homeowners and clients called for a second opinion and mentioned some issues as they assumed the roof would not perform as advertised.

A professional roofing inspection is needed, and only the best and experienced roofing professionals can spot any issues occurring. Below is a strategic way of how roofers determine if the client’s roof was correctly installed or not.

1. The Appearance Test

Several common visual signs of a poor roofing job will be identified if there’s any. It is effortless to spot an improper roof installation. Roofers have to look up from the ground. Doing so, they can check some areas from different angles. In many cases, the visual signs usually occur long after the roof is built. 

Spotting any of these issues can happen shortly after a roofing work, mainly if there is no major storm. It is already a prime indicator that the previous roofing contractor did a poor job. Below are the considered factors under the appearance test.

  • Stains

Dark stains on the roofs might often spot water leaks. Doing some inspections on these stains is necessary. Make sure to check the attic closer to the areas to identify the extent of the leak and damage resulting from it.

Sometimes, isolated leaks can be repaired without considering a roof replacement. However, the extensive damage, including many discovered spots where the grainy surface has come off, leads to a much larger issue. Large and complex issues like this require extensive repair works and probably a new roof.

  • Missing or Damaged Shingles

Right after a strong storm, it is customary to search for any shingle damages. However, if the property is the only one that suffers from such enormous damage, the roof’s quality should be questioned. Small sections of the shingle can be replaced immediately without repairing the entire roof. For roofers who are tasked to do so, conducting a thorough roof inspection is necessary.

  • Uniformity

Under typical situations, a roof only wears evenly alongside each side. It is true even if one side faces the weather and the other side is away from it. Make sure to frequently check the roofs, determining if the one side isn’t wearing down too fast.

As you begin searching for any signs of damage, note the shingles that might have the wrong size and colors. The previous roof contractor is behind the mismatched shingles as they purposely cut corners. Cutting corners can significantly lead to additional damage.

2. Structural Test

While it may be easier to check for any issue visually, others tend to require a little more work. There were no less critical as they can also lead to extensive leaks and more significant storm damage if not identified and addressed immediately. Many factors broadly impact the integrity of the roof. Utilizing the wrong materials might cause premature aging to the roofs. 

If the roofs are prematurely aged, the leaks will occur long before they can usually be expected. Here are some common structural problems.

  • Missing Drip Edge

The metal sheet that protects the boards under the edge of the roof (fascia) from water damage is called the drip edge. It is commonly located between the shingle sand underlayment and extends over the gutter when being installed appropriately. Drip edges are affixed using a row of short roofing nails and sometimes roofing cement. The roofing nails are well-placed right above the edge of the shingles.

Mold, flooded basement, soil erosion, rot, and staining are some of the common damages that might occur due to a missing drip edge.

  • Hardware Mistakes

It requires more than just shingles when making a watertight roof. Flashing and some proper attachment methods are considered crucial to a lasting roof. Flashing must be properly caulked and installed. Roofers need to add an extension to the house to connect the two roofs. Construction safety has to be prioritized for this matter.

Moreover, different roofs might require other nails. Picking the wrong size, nailing the shingles too low, and spacing too far will cause leaks and dislodged shingles if there are high wind cases. That is why it is important always to check the hardware.

  • Missing Underlayment

The layer of a material or paper that serves as a waterproofing barrier found mostly beneath the shingles is called the underlayment. Roofers must pay attention to any missing underlayment. With that said, a missing underlayment will cause roof leaks and shorten the lifespan of the roofs.

  • Improper Nailing Techniques

To make sure that roofs won’t leak, using the right type of nails should be used. It includes the correct grade, type, and size of nails. Each of the items will differ depending on the materials being used. The nails should also be driven directly into the materials correctly, as it is crucial. For instance, if an under-driven nail isn’t penetrating through the deck, it tends to increase the risk of leaks and missing shingles.

Any overdriven nails can cut into the shingles. Placing a nail too higher on shingles prevent it from securing the higher edge of the shingles staggered below it. On the other hand, placing the nail too low can result in shifts and slippage. Only the manufacturers can specify in the directions where the nails needed to be placed. Failure to follow the basic instructions is an obvious sign of inattention to details and rushed labor.

3. Reusing Old Flashing Materials

It is crucial to install new flashing material and use the best construction technology, particularly during roof repairs/replacements. Several types of flashings can protect the roofs from water intrusion. Counterflashing, step flashing, apron, and head flashing around the chimney are some common types of flashing. Also, take note of everything below.

  • General home inspections can be done as well. In most cases, roofers found out that leaks are coming from the skylights of chimneys. It does happen as a result of reusing old flashing during the past roof replacements.
  • Bear in mind to use only roof flashing at once. If you are suggesting roof replacement to your client, consider new flashing. Generally, a piece of flashing that might look fine doesn’t mean it is durable and refined. Punctures and holes are hard to spot sometimes.
  • Roofers have to install flashing underneath instead of over the shingles. They must stay away from compromising the water resistance. Even if the caulking is being used, the roofs must be re-caulked frequently to prevent leaks whenever the flashing isn’t installed correctly.
  • Pipe flashing can be compromised when roofers tend to install the nails too close to its corners. Over time, the nails can loosen the boot, allowing water to flow right under the leak and edge into the nail’s holes.

How Construction Schedule Software Benefit the Roofers?


There are plenty of moving parts when wanting to maintain a very successful roofing business. From ensuring that business stays on the line to keeping any roofing projects on schedule and within budget to getting documents saved and edited, it really can be challenging to determine if you are hitting all the marks. Good thing that advanced software intended for project management for construction and roofing projects is designed primarily to make everything set into the proper place.

Discover below some of the significant benefits every roofing contractors experienced when using and taking advantage of this software tool:

  • Simplified process – this project management application makes the entire work much simpler and faster. This application designed for roofers will help them save more time and work extra efficiently. The set of features, including time tracking, file management, cloud-based storage, etc., has made every crew even more productive.
  • Quicker project completion – running a roofing business requires so much attention to various tasks. As the team takes more and more time to roofing projects, it might be harder to keep track of every project’s current phase. Only this construction crew scheduling software helps roofing contractors follow every project’s progress as it sends automatic updates without needing to be on-site.
  • New business insights – many roofing businesses have caught up in maintaining the regular workflow. They aren’t up to date on the performance metrics needed to help the company grow. Software solutions provided some options in creating custom reports to show important details that matter to them.
  • Easy to Use – taking usability into account is crucial when choosing a project management application. It will help you in securing that you will take advantage of all the features it offers. Make sure that it reflects the way you and your crew works. In short, it must be easy to use and to access.

Key Takeaways


Only experienced roofers carry the safety gears, proper tools, and equipment to complete a comprehensive inspection. Additionally, these professionals know what to inspect, are equipped with a set of skills, and have the broad experience to identify the signs of any potential roof problems.

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