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10 Signs of a Bad Roofing Job

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So you had some problems with your roof a few months ago and now, you’re experiencing problems again with the same roof. You paid a lot of money the last time and you obviously don’t want to pay a lot of money now and get the same results. This is why you need to know how to spot signs of a bad roofing job for you to determine that the issues that you’re experiencing now are due to the bad roofing job done in the past.

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Knowing these signs is also helpful so you can check the work done immediately. This way, you can check and ask them to re-do their work if it’s not up to par. It’s better that way than letting them leave thinking that they did a good job, only to contact them again after a month or so begging them to re-do their work.

Signs of a Bad Roofing Job

roof being repaired

Whether you just had roofing work done or your roof is leaking or showing damages, here are the signs of a bad roofing job:

  1. You’re experiencing the same problem.

Is the roof still leaking after repair or replacement? That’s a clear sign that the roofer did a bad job. The reason why you had the roof repaired or replaced is to stop the leaking or whatever issue you’re facing. If that doesn’t happen, then it simply means that the roofer didn’t do a good job.

  1. There’s no uniformity in appearance.

One day you’re admiring how perfect your roof looks and then the next day, you suddenly notice that it’s not perfect after all. This is because you’re viewing it from a different angle, showing you that there’s no uniformity.

This is a sign of haphazard work. It’s like a Band-Aid solution wherein the previous homeowner or roofer chose to patch things up with no consideration to the roof’s appearance as a whole.

You may have to look really close because some signs may not be as obvious. Check out the roof lines. Are they sagging a bit? The asphalt shingles, if you look closely, may show lack of uniformity when you see shingles with a different shade or color.

Of course, you have to consider damages caused by a natural occurrence. Has there been a recent storm or heavy rain? How about insanely strong winds? These can lead to some parts being damaged so the roof’s not going to be uniform.

You may also notice that materials were not installed correctly. Maybe you see loose materials because the wrong nail type was used. Maybe you see a lack of uniformity in the materials because the contractor ran out of the chosen material.

This is a sign of incompetence on the part of the roofer. It’s either he’s not familiar with the building codes that should be followed or he knows about them but chose to disregard them. Either way, it’s a bad sign.

  1. Your roof doesn’t have drip edge flashing.

A competent roofer will install drip edge flashing because they know the important role that it plays. It’s installed along your roof’s edges in order to protect your roofing against damages caused by pests and water. This is why the best roofers consider it as a required addition.

If the contractor spots that you’re missing it, then it’s a sign that the previous roofer did a bad job.

  1. It doesn’t have underlayment.

This is a very important part of the roofing structure. Without it, there’ll be no barrier in between the sheathing and the shingles that will block water and moisture.

A licensed roofer understands the importance of the underlayment so they will install it. The opposite can be said about scam artists. They will send you a quote that’s way lower than quotes by licensed professionals. They’re able to do this because they’re not going to install an underlayment.

Also if you notice that the roof is deteriorating quicker than expected, it can be a sign that there’s no underlayment. This is because the lack of underlayment leads to rapid roof deterioration.

  1. The shingles are visibly stained.

This is a sign of leaks. In a lot of cases, they’ll show up just as the warranty expires. If you dealt with an unlicensed roofer, they’ll show up and you have no way of getting the roofer to fix the job.

If the stain is black in color, then it’s a sign that the roofer did a horrible job.

  1. There are missing shingles.

This is one of the first things to check once roofing work is done. If there are gaps or missing shingles and the roofer said that they’re already done, then that’s clear proof of unprofessionalism.

It goes without saying that damaged or missing shingles should be expected in the event of a big storm. But what if the storm is not that strong and your home is the only one in your area with missing or damaged shingles? It means that the roofer did a bad job.

  1. Wrong nails or improper nailing techniques are used.

There are nails that are specifically used for shingles. They’re resistant to rust, for starters, so there’s something wrong if you see rusted nails.

In addition, you may see nails that are hammered in too deep. This is an improper technique. The nails should also be positioned at the right locations.

  1. An old flashing material was used.

It’s never a good idea to use old roof flashing material. It has to be replaced by a new one. It’s not meant to be used more than once. If you need to replace your roof, new flashing material has to be used as well.

  1. The roofer didn’t check the roof decking.

Experienced roofers will always tear the old material apart before replacing it so they can check the roof decking. A leaking roof will eventually damage the roof decking and it will rot in the process.

What happens if they replace the roof without checking the roof decking? The rotted roof decking won’t do its job of holding the nails in place. This will compromise the shingles as well.

  1. The roofer didn’t replace the old vents with new ones.

Just like with flashing, it’s not a good idea to re-attach the old vents. Old vents have damages in them so it doesn’t make sense to use them again with the new roof replacement. An experienced roofer will always install new roof vents.

How do you avoid a bad roofing job? You hire a good contractor.

Things to Look for in a Contractor

As you can see, there are a lot of signs of a bad roofing job. You can probably imagine by now how stressful it is if your roof shows these signs so you’d want to avoid them as much as possible. Fortunately, you can avoid them by choosing a competent and experienced contractor.

Here are the things to look for in a contractor:

  • License and registration

It’s very important that they’re registered. This way, you can check out their paper trail of information which will prove to be handy to do a background check on them. Most scammers wouldn’t bother registering because doing so will lead a paper trail back to them. So essentially by looking for a registered contractor, you’re limiting the risk of you falling victim to a scam. At the very least, you’ll know who to contact if the roof starts showing signs listed above.

A lot of homeowners think that registration is enough, though. This is not good. You also have to look for a license. This is especially true since this is a roofing job that requires a lot of expertise. This is why you have to make sure that they’re licensed. This is because a license shows the professional’s experience and expertise.

Make sure that you check the information on the license. Make sure that the license shows that they’re licensed to do the job that you need done.

  • Experience

For most people, they feel more comfortable hiring someone with years (even decades) of experience. This is understandable because experience plays a big part in a company’s excellence.

Generally speaking, someone with 10 years of experience in the roofing industry will do a better job than someone with 1. This is because they’ve been doing this for a long time now. They know what works and what doesn’t.

They’ve also established a good system. This will lead to efficiency.

Speaking of efficiency, there’s a good chance that they’ve already invested on a lot of equipment. This helps them do a good and efficient job.

  • Insurance

As you probably know by now, it’s dangerous to work on a roof. This is why you have to hire a professional so that you won’t expose yourself to this danger. This doesn’t end there, though. You still have to make sure that they have insurance that will free you from liability if in case something bad happens to them. Also, you should know that homeowners insurance may not even cover roof leaks, the more reason to make sure your roof is properly installed.

  • Communication

A lot of projects have been delayed because of miscommunication. Because of this, the expenses pile up as well. This is why you have to make sure that you’re dealing with a roofing contractor that has good communication skills.

This should show the moment you start talking to the contractor. How quickly do they get back to you? Are they pleasant to talk to? Do you feel as if you’re an important customer?

  • Reputation

This can help you find the right roofer to hire. If someone has a glowing reputation for doing an amazing job, then that’s your expectation right there. On the other hand if someone has a reputation for doing a bad job, why would you hire that so-called professional?

roof being installed

Professionals also know that their potential clients are checking their reputation. This is why they know that they should do a good job each and every time. They know that they should satisfy all of their customers or else, they’ll risk having a bad reputation that will make it harder for them to get new clients in the future.

  • Location

There’s no reason for you to hire an out-of-town contractor. This is especially true if you have several great options near you. By hiring someone near you, you can actually save a lot of time and money.

  • Contract

They’re contractors. Of course they should offer a comprehensive contract. This protects you as a customer and them as a company.

The contract will also indicate their turnaround time. This can help set and manage expectations.

It’s a big warning sign if they don’t want to sign a contract. This means that they don’t want to commit because they’re either not confident of their skills or they’re planning to scam you.

  • Friendly payment terms

Whatever you do, don’t pay in full upon signing of the contract. Don’t even pay half upfront. Pay 30% of the total contract fee at most.

The payment terms should dictate the succeeding payments. It’s industry practice that you pay for every set milestone.

  • People they work with

Who will be working on the job? You have to check their credentials as well. This applies to their employees and their subcontractors as well.

  • Itemized quote

This will seal the deal. Of course, you want to know how much it’s going to cost you. This is why you’re going to ask them to quote you a price.

It’s not enough that they just give you a quote. It has to be an itemized quote. You need to know what exactly you are paying for.

This is also important as you shop around for the best deal. Yes, you need to shop around. You need to get in touch with around 4 of the best companies in your area and ask them to send you their best itemized quotes so you can make your choice after a comparison.

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