Avoid These Common Roofing Mistakes
Your roof works as a system. There are a number of elements that can lead to a range of issues and complications. By making yourself aware of the most common roofing mistakes in roofing installations, repairs and replacements, you can save yourself the hassle and expense of more severe problems in the future.
Hiring the Wrong Roofing Contractor
In Toronto and the GTA, there are a shocking number of roofing contractors who are unlicensed, uncertified and unqualified to perform the work you need. Never hire a contractor without asking for proof of their credentials. A good roofing contractor will
- Show you proof of their certifications
- Demonstrate the right knowledge, experience and expertise to perform the work
- Ask the right questions to gain a solid understanding of the issue
- Take a full system approach to find the source of the problem and to verify that the rest of your roof is functioning optimally
- Price fairly (beware of roofing contractors whose prices seem too good to be true, make sure you evaluate price versus value, and compare apples to apples when it comes time to choose between multiple quotes)
Attic and Roof Ventilation
Proper attic and roof ventilation are critical to the function of your roofing system. And yet many homes are either incorrectly or inadequately ventilated. A good roofing contractor will always check that your attic and roof ventilation systems are sufficient. Proper attic and roof ventilation includes:
- The right balance between intake vents and exhaust vents
- Correct amount of attic insulation that does not block air flow at the intake source such as soffits panels or sectional intake vents located at the underside of the overhang
- Use of consistent types of roof vents throughout your attic
- Bathroom exhaust fans that vent out the roof – not into the attic
Failure to Follow Correct Methods and Guidelines
Three of the most important components of your roofing system are the flashings, underlayment and shingles. Correct roof installation, roof repair or roof replacement is critical, as each element plays a vital role in the overall condition of your roof.
Flashings are those areas of your roof that are most vulnerable to water penetration such as the chimney, valleys, dormers, skylights and plumbing stacks. Care and expertise must go into their installation to ensure your roof is protected from leaks.
The first underlayment, also known as an ice and water shield, is located underneath your shingles and around roof penetrations, and serves as your first protection against ice dams. The second underlayment, shockingly enough, is not required under your entire roof according to the Ontario Building Code, and if it is not installed everywhere, your home may be at risk of leaks. A good underlayment will be water resistant and breathable and installed from the ice and water shield, underneath all shingles.
Your shingles comprise the outer layer of your roof so you can imagine their level of importance. Common mistakes include improper nailing, poor alignment, lack of an underlayment, leaving out the starter strip or turning it upside down, failing to leave an overhang at the eaves and using asphalt based cement to make repairs. Such mistakes can lead to a non-aesthetically pleasing appearance, shingle blow-offs, animal damage, roof leaks and shingle delamination.
Each component of your roof comes with specific guidelines and recommendations provided by the manufacturer. These guidelines are important and if not followed correctly, manufacturer warranties may become void.
Choosing a Contractor Without a Workmanship Warranty
It is important that the roofing contractor you choose stands by his or her work. A workmanship warranty confirms this. As a homeowner, you need to make sure you’re protected against all odds. The length of the warranty is not as critical as its offering. If the contractor has a workmanship warranty in place, you know they guarantee their work. Many will even perform work beyond the warranty period because a smart contractor knows this is what builds client loyalty and referrals.