It goes without saying that one of the most expensive aspects of your home maintenance is to repair the roof. Unfortunately, this is also one area of the home where it isn’t uncommon to find shoddy workmanship. After spending thousands of dollars, you expect your roof to look beautiful and perform as it should. A poorly repaired or built roof won’t just look bad, it will lead to costly and numerous problems down the line, including structural damage due to leaks and humidity. In the warm subtropical Northeast Florida weather, you can’t afford poor workmanship on your roof. How can you actually verify if your roofers did a good job?
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be an expert or contractor yourself to spot a less than ideal roofing job. All you have to do is look out for several key signs. Each will be a dead giveaway as to if your roofing contractor did a good job or failed to live up to the cost.
Your Roof Includes Drip Edge Flashing
This is one common area in which shoddy contractors will try to pull one over on the homeowner. Drip edge flashing is a material that roofing contractors should install at every edge of your roof. The purpose is to prevent water damage to your home and guard against pest infestations in the attic. Drip edges are a requirement for roofing shingles, however, most homeowners wouldn’t be able to tell whether or not their roofs have drip edges or not. In fact, most only know about the problem once they are dealing with leaks or moisture concerns.
If your room has a shingle roof, look to the gables and eaves. Each should feature a drip edge. This is metal flashing that fits between the shingles and the underlayment. It is paramount in carrying water away from the home and ensuring that gutters work as they should. A qualified roofing contractor will always use a drip edge to seal and protect the roof. It should set the stage for the shingle installation itself. Some companies also boast custom made drip edges to create an even more secure border on your roof.
Your Roof Looks Even and Uniform in Appearance
After a roof repair or installation, take a good hard look at your roof. Most of the time, homeowners don’t do a thorough visual inspection of their roof after a project has reached completion. At the end of a roofing project, your roof should look completely uniform throughout. An uneven appearance is a key giveaway that you’ve been the victim of a bad roofing job. If your roofline is sagging or asphalt shingles are not uniform in color, it is not uniform in appearance. Additionally, your roof should be done in the same materials from beginning to end.
The shingles are the main focal point of the roof and will do all of the heavy liftings in keeping your home free from moisture. A great roofing contractor will start the installation at the bottom of the roof, go up over the starter shingle, and then continue upwards. This creates a uniform appearance and allows your shingles to work as they should.
They Use A Quality Underlayment
This is something you’ll have to take notice of while the roofing is being installed. If you notice that your roofing company isn’t using underlayment, step in. Every qualified roofer will place an underlayment between the sheathing and the shingles of the home. The underlayment acts as another barrier that can protect your home from moisture or water leaks. It can also extend the lifespan of the roof itself. It is a crucial aspect of any roofing project.
A quality underlayment keeps the roof dry during the construction process as well, protecting any wooden elements of the roof. A qualified roofer will always use a high-strength synthetic underlayment. These synthetic underlayments are some 40 times stronger than the old-school felt-paper underlayments. Moreover, synthetic underlayments will not break down over time and tend to lay flatter than their older counterparts.
They Implement Effective Flashing Practices
Water leaks are the number one cause of damage to the home and roof. This is why a good roofer will always install plenty of metal flashing around leak-prone areas such as pipes or chimneys. The material should always be placed under the shingles rather than overtime. Additionally, chimneys require both step flashing and counterflashing. A single sheet of metal won’t do.
Bad roofing companies will attempt to substitute metal flashing with roof cement or ineffective caulks. While these sealants may work for a bit, they won’t eliminate leaks long term. Moreover, they cannot stand up to the humid Florida weather and will break down quickly, leaving you to deal with potential leaks. Keep in mind, if your roof edges touch walls, they should also boast kick-out flashing. Kick-out flashing stops water from entering and running down exterior walls.
Inexperienced roofing contractors may also attempt to reuse flashing materials from old jobs. A responsible and qualified roofing company will never reuse flashing materials. They will always replace rusty flashing and will replace new vent pipes if existing units have broken down. Overall, you’ll know your roofers did a good job if they properly flashed the roof and have waterproofed penetrations the first time, keeping you from costly repairs down the road.
You’ll know your roofers did a really great job if they also utilize rodent covers! These little guards can prevent rodent damage and debris from entering into plumbing pipes.
They Leave The Job Area As They Found It
After your chosen contractor has completed a project, your home and the area around your property should look as it did before they began. Great roofing contractors will never leave behind construction debris, empty packages, old shingles, or extra supplies. Instead, they will dispose of these materials themselves. Many will even bring their own construction dumpster to tidy up the work site as they progress. If a company makes you gather and dispose of these materials, they have failed to do a quality job and may have cut corners in other areas of the roof.
Additionally, roofers should never harm lawn, trees, plants, bushes or landscaping materials in the process of roofing. This also stands for both home siding and windows. While even great companies can make mistakes from time to time, a quality company will always remedy those mistakes before they become problems. If you find that trash or debris has been left behind or that areas of your home were damaged, your roofer did not do deliver on the quality job that they promised.
About Prime Roofing
If you hired a team of roofers recently, but aren’t happy with the result or you have some questions, feel free to get in touch with Prime Roofing. Prime Roofing is a local roofing company in Jacksonville FL specializing in top-notch new roof installations.