• Bob Schisler

Signs Your Roof Leak Could Be Due to Poor Workmanship


Although reputable, hard-working roofing contractors live and work all across the US, too many homeowners still end up with a mediocre roofing job from a fly-by-night, storm-chasing operation. These companies thrive off homeowners who don’t know that they have full control over who works on their roof. Even if you’re filing an insurance claim, you get to select the roofing contractor.

Think you’re suffering from poor workmanship on your roof? Here are some signs you may be in this situation.

Punch-throughs and incorrectly installed nails

Roofing manufacturers specify exactly how to install each product to achieve the best results. This includes details like the number of nails and where they should be placed. A reliable local contractor like Shumaker Roofing will follow these guidelines closely and are certified by the manufacturer.

However, an inexperienced roofer or a worker who's using a nail gun may inadvertently install nails crooked or push them too far into the roof deck. If the worker doesn't notice and fix this issue when it occurs, it can cause problems for your roof later. Some signs that nail guns or inexperienced workers could be the problem include:

You find roofing nails loose inside the attic (these are called punch-throughs)

You look up at the attic ceiling and see that a lot of the nails are sticking through the roof deck at an angle

You see daylight from the attic through a hole punched by a nail

Wrong Fasteners or Not Enough

Another issue that less experienced workers may cause is the issue of too few nails or even the wrong type of nails. While too many fasteners aren't necessarily a good thing, too few can be even worse. The manufacturer's installation guidelines should state how many nails should be used per shingle and what size they should be.

The type of material used for the nails matters too, as does the way they were made. For instance, you'd think that all galvanized nails would be about the same, but that's not the case. Hot-dipped galvanized nails are the best, whereas electro-galvanized nails have a much thinner galvanized coating. This means they won't stand up to the elements nearly as well.

Old or Missing Flashing

Sometimes, a worker who doesn't know better will try to reuse the flashing from the old roof if it seems to be in good shape. The problem with this? Even gently used flashing isn't likely to outlast a well-made new roof. Reusing flashing means you're almost guaranteed to have leaks in a few years, which could further damage your roof.

Another flashing issue occurs when certain types of flashing aren't present at all. This can happen through ignorance or because someone was trying to cut corners.

Shingle Exposure

Each row, or course of roofing shingles should be overlapped by the course above. The part of the shingle that's still visible is called the exposure. If there's not enough overlap, the exposure will be too large, which can cause major problems.

For example, if the shingles aren't overlapped enough, they'll end up with only half as many nails holding each shingle in place. This allows wind to rip shingles off much more easily.

These issues can all indicate that for whatever reasons, the workers who redid your roof didn't use the techniques or materials needed for the best roof. A roof with poor workmanship can fail within just a few years, which is why it's so critical to choose a roofing company with highly skilled workers and a reputation for great workmanship.

We’ve been serving the Frederick area for over 75 years. If you’re looking for a new roof, give us a call. We’d love to show you what a high-quality roofing company can do.

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