Your roof provides crucial protection for your home, and the quality of its installation can have an effect on your roof’s performance, efficiency and overall longevity. That said, it’s important to check if your roof has been properly installed. Whether your roof is brand new or has already been installed for years, you should know this bit of information about your roofing
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can tell if your roofing system has been correctly installed. While it’s always best to have your roof regularly inspected by a professional, you can also do a basic assessment of your roofing with the help of binoculars. This tool is usually handy in checking nails, flashing and other roofing materials. Under no circumstances should you climb to your roof all by yourself. Keep in mind that your safety should always be of utmost importance.
Here’s how to determine whether the installation is correct.
Observe Worksite Practices
Let’s start from the beginning. To ensure quality roofing for your home, you should first hire a qualified, experienced and reputable contractor. It’s usually best to hire a local roofing company because the team will know exactly the roofing materials and specifications that are suitable for homes in your area. They are much more likely to be knowledgeable about local guidelines, too.
Local businesses are also easier to verify and track down. There’s a good chance that someone from your community has hired them for a roofing project in the past, so you can ask around to see if they’re any good. Another thing that you might want to take note of is that local roofers are essentially part of your community. They live and work in the same place as you, so it can be easier to build trust and rapport.
Check the Shingles
If your roof has already been installed, one of the first things that you should check are the shingles. Ensure they are properly nailed down, and there are no excess overhangs. Correctly installed shingles have 1 to 1 1/2 inches of their edges hanging over the roof or about 1/2 to 3/4 inches for drip edge flashing. If the overhangs are too long, this could make your shingles extra vulnerable to strong winds or prone to blow offs. However, if the overhangs are too short, water could drip down into the rake or fascia boards. One way to tell if your shingles have been poorly installed is when they are sliding, coming up or hanging askew. Better call your roofer to have the shingles inspected and rectify any errors in installation.
Check the Flashing
The flashing is the narrow steel material installed on roofs to keep water away from critical areas. Typically, it is placed near vents, chimneys or skylights. If you notice the flashing pulling up from your roof, this is possibly due to improper installation. Make sure to have it fixed or replaced immediately. If the flashing is rusty or peeling, this could simply be due to aging or normal wear and tear. In this case, you have to replace the flashing, too.
Check the Drip Edge
Drip edges are added to roofs to prevent issues such as water damage, basement flooding and soil erosion. Typically fitted between the shingles and underlayment, a drip edge carries rainwater away from your home and helps the gutters do their job efficiently. To know if it is installed correctly, it should reach your gutters at a 45-degree pitch.
Check the Roof Decking
One of the most serious problems that can occur in roof decking is rotting. Now, it can be difficult for you to inspect the actual roof deck yourself due to its location. The task requires certain skills and equipment, so it’s best to leave this kind of inspection to professionals. However, you can do an “eye check” from time to time, observing your roof and the surrounding areas for signs of rotting. If you see rotting on your roof, call an expert so that the pro can take a closer look and figure out if roof repair or replacement will be necessary.
Check the Nails
Your roofer should use at least four nails for every shingle on your roof. However, for places that experience strong winds, having six nails hammered into each shingle would be better. Aside from checking the number of nails, you should also take note of how the shingles were installed. The nail heads should be hidden by the shingles because exposed nails could rust or loosen. The nails should also have the appropriate size.
Look for a Uniform Appearance
This is perhaps the easiest way to spot a roof installation error. Generally, if your entire roof has a uniform look, it has likely been installed properly. But if you notice patches or areas that don’t look the same as the rest of your roof, you should be wary and have a professional roofer examine it more closely. Of course, uniform appearance alone is not enough to evaluate the quality of the installation. But this should provide you a quick way to check if anything is amiss with your roofing.
Note Your Roof’s Performance Against Storms and Winds
If your roof doesn’t have sufficient nails or underlayment, it will likely suffer major damage during a storm. Unfortunately, there’s no other way to test the durability of your roof than to see how it performs under severe weather conditions. If your shingles seem to have been damaged by the storm while your neighbors’ roofs are intact, this is probably an indication that something is wrong with your roofing.
Check the Starter Strip Shingles
The starter strip shingles are the primary row of shingles installed at the eaves. They are crucial to proper roof installation, so make sure your roofer doesn’t skip them. Starter strip shingles can also prevent the material from blowing off due to high wind speeds, and they reduce the possibility of roof leaks.
Check for Proper Ventilation
Ensure your attic is properly ventilated so that heat and moisture won’t build up in your roofing system. Heat and moisture buildup are bad for your roof as it can wear out the shingles more quickly. It can also contribute to mold growth and rotting in the structure. If you’re uncertain about how to create proper ventilation in your attic, feel free to ask your contractors. They should be able to explain a suitable way to design your roof system and enable a sufficient exchange of indoor and outdoor air in your attic. Remember that roof and attic ventilation can also have an impact on your home’s overall comfort and your HVAC system’s efficiency – more reasons for you to pay close attention to this aspect of your roofing.
Get a Free Roofing Estimate Today!
Orion Home Improvements LLC provides a high level of customer service. Whether you’re needing residential or commercial roofing services, you can count on our team to assist you from start to finish. We’ll also make sure to deliver quality workmanship and meet all your roofing needs.
Our expertise covers roof repair and installation, and we also handle projects involving siding, windows, doors and gutters. With our attention to detail, you can rest assured that every job will be done to a high standard.
Call us at (571) 354-0331, or fill out our contact form to request a free quote. We serve customers in Burke, VA, and the surrounding communities.