Buyer Beware: Worst Roofing Mistakes We’ve Seen

Tarp Covering Residential Roof Leak

Avoid these roofing mistakes

We walk a lot of roofs and troubleshoot many roof leaks in the Grand Rapids area, so weve seen a number of roofing mistakes. In some cases, homeowners and/or their friends who arent roofers decide to reroof the house. In other cases, roofers have cut corners or not understood certain aspects of the work.

Some of the saddest scenarios weve seen are where a homeowner has paid a roofer to do the work, but not long afterward major problems are noticed, and the roofer cannot be found, has gone out of business, or stops communicating. In one such case recently we tore a roof off a house that had been paid for by a previous owner in preparation for the sale of the house. The new homeowner noticed major issues after living in the house only 9 months.

There were some repairs that could have been made, but, in the end, it made more sense to the new homeowners to have the roof removed and start over, and they hired Above Roofing  to do the work because of our commitment to work done well, backed by a warranty unsurpassed in the construction world.

Here is one example of common roofing mistakes scenario that, sadly, is not that uncommon. Cedar shake shingles used to be the “go-to” roofing material. The shakes were made in standard, well-known sizes, so that, when the decking boards (neither plywood nor OSB was used then) were put in place for the shakes to be nailed to, the boards could be gapped a certain amount, saving on material. Below is a picture illustrating this.

Here you can see the decking boards with large gaps between them. The cedar shakes are still in place, and the tops of them can be seen between the gaps.

When the cedar shake shingles are torn off, the roof should be re-decked with plywood or OSB. Otherwise, because asphalt shingles are a different height from the cedar, the nails for the asphalt shingle might not go through any decking but fall between the gaps. This might lead to nails popping up, nail holes leaking or shingles blowing off the roof. However, unfortunately we see way too many roofs that exhibit these problems, because someone did not install new decking when the cedar shakes were taken off the roof.

Here is the saddest case weve seen. In the picture below it can be seen that there are large gaps between the deck boards, and some of the deck boards are very badly cracked and broken. You can also see the roofing nails which only penetrate the thin metal, not any roof decking.

Within the past 3 years a roofer had replaced the roof on this house and tried to span the gaps with thin aluminum pieces. Above Roofing was called in because a skylight, which had not been replaced when the roof was replaced, was leaking. However, the decking problem was throughout the roof, not just at the skylight, and the homeowner needed another roof just 3 years after paying for a complete tear-off and re-roof. The cost of this was beyond the ability of this homeowner to secure, and, in the end, that person lost the house to bankruptcy.

Above Roofing does not cut corners. Our workmanship warranty is lifetime,which means that, if we install a roof or do a roof repair on your house, as long as that roof is in place we stand behind our workmanship. Given that level of ownership in our work, we make sure that the job is done right. As a result of this commitment we have to work done well, we have many awards and high marks from organizations like Better Business Bureau and Angies list and have 5-star ratings from the manufacturerswhose products we are certified to install (e.g., Certainteed roofing materials and Velux skylights). We consider our customers part of our family and treat them at that high level of integrity and respect. How might we help you?

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