Common Roofing Fails – How to Spot Them – How to Avoid Them


You want a beautiful, functional roof: avoid these common roofing fails.

Whoops! That’s the last thing you want to hear from a roofing contractor when it comes to your roof. After all, your roof is a layer of protection for your home. It protects you from wind, rain, hot, and cold. If you’re renovating your roof or installing a new one, you need to be able to rest assured that your contractor is doing a good job. If you’re purchasing a home and you’re wondering whether the roof is working well, you need to feel secure in your purchase. What are some common roofing mistakes, and how can you avoid them?

The Slope Is Wrong

Is your roof saggy? Some novice repair people will come in and fix a few roofing tiles that have a lot of wear, moss, or other problems. However, the true problem could be a lot larger. A roof structure that’s sagging in some areas will encourage water and debris to pool. There should be a minimum slope of four units of rise per twelve units of run. If the entire roof does not have the right slope, or some areas have started to sag over time, this could cause roofing problems.

The Edges and Valleys Aren’t Finished

One of the roof’s most vulnerable points is at its edges. When you look up to the roof, all of the edges should be covered by a line of starter shingles. These shingles not only give the roof a finished look, they protect the roof from water that could enter from the sides.

The valleys of the roof must also have protection. In dips where the edges of the roof come together, the roofing should have flashing to prevent water from entering the home. The flashing should be beneath the shingles and should be well-sealed to prevent leaks.


Your shingles must be secure to provide the best protection for your home.

It’s Not Nailed Together Properly

A contractor who speeds through a roofing job may not nail down shingles with enough nails. If your roofing shingles aren’t nailed properly, the roofing could look good until the first large wind, when the shingles begin to shift. Make sure that all of your roofing shingles are secure so that they’ll protect your home, no matter what the weather.

It’s Coming Apart At the Seams

Roofs have seams. They have vents that release warm air, and they have skylights and chimneys. One of the telltale signs of a bad repair job or roofing job is that the roof is coming apart at these seams. When roofing materials start to pull apart or leak around the seams, your home can experience extensive damage in the attic. This damage causes mold and mildew, and it can hurt the structure of your home and items in the interior, such as your insulation.

It’s Not Protected Underneath

A roof is more than its shingles. Check to make sure that your roof has a strong underlayer as well. This underlayer will protect your home in case of ice and snow, and if shingles do shift, it’s designed to prevent water from seeping into the attic.

The Roof Has the Wrong Material

Choosing a roof is part fashion and part function. First and foremost, your roof must provide the service that you need it to provide: it must protect your home. If you live in a fire-prone area, choosing untreated wooden shakes as a roofing material is a recipe for disaster. If you live in a place where there are frequent high winds, that clay tile roof that you want for your Italian-themed house may not be a practical choice. Your contractor should be able to lead you to the right roofing choices for your home to protect you in the long term.

The Roof Isn’t Functioning As a System

Your roof is a system, and if a well-built roof connects to ineffective gutter and downspouts, it won’t function well as a system. If your gutters are falling off the house or clogged with debris, you need to fix them. Prevent water and ice from backing up onto the roof. Add new gutters with a gutter cover to prevent them from getting clogged, warping, and sagging.

At Harry Helmet, we install roofs that last. Talk with us about our local estimators and contractors who have plenty of experience working with homes like yours. When it comes to renovating one of the most important parts of your home, don’t settle for those with less experience: schedule an appointment with Harry Helmet today.

Written by Del Thebaud