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Overcoming Obstacles: The Top Challenges in the Roofing Industry

December , 2023 | 9 min. read

By Cassie Findley

two roofers wearing safety harnesses on roof

Just like artists mastering brushstrokes or baristas perfecting their espresso shots. Every profession has its unique set of challenges – and the world of roofing is no different. Whether you're sculpting a delicate pastry or blending a latte. Overcoming these hurdles is what leads to mastery of your craft. In roofing, these challenges aren't just about handling tools or materials. They often need a blend of expertise, problem-solving skills, and a good deal of resilience.

Knowing how to fix it, though, is all that matters. Maestro, can you tell me how to make a heart on this caramel latte again?

RoofCrafters has been fixing and putting on roofs since Macaulay Culkin was Lost in New York. Over the past 30 years, we've encountered a wide range of challenges. Each one teaches us more about the art and science of roofing. These experiences have helped hone our skills. They have given us useful information on how to deal with common roofing problems.

Are you curious about what keeps roofers on their toes? In this article, we'll look at the six main challenges that roofing contractors often face. We'll discuss the innovative ways we address them. There's a lot to learn if you're a homeowner, a budding roofer, or someone curious about the trade. That being said, if you’re interested in learning about the 6 most common challenges roofers face and how they resolve them, stick around until the end of this article.

 So, let's dive in and uncover the hurdles of the roofing world and the savvy solutions to overcome them.

Navigating the Highs and Lows: Key Challenges for Roofing Contractors in 2024


Roofing contractors still face many challenges as we enter 2024. Some have been long-standing issues in the industry. While others are more contemporary. These challenges test the skills and resilience of roofers but also shape the future of roofing practices.

rotten wood on a roof-1

The most prevalent obstacles that roofing contractors are tackling this year include:

  1. Roof Damage: Addressing various forms of roof damage, from natural wear and tear to the impact of extreme weather events. This remains a primary concern.

  2. Roof Leaks: Identifying and fixing leaks. Which can lead to significant property damage if not addressed. This is a perennial challenge.

  3. Inadequate Roof Installation: Correcting poorly installed roofs is a thing. The problem often stems from inexperienced or unqualified contractors. This happpens frequently.

  4. Foot Traffic: Managing the wear and tear caused by foot traffic. This is especially true during inspections and installations. It calls for careful planning.

  5. Unfavorable Weather Conditions: Adapting to unpredictable and extreme weather patterns. This poses significant logistical and safety challenges.

  6. Standing Water: Ensuring proper drainage and addressing issues related to standing water. Which can lead to leaks and structural damage, is crucial.

water pooled on roof-1

Each of these challenges requires a unique approach and solution. Let's discuss them a little more in detail.

Tackling Roof Damage: A Persistent Challenge for Roofers in 2024


Roof damage continues to be a primary concern in 2024 for roofing contractors. Among various roofing materials, asphalt shingles remain the top choice for many homeowners. Yet, their popularity doesn't shield them from being prone to damage. Prolonged exposure to UV rays, relentless winds, and heavy downpours can take a toll on shingles. Ignoring small damage can cause big problems, so it's important to get help when things start to wear out.

Shingle blistering before their lifespan is over

But the challenges don't stop at weather-worn shingles. In the aftermath of severe storms, roofers often grapple with damage caused by fallen limbs or hail damage. These incidents can range from minor inconveniences to major structural threats. After a storm, finding scattered debris like branches and moved outdoor items can show roof damage.

tree leaning on a home after a severe storm

As storms get stronger, they throw bigger debris and cause more serious damage. Clearing this debris and inspecting for signs like disrupted shingle patterns are crucial first steps. However, not all impacts are easily assessable from the ground. Some may be subtle yet damaging, while others are destructive. In such scenarios, the expertise of a professional roofing contractor becomes invaluable. Their timely intervention is often the key to preserving the integrity of your roof and home. Roofing professionals face complex challenges, but they adapt and respond to keep homes safe.

debris on a flat and shingle roof

Potential signs of debris damage:

  • Visual identification of debris on the roof deck.
  • Missing shingles.
  • Cracked shingles.
  • Roof debris on the ground.

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Roof Leaks: A Pressing Challenge for Roofing Contractors


Roof leaks stand as one of the most frequent issues that roofing contractors face. Roofers must act fast because time is important and delays can cause more damage. The tricky part about roof leaks is their elusive nature. Detecting them isn't always straightforward. The place where water damage is visible might not be where the leak originates.

small roof leak

Roof leaks are a challenging problem for roofers because they are elusive. They must not only fix the leak but also investigate to ensure there isn't other hidden damage. To fix these problems and avoid more damage, it's crucial to find and fix them fast. In the world of roofing, addressing leaks is more than fixing a spot; it's about safeguarding a home.

The Ripple Effect of Inadequate Roof Installation


Roofing contractors often struggle to fix poorly installed roofs. If you use bad materials, have no experience, or neglect it, you'll have roofing problems later. Homeowners experience stress. The next roofer has a difficult task fixing the mistakes under that pressure.

loose shingle

One reason for the high turnover in roofing is inadequate installations. Where many companies struggle to sustain beyond their initial 3 years. Not many make it to year five. Poorly done installations often cause ongoing leaks and other significant damage. This adds extra expenses and stress for homeowners. When the roofing contractor steps in to fix these issues, they must build trust. It's often a complete overhaul to rectify the faults of the previous installation. Choosing experienced and trustworthy roofers from the start is vital in this situation.

Navigating the Wear and Tear: The Challenge of Frequent Foot Traffic on Roofs


While the roof of your home probably doesn’t face too much foot traffic outside of Santa landing his sleigh with his reindeer on Christmas Eve, commercial buildings with flat roofs are a different story.

AC units on a roof and poor roof ventilation

Commercial flat roofs with HVAC systems and other mechanical units are oftentimes located on the roof.  they get checked regularly by technicians. This results in too much foot traffic, which can lead to roof tears and broken seals. Which can ultimately compromise the roof’ing system. While this proves to be a large problem for roofing contractors, this can be avoided with regular maintenance. 

Battling the Elements: Roofing Challenges in Unfavorable Weather Conditions


Unfavorable weather conditions often prove themselves to be the Big Kahuna, Head Honcho, final boss type of enemy to roofers. Extreme weather such as heavy rain, wind, hail, and even heat makes it difficult for contractors to make proper repairs or do installations.

homeowner sitting inside getting rained on from a roof leak

Poor weather will result in delayed project completion. It takes more effort to keep the roof dry if it starts raining during a replacement. If your roofer chooses to work through unfavorable weather conditions, this can lead to substandard work, or worse, an accident. 

The Perils of Ponding: Tackling Standing Water on Roofs


Roofing contractors often face a difficult situation when there is water standing on roofs. Stagnant pools on the roof can happen in bad weather and might mean a problem with the drainage system. Addressing this challenge requires a two-pronged approach. The roofer needs to find the problems with the drainage that makes water collect. Good drainage is crucial to avoid problems like leaks and water damage in structures.

ponding water on a flat roof off the back of a home

We will find the main problem and fix it to make the water flow better. Much like addressing roof leaks, dealing with standing water demands prompt action. If we delay intervention, the issue could worsen and cause more damage to the roof. To prevent more damage and make the roof last longer, hire a skilled roofer to fix drainage problems.

Wrapping Up: Key Takeaways for Homeowners and Roofers Alike


And that's the rundown on the myriad challenges roofing contractors navigate. For homeowners, understanding these challenges can be insightful. It helps you appreciate the complexity of what might seem like simple roofing jobs.

If you think your roof has problems, telling your roofer about it right away can help. This information helps them prepare for the inspection and make a better repair plan.

Remember, a well-maintained roof is key to the safety and longevity of your home. A skilled roofing contractor can help with routine checks and specific concerns. They will make sure your roof continues to protect your home for years.

Not sure who to choose? Fear not, If you’re struggling to find the best contractor for the job, we've got you covered! Download “The Top 10 Most Checklist" It's questions you want to ask your potential roofing contractor. It'll help guide you into hiring the best contractor in your area.

image call to action, download the top 10 checklist

This checklist includes several prompts to ask your roofer to prepare you to hold the company accountable for its quality of work and services when it comes to your roof repair or replacement. In the meantime, continue learning about your next roofing project with our article, “Full Roof Replacement vs Roof Repair”. 

Cassie Findley

My name is Cassie, and I’m the Content Manager here at RoofCrafters. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and made my way out to Florida post-college graduation. I’m incredibly passionate about writing and creating valuable content that helps others with the collaboration of my marketing team. When I’m not working, I enjoy shopping (a little too much), spending time at the beach, and reading!