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The Importance of Proper Roof Installation

November , 2022 | 7 min. read

By Cassie Findley

birds eye view of residential neighborhood

Your home is your pride and joy. It has watched your children grow up, hosted the annual family Thanksgiving, and has done a stellar job sheltering you and your loved ones from the elements. As you get older though, so does your home, and more importantly, so does your roof. While your home keeps you and your family safe, your roof keeps your home safe, and if you’ve noticed a little more wear and tear on it than usual, it may be time to consider having it replaced.

If at any point during your annual Thanksgiving party Uncle Billy and Cousin Tommy approached you about your cracked shingles or misplaced flashing and offered you the family discount for an H.D.I.T (hillbilly-do-it-themselves) project, however alluring a discounted installation may seem, RoofCrafters can promise you that once you see Billy in his tank top and flip-flop combo atop your roof with a nail gun, you’ll be rethinking this decision. RoofCrafters has been installing roofs for nearly 3 decades now, and one of the most common roofing requests we receive time and time again is for costly repairs to fix errors that occurred during the initial installation.

That being said, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably curious why proper roof installation the first time around is so important, and why you absolutely shouldn’t let inexperienced family members conduct this hefty project. Well, it’s a good thing you’re here because, in this article, we’ll be breaking down the importance of proper roof installation, and some of the most common roof installation mistakes. Let’s dive in!

The Importance of Proper Roof Installation


Perhaps it goes without saying, but getting your roof replaced and not having to touch it again for 10-15 years is the expectation. Sometimes though, that’s not always the case. Just like everyone else, roofers are only human, and humans make mistakes. The only difference is that we expect no mistakes to be made. More often than not, your roofing contractor will be diligent in the work their crew produces, but small mistakes can still slip through the cracks, causing you roof leaks and costly repairs down the road.

roofer on top2-3

This is why proper roof installation by a company you trust is so important. Although this new roof may seem costly upfront, this investment will pay off over the years. How? Well, because you had a reputable company complete your roofing project, you can bet there will be little to no mistakes that will give you grief in the future. Now, if you decided to let Uncle Billy and Cousin Carl complete their first-ever roofing project on your home, there’s a good chance you’ll be paying for repairs in the future. So, it’s important to go with a contractor that you trust the first time around. 

Common Roof Installation Mistakes


Proper installation is incredibly important when it comes to the longevity and functionality of your roof, but sometimes even professionals can make mistakes. Here are some of the most common installation mishaps: 

  • Improper nail placementmissing shingles
  • Inferior ventilation system
  • Misaligned shingle placement
  • Misplaced flashing
  • Poor workmanship

Improper Nail Placement


One of the most common mistakes we see while we inspect an older roof is improper nail placement. Let’s say you have architectural shingles on your roof. Well, to keep them in place, each shingle should be fixed with four nails, and in windier regions, six. The nail placement should follow a certain pattern to prevent the shingles from warping, and also to ensure a clean removal in the future. The mistakes inexperienced roofers will make in this situation are driving the nails through the material and puncturing the self-sealing strip. As you know by now, this is no bueno, as this mistake will likely cause you leaks in the future. 

Inferior Ventilation System


Your vent system is equally as important to your home as your roof. This is how your attic breathes, and how it regulates the temperature throughout the entirety of your home. If you have a sub-par ventilation system installed along with your new roof, you’ll be met with a few different problems, the main one being moisture build-up.

Roof ventilation-1

When moisture builds up in your attic, this can cause the roof support to prematurely wear out, while also compromising your insulation. Then comes the attic stench, increasing energy bills, and possibly even respiratory ailments caused by poor air quality. So, do yourself and your family a favor and make sure you and your roofer choose a quality ventilation system. 

Misaligned Shingles


Another problem we see frequently is misaligned shingles. If your contractor doesn’t place your shingles diligently, you can expect a leak in the near future. Sadly, even when shingles are placed perfectly, Mother Nature can still find a way to create a problem with strong winds and rain. So, when shingles are misplaced, this makes it even easier for wind and rain to compromise your roof. Shingles should be placed atop an asphalt-saturated underlayment, and when they’re misaligned, water can seep down into the underlayment, which then compromises the structural integrity and lifespan of your roof. 

Misplaced Flashing


Roof flashing is important for many reasons, mainly for protecting the most vulnerable points of your roof. It's critical to have in the places where your roof’s surface meets a wall, the low points or valleys where two slopes meet, and any roof protrusions such as skylights and vents. Just imagine how detrimental it would be to have wind and rain blowing straight onto these points if your flashing happens to be placed incorrectly during your roof installation. 

cracked flashing

Thanks to the help of flashings, any water gets stopped at the base before it even has the chance to get in between a wall, enter a valley, or compromise your skylights and vents. Do you know how your gutters redirect water away from your foundation to keep your home safe? Your flashing is no different. Think of it as a little gutter for your roof and attic - you probably wouldn’t want that to be misplaced either. 

Poor Workmanship


As I said previously, roofers are human, and humans make mistakes. However, that’s not a reason for a roofing company to habitually incorrectly install roofs. We all hone our professions, and roofers shouldn’t be exempt from that due to human error. That being said, the number one most common roofing mistake is poor workmanship. If a roof is improperly installed, it was 100% caused by a lazy contractor who used shortcuts for either the time or costs. Poor workmanship is becoming far too common in today’s world, so it’s incredibly important to do your due diligence as a homeowner and vet multiple contractors before choosing the best one suited for your roof replacement. 

Is Proper Roof Installation Important?


As you now know, proper roof installation is incredibly important. If you want to avoid roof leaks, roof damage, mold, pests, and other unmentionables that come hand in hand when a roof is improperly installed, it must be done correctly the first time around. Be sure to thank Billy and Tommy for their offer, but opt for a professional.

You can and should have multiple roofing companies conduct inspections of your roof and attic, and choose which one you feel is right for the project. When you’re ready to move forward with the process, make sure you choose a roofer who demonstrates integrity and will provide a great experience. When you get a roof replacement, you don’t want only the best quality materials, but the best quality of workmanship as well. 

At RoofCrafters, we have an experienced team of professionals that would be happy to help you with your roof replacement. So, if you’re looking for options, we can show you different material types, go over the different levels of warranty, or walk you through the insurance process. If you have some more insurance questions, check out our article, “What You Need to Know about Insurance and Roof Replacements”, or drop us a line on our contact page. We’re always happy to help!

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!