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    8 Signs Of A Bad Roofing Job + How To Fix It (Homeowner’s Checklist)

    A new roofing project should give your curb appeal a facelift, and leave you with a  secure, strong, and sturdy roof to protect your family and home for years to come. A bad roofing job takes that away. 

    It’s unfortunate if you go outside to see your new roof in its entirety and notice that it really isn’t up-to-snuff. In fact, your new roof might even be worse than your old one. While bad roofing jobs aren’t extremely common, they can certainly occur from time to time. A bad roofing job will often be noticeable from the ground, but occasionally, you need to take a closer look to see whether or not your new roofing project was a success.

    Whether you’ve recently gone through a new roofing job or are planning on installing a new roof soon, here are 8 signs to look for in a bad roofing job.

    1) Damaged or Missing Shingles

    roofing <a href=industry statistics” class=”wp-image-7954″/>

    With some bad roofing jobs, you may not be able to tell it was a poorly done project until later on. For example, the degree of storm damage your roof sustains may indicate whether or not the contractor did a good job.

    Sure, a decent storm can roll through and damage your shingles. Even the sturdiest, most well-built roof is susceptible to some damage if the storm is strong enough. But, if some bad weather comes through and your roof is the only one in the neighborhood that is damaged, something might be fishy.Most likely, some of the shingles weren’t nailed in properly, or the wrong roofing nail was used. This can be a pretty easy fix. If your roof is still under warranty, have the contractor come and take a look at the damage, and hopefully, he’ll make it right.

    contractor holding broken roof tile pointing to spot in attic where roof is leaking through to attic; signs of a bad roofing job

    2) Leaks Inside the Home

    If you notice your attic or upstairs ceiling showing signs of leaks after a roofing job, that’s a tell-tale sign of water damage. Every now and then, you should always be checking out your attic and ceilings to see if there are any potential signs of leaks. Even if you’re not quite sure if you see water stains, always call over someone to inspect the area to be sure.

    The key with roof leaks is to catch them before they become a big problem for your home. If a new roof installation leads to a leak, it can usually be remedied without a massive roof repair. But, if the leak becomes worse over time—which it likely will—the entire integrity of your home is at risk.

    3) Mismatched Shingles

    If your roofer is trying to cut corners and save money on materials, they may try and mix in some off-color or different-sized shingles. First off, that’s a pretty crappy thing to do. Second, it’s pretty insulting that they thought you wouldn’t notice. If it’s really bad, you’ll be able to see from your yard that they used multiple types of shingles.

    If you notice there are specific patches of your roof that look more worn down than other areas over time, that is also a sign that they may have used multiple types of shingles. If they, in fact, did so, and you can prove that they violated your contract by doing so, you may have grounds for legal action.

    close up view of stains on a roof; signs of a bad roofing job

    4) Stains on the Roof

    Discolored shingles can also mean that there are leaks somewhere on your roof, potentially from old flashing. Check your attic if you suspect an issue. If the leak is at the point where you need to do something ASAP, you’ll notice it is seeping through the attic. If you have several isolated stains, you can usually get someone to fix them without extensive repairs. However, if the leak is large enough, it may require a full replacement.

    Always hang onto any paperwork from the contractor, including the contract. If a roofing contractor were to cause this much damage to your home, you should not have to bear the burden of paying for another new roof.

    5) Missing Underlayment

    Roofing underlayment is a very necessary part of a roofing system. It helps ensure that your home is protected from water by adding a waterproof layer underneath the shingles. If your roof was installed without underlayment, your roof will deteriorate too quickly, and you’ll have to replace the roof earlier than you normally would.

    signs of a bad roofing job roofer working in sun

    6) Reused Flashing

    New roof installations should always constitute all new materials to reputable contractors. But some cheap contractors may try to cut corners and reuse materials like flashing. Reused flashing will almost always lead to leaks, and this misstep is a clear code violation. Reliable roofing companies know that flashing should never be reused.

    7) Sagging Rooflines

    A properly installed roof will look completely straight and even. If you look up at your roof and the rooflines are sagging, you’re probably dealing with a bad roofing job. A sagging roof means there’s either a framing problem or roof deck rot, both of which are urgent issues. The previous contractor likely tried to do a quick job on your roof and didn’t take the required steps to assess the old roof before the replacement.

    8) Lack of Uniformity

    When you pay a large amount of money for roof work, it should look nice and presentable in addition to working as it should. Your roof should have a uniform appearance after a new installation or replacement. If your roof looks inconsistent from various viewpoints, you probably have a bad roofing job on your hands.

    How to Avoid a Bad Roofing Contractor

    A roof replacement is a big project, and you want to make sure the person you hire for the job won’t cause any of the aforementioned issues. So, how can you ensure you make the right choice? Follow this quick list to help guide your decision.

    Make Sure They Have the Proper Licenses

    All roofers should be properly licensed, and they should have no issue showing you their license. If they are hesitant to do so or make up a story about how they don’t have it on them at the moment, that’s a clear sign you should avoid working with them.

    Check the Quality of Their Website

    Not every roofer will have a state-of-the-art website, but a functional, nice-looking website that clearly illustrates who they are and the work they’ve done is a good sign. See if they have any reviews on Google or testimonials on their site; that’s also a good sign.

    Get a Neighbor’s Input

    Ask around to see if anyone you know has heard anything about the roofing contractor you’re considering. Better yet, see if they have actually had them do work on their house before. A referral from someone you trust can help lead you to the perfect contractor for the job.

    signs of a bad roofing job roofer working in sun

    See How Long They’ve Been in Business

    Over 10 years is the sweet spot, but a 5-year-old company will also do great work on your roof. If a company is younger than 5 years, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t hire them, but you should be extra diligent in seeing their past work and reading reviews.

    Ask them if they can share a few homes they recently worked on that you can drive by and inspect or view images of. Checking past work should be done for all contractors you consider, regardless of how old they are. You can find more ways to spot a bad roofer in our previous article.

    Check Out Roofing Insights’ Roofing Directorii

    No homeowner wants to deal with a bad roofing job when you make a significant investment in your home. It’s our goal at Roofing Insights to help every homeowner get connected with reliable and trustworthy contractors across the country.

    Our roofing Directorii doesn’t let just anyone be on it. The criteria for being in our directory are strict. Contractors must prove that they are fully insured and licensed, have great reviews, and have no legal trouble with clients, among other characteristics.

    Take a look and see if you have any Roofing Insights-approved roofers in your area!

    Quentin Super
    Senior Copywriter at Roofing Insights, author of the internationally-selling book The Long Road North, founder of quentinsuper.com

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