Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

Roof Replacement

8 Things That Can Go Wrong During a Roof Replacement

February 16th, 2024 | 6 min. read

8 Things That Can Go Wrong During a Roof Replacement

Print/Save as PDF

A roof replacement is a big home improvement project with a lot of moving pieces. I like to say, “It’s chaos, but a good roofing company makes it a controlled chaos.”

But no matter who you hire, there’s always a chance something goes wrong during a roof replacement. While the most obvious is people getting hurt, much more can go wrong. 

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has taken pride in helping homeowners prepare and have the best roof replacement experience possible. Because of this, I want to give you the eight things that can go wrong during your roof replacement. 

This article covers the following things that go wrong during the roof replacement process:

  • Not being prepared for inclement weather
  • Property damage
  • Not covering a pool
  • Getting debris in an attic
  • Vehicles being blocked in
  • Oil spots left behind
  • Pets getting out
  • Tripped breakers

1. Not being prepared for inclement weather 

After the tear-off process of your roof replacement and before the underlayment is installed, your roof’s decking is left exposed. If a pop-up shower rolls in and your roofing contractor isn’t prepared, it can cause significant water damage to the inside of your home. 

Whether there’s a chance for rain or not, a roofer should always be prepared by keeping a tarp on-site to cover your roof if it starts raining. In a perfect world, every roofing contractor would check the weather on the day of a roof replacement to determine if it’s safe to open your roof. 

But as long as they’re prepared and paying attention, your roof will be protected if it starts raining during your roof replacement. Unfortunately, this does increase the time it takes to complete the project. 

2. Damage to your property 

Every roofing contractor should take proper measures to protect your property before, during, and after your roof replacement. But no matter how well it’s protected, there’s always the possibility of accidental damage from debris to your home or things around it. 

ways to protect property when replacing a roof(Ways a reputable roofers prevents property damage)

This could be running over sprinkler heads, damage to the landscaping/shrubbery surrounding your home's base, or a light fixture getting broken by a shingle getting away from an installer. As long as you hire a reputable roofing contractor, they’ll do what they can to fix it or pay to take care of the problem. 

Just know that some companies sneak clauses into the fine print of estimates stating they’re not responsible for property damage caused by the roof replacement process. So, make sure to review a roof estimate carefully before signing anything. 

3. The roofing contractor forgetting to cover your pool

Swimming pools are magnets for fiberglass that floats in the air during the tear-off process. If a pool isn’t covered before the tear-off process begins, the fiberglass will get in the filter, which clogs it and burns the motor up. 

covering a pool with a tarp during a roof replacement

And it’s not covering it with just anything; your pool must be covered with a brand-new tarp instead of a used one. That’s why you should see a line item in your estimate for tarping and covering your pool. 

If you don’t see it on your estimate, ask your roofing contractor about it and specify that you want it covered before the roof replacement begins. 

4. Not covering the things in your attic

During a roof replacement, roofing debris, sawdust, and wood splinters can get in your attic. If you use it for storage or something else, debris will get all over everything if it isn’t covered. 

While a reputable roofer should bring it up anyway, tell them on the front end that you want your attic covered. On the day of your roof replacement, they’ll put plastic on the ceilings to create a tent that shields falling debris or lay tarping/plastic over everything.

plastic covering things in an attic

After it’s done, they’ll roll it up and throw it away with the rest of the roofing debris. If you don’t have an attic space or care what’s up there, this may not be important to you.

5. Vehicles being blocked in during the roof replacement process

On the day of your roof replacement, you’ll need to move your vehicles out of the driveway or garage to ensure they don’t get blocked in. But if you don’t move your vehicles or the roofing contractor forgot to mention it, the entire production has to stop to let you out. 

Everything will need to be cleaned up and moved out of the way, the driveway will be checked for nails, and then they’ll have to set everything back up. This could take 20 minutes or longer, depending on the size of your home and the crew. 

That’s why I always recommend moving your vehicles out of the way the night before your roof replacement or at least having a backup plan if you need to leave.

6. Oil spots left behind in your driveway 

There’s a lot of equipment and heavy-duty vehicles on your property during your roof replacement. No matter what, they should stay on paved surfaces to ensure they don’t cause damage underground. 

However, there is a chance that oil spots get left on your driveway or other paved surfaces. A reputable roofing contractor will put something underneath their vehicles or other motorized equipment to catch any oil that drips to prevent this from happening.

7. Pets getting out

During your roof replacement, your roofing contractor has to access your roof from the front, back, and/or side of your home. If you have a fenced backyard, the gate to your fence will be left open and have people going in and out of it all day. 

If you’re not careful, your pet could get out if you let them in the backyard during your roof replacement. Because of this and the stress that loud noises cause pets, I recommend finding somewhere for them to go on the day your project begins. 

8. Tripped breakers

While it’s not always the case, there’s a chance your roofer will need your home’s outside outlets during your roof replacement process. Unfortunately, this can lead to a tripped breaker if they use something that draws a lot of amps. 

This causes the plugs in your bathroom, possibly the kitchen, or wherever the breakers are in the house not to work. If you’ve never dealt with tripped breakers, this can be stressful. 

And if you can’t figure it out, your roofer should be able to find the tripped breaker by hitting some test reset buttons.

How do you tell if your roof was installed correctly?

Now you know the eight things that can go wrong during your roof replacement. While mistakes do happen, the important thing is what the roofer does afterward about the situation. 

And as long as you hire a reputable roofing contractor, you mitigate a lot of the chances for something to go wrong. However, there’s still one huge thing that can go wrong during a roof replacement: improper installation. 

While it can happen accidentally, installation errors are common in roofing. Unfortunately, you usually won’t know until there’s already a leak damaging the inside of your home. 

However, there are ways to identify if your roof was improperly installed. It just takes some guidance without roofing experience. 

That’s why I wrote another article breaking down the signs that you got a bad roof replacement. 

Check out 5 Signs of a Bad Roofing Job (How to Avoid It Happening to You) to learn how to identify a bad roof when you see one. 

New call-to-action

Table Of Contents

Related Articles