The day your roof is installed is the most important day in the life of your roof. It lays the groundwork for your roof’s entire future. If it’s installed properly then the future of your roof is bright and long. But if a roof is improperly installed, your roof’s future will always lead to premature roof failure.
The team at Bill Ragan Roofing understands that proper installation of your roof is the most critical part of getting a new roof done and it shows in our workmanship.
Never one to shy away from educating the public or our customers, in this article, I will explain what an improperly installed roof is, what causes it, and the reasons why proper roof installation is important.
What is an improperly installed roof?
A roof is properly installed when all of the roofing components, accessories, and materials are installed using the correct roofing techniques. If just one part of the roof is installed incorrectly, it will start the process of premature roof failure.
An improperly installed roof is simply a roof that was installed using incorrect roofing principles and not following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Unfortunately, if one part of the roof is installed improperly, you can bet there are other parts installed incorrectly as well. It doesn’t just happen to older roofs that need a replacement, it happens even more in new home builds.
What causes an improperly installed roof?
When a roof is installed improperly, problems could show up the very first time it rains. Causes like poor workmanship, inadequate attic ventilation, improper nailing, and poor weather conditions during the installation will always lead to a roof failing well before it’s time.
Poor workmanship. Every time a roof is improperly installed, you can bet it was caused by a roofing contractor that was lazy, used shortcuts to cut down on time and cost, they didn’t care about doing a good job, or they flat-out didn’t know what they were doing. All of these contribute to poor workmanship. Unfortunately, these examples of poor workmanship are all too common in our fast-paced world today.
Your roof system and the materials you choose for that system, are only going to be as good as the installer’s workmanship. If the material is supposed to last 25 years, then it should last 25 years or longer. If a contractor installs your roof poorly, it’s only a matter of time before you start seeing problems.
When a contractor is lazy, has the wrong mindset, doesn’t drug or alcohol test, or supervise their employee’s work, your roof is at risk.
Poor attic ventilation
Your ventilation system is a crucial part of your roof. The first thing a contractor does when they install a roof is to ensure the attic is properly ventilated.
If your installer doesn’t make sure your attic is properly ventilated it’ll lead to your roof failing prematurely. The damage caused by the trapped cold and hot air will drastically shorten your roof’s life and even void the manufacturer’s warranty. A roof can fail in as little as two years with inadequate ventilation.
The nailing of the shingles on your roof plays a bigger role than you’d expect. If the shingles are lifted and the nail heads are found laying sideways, then you know your roof was improperly installed. As long as the nails are driven in straight and with the right pressure they’ll hold firm.
Nail placement is also key to proper installation. If a nail isn’t placed on the nail line of the shingle, then the manufacturer’s warranty will be voided. If the nails were driven in improperly and not placed correctly, then leaks are going to pop up all over your roof.
The day your new roof is installed has to have the right weather conditions.
For a roof to be installed correctly it must be done in dry weather. If a contractor comes out on a rainy day to start working on your roof, I can guarantee your new roof will have problems quickly. Under no circumstances should a roof be installed in the rain or in the snow.
The same goes for the temperature outside. If it’s too hot, it’ll be like walking in hot tar. If it’s too cold, the shingles will literally split and crack when the nail is driven in.
To ensure your roof is properly installed it should be done on a relatively warm and dry day.
Why is proper roof installation important?
Now that we’ve gone over what an improperly installed roof is and what causes it, we’re ready to talk about why proper installation matters to you. Factors, like costing more in the long run, the life of the roof, and giving you peace of mind, will show why having your roof properly installed is critical.
Less money out of your pocket. While a new roof might be costly upfront, it’s nothing compared to the cost you’ll face if the roof is installed improperly. Those costs add up quickly, especially if you use a contractor that doesn’t have workmanship warranties or anything in place to protect your investment.
Roof life. The life of your roof is simply the expected number of years you will get out of the roof system you choose. With a roof system being a costly investment, you should expect to get the full life out of it. And in today’s market, there are roofs that have a life expectancy of 50 years or more.
Manufacturer’s warranties. When it comes to manufacturer’s warranties, you can bet they’re going to do everything possible not to pay for repairs or a new roof. The first thing they’ll look for is if the roof system was installed correctly. It can be as simple as nails not being properly placed for a manufacturer not to honor the warranty.
Peace of mind. When a roof is improperly installed it’s not a matter of if it will leak, it’s a matter of when it will leak. Now you have a massive headache that you aren’t prepared for. The last thing you want on your mind is a leaky roof and the damage it does every time rain comes.
The importance of your attic's ventilation
The contractor you hire has the most impact on the quality of your roof. That means the only way to ensure you get a roof that’s properly installed is by hiring the right contractor.
The importance of proper roof installation can’t be overstated. It’s the difference between a long roof life and premature roof failure. But there's something just as important to your roof's life (and your home in general) as proper roof installation, that's your attic's ventilation system.
But why would your attic matter to your roof? To continue helping you understand everything that affects your roof investment, we already broke it down for you.
The team at Bill Ragan Roofing install all of our roofs per manufacturer’s specific installation instructions to ensure you get the best warranty and roof possible. We pride ourselves on using correct roofing techniques to give all of our customers the highest-quality roofing services that Nashville has to offer.