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Hiring a Roofing Contractor? Watch for These Mistakes

The cost of a new roof is often an unplanned expense resulting from unforeseen circumstances like high winds or hail. Damage caused by storms may be partially covered by insurance, but failures caused by years of extreme heat are repaired at the owner’s expense. Either way, a new roof is an investment you want to last.

It may be tempting to go with the cheapest solution, but you’ll get what you pay for. Homeowners may not know of the shortcuts contractors take until it’s too late. Watch out for these common roofing mistakes that’ll end up costing you more in the long run!

Improper Nailing

In most cases, at least four nails should be used per shingle. Additional nails may be required for steep slopes. Each nail is driven at a specific depth and angle. Many contractors use pneumatic nail guns that must be set with the proper amount of pressure. Too much pressure drives the nails too far in, resulting in nail heads that punch right through the shingle mat. Too little pressure results in protruding nails. In both cases, shingles can be easily blown away during a storm. Additionally, improper nailing can void warranties.

Insufficient Ventilation

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Texas summers can bring asphalt shingle temperatures to over 150 degrees! Combine that kind of heat with poor attic ventilation and premature roof failure may result. Although shingles are designed to withstand high temperatures, improper ventilation may cause shingles to curl, warp or crack. Properly-placed intake and exhaust vents along the roof and in the attic allows cool air to be brought in, and hot air a way to escape. Proper ventilation extends the durability and efficiency of your entire roof.


Overhang describes the amount of shingles extending past the lower edge of the roof. Overhang prevents water from contacting the structural areas of the roof. The amount of overhang depends on whether drip edge flashing is installed. Too much overhang may cause shingles to blow off in high winds. Not enough overhang may allow water to find its way in.

Cheap Materials

Thinner shingles can’t perform in repetitive harsh weather conditions.

You can’t expect top-quality materials when you select the cheapest contractor. What you’ll get instead are low-quality shingles and ineffective construction materials.

For instance, high-quality shingles typically carry 20- to 50-year warranties. The main difference between cheaper shingles (like three-tab designs) and more durable shingles (like “architectural grade”) is their thickness and weight. An architectural shingle can weigh up 50% more than an old-school three-tab shingle.

RoofCrafters can help decide on the best combination of price and function for your budget.

Incorrect Alignment


Incorrect shingle alignment is an easy way to spot a subpar roofing job. Roof shingles are intended to be aligned in an even staggered pattern in vertical and horizontal directions. They should follow a proper height pattern as well.

If the cutouts on three-tab shingles are tilted or the butted joints aren’t on the same horizontal plane, the shingles are misaligned. Shingle misalignment is not only an aesthetic eyesore, but it also diminishes a shingle’s wind resistance and seal strength. That means weather damage and water seepage are more likely to occur.

The Qualities of an Experienced Roofing Contractor

While planning to tackle roof repair or replacement, take care to research your options. Customer testimonials, installation photos and certifications are three areas that may reveal a contractor’s expertise (or lack thereof)!

RoofCrafters is a GAF MasterElite Contractor with forty years of roofing experience in Central Texas! The prestigious MasterElite designation also earns you extended warranties, protecting your investment for years to come. Give us a call to have us inspect your roof and recommend the right solution. We can even help work with your insurance adjuster to negotiate the claim on your behalf. Give us a call or get in touch online for a free estimate!


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