Although cutting corners saves you time, when roofers do this while installing your roof, you face really costly consequences. Even minor negligence results in leaks, and if you don’t realize this until later on, it could result in a very costly repair bill.

Repairing roofing mistakes may require installing a completely new roof. This costs thousands of dollars reports Mark Graham, the National Roofing Contractors Association‘s (NRCA) associate executive director for technical services in Rosemont, Illinois.

Properly installing a roof depends on what materials you must install and the type of building you’re working on. Protecting your business against costly mistakes requires you and your employees being familiar with the manufacturer’s installation instructions, rooftop guidelines, equipment regulations, and using the proper tools.

Follow Minimum Slope Guidelines

You must pay attention to a roof’s various slopes, especially when changes in grading occur. According to Graham, valleys are the most susceptible areas for leakage because it sees most of the runoff water. They’re also tricky because the wrong material doesn’t adhere correctly in the area.

Avoiding problems requires you become familiar with the roof’s slope before you choose materials. For instance, when you install asphalt you’ll need at least a 4 – 12 unit slope for every 12 units of run. According to Graham, it’s recommended that there’s a 4:12 minimum slope for a slate wood shake, synthetic or fiber cement, tile, architectural metal panels, and shingles.

Properly Installing all Materials

Diane Ausavich, president of Milwaukee-based Carl Krueger Construction and acting manager at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) in Milwaukee, says that your roof can develop flashing issues, which leads to water damage. Some of the most common issues include:

Improperly installing flashing with the U-shape facing the valley and layering it beneath the shingles instead of over top of them

Not using enough securing material such as caulking or fasteners when securing the roof makes the valley flashing buckle and eventually, it causes leaks.

Prevent Climate Problems Including Ice Damming

There are weather-related issues in every region of the United States. However, northern climates are particularly prone to roofs buckling under the weight of the heavy ice and snow. The most common problem occurs when the snow melts and then refreezes at the roof overhang. This is because water can get trapped there under the shingles finishing layers. When this happens leaks occur in the roof deck joints and nail holes.

Graham suggests that you install a roof underlayment at three feet from the building’s exterior wall to prevent ice damming. This provides another protective layer to keep water from seeping in when it’s melting.

Avoid Warranty Pitfalls

Builders shouldn’t ever get stuck with a bill from faulty tiles. Unfortunately, warranties are a fact of life though. For this reason, Graham offers three tips for remaining within your warranty. These include:

Graham says that sometimes you can prove the leak wasn’t your fault, but caused by unreasonable instructions. An example of this occurs when product instructions tell you that your nailing accuracy must be within 3/16 of an inch. This isn’t realistic so you should choose a product that leaves less margin for error like slate or tile with pre-punched holes.

It’s a good idea to build relationships with manufacturers instead of switching between them to simply save a little money. When you build a relationship with your manufacturer, you’ll safeguard your business and save more money in the long-term. Choose wisely here because Graham says some manufacturers are more realistic when it comes to handling claims than others are. So, look for a manufacturer with a track record that demonstrates they handle problems by working with their clients and contractors.

Remind homeowners that they should inspect their roof every six months, so problems don’t grow into bigger problems.

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