Avoiding Roofing Pitfalls

Whether you are a professional roofer or a DIY enthusiast building a garden shed, here are a few simple steps to reduce call backs and ensure a quality roof that will last for years.Blog_Avoiding Roofing Pitfalls

Not all shingles are the same and individual manufacturers may have specific instructions for their products that have to be followed in order to meet building codes and validate warranties. Read and follow the installation instructions that come with the product, even if you have installed shingles before.

If you have new team members, make sure they read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Even your seasoned installers should review manufacturer’s recommendation material from time to time to make sure they are up to date. They should also read instructions for brands that they have not worked with before.

Check to be sure all the bundles are the same dye lot or batch number because subtle differences may show from the curb and that means an unhappy customer.

Be sure you have the right fasteners for the shingles and roof style you are working on. Remember that building codes and products change and using the wrong fasteners could mean you don’t meet code or you’re in for a very expensive call back.

Have a plan and follow it. Double check your material estimates and lists to ensure you have everything you need. No construction manager likes to be paying by the hour for employees to sit around waiting for materials to arrive. And asking workers to come back the next day is even more expensive because of the extra travel time, wages and fuel etc.

Walk the entire roof and do a thorough inspection of the framing and roof sheathing before starting to install finished roofing. Installing the finished roof means you have accepted the framing as being suitable and you are taking responsibility. Remember that finished roofing will not hide mistakes; instead they will telegraph through to the shingles and ruin your curb appeal.

What to look for:

  • Are the sheathing panels correctly spaced using the required 1/8” spacing?
  • Look for any rafters or trusses that are not aligned properly because they will cause the finished roof to look wavy.
  • Sand down any areas you feel might cause telegraphing – now is the time!
  • Do the corners of each panel have fasteners and are they 3/8” in from the corner? If not either have them corrected or refasten them yourself because that corner is likely to lift and cause telegraphing.
  • Are the fasteners spaced correctly? Typically 6”oc along edges and 12”oc in the field (check local code requirements) and again either have them done correctly or fix the problem yourself.
  • Were staples used to fasten the sheathing? If so, the maximum spacing for staples is half what it is for nails so check that additional staples have been used. Are all the staple crowns parallel with the support because if they are not, it’s likely that one leg of the staple has missed the support below.

One last thing; if you use power-nailers, make sure you adjust the air pressure regularly so you don’t over or under drive the nails as this affects its holding power.

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