Sometimes bad workmanship is easy to spot, sometimes its not so easy!
We recently received some pics from a roofing contractor located in Wales, WI – Lefever Roofing. They regularly purchase our high quality roof flashings for installation on their roofing projects. (This is something I will blog about in the future – how homeowners are being cheated by contractors that use inferior roof flashings to save a buck.) Cory from Lefever Roofing emailed the pics in our posting here from a house he looked at. The first thing you will notice is the chimney flashing. This was the original flashing from the first roof. The current roof is laid over the first, but the flashing was never addressed. This flashing should have been removed and a new two part chimney flashing should have been installed using a high quality prefinished steel. Instead, the roofer just smeared caulk around the chimney flashing edges. There is also a need for some rebuilding work as the brick is spalling. Regular maintenance could have prevented this. The crown should be checked regularly and kept waterproof. The brick itself could have been sealed every five years or so to prevent this problem.
Am I seeing double? Another example of poor workmanship on the roof!
Sometimes I am just baffled at what I see on roofs. Here is one vent placed directly above another. Why this was done will be answered when the repair is done. You can see the same tar used on the chimney trying to waterproof these vents. When reroofing over an existing layer, vents should be removed and reinstalled with the new layer of roofing. Or better yet, install new roof vents altogether. This was on a second story lower sloped roof. It is doubtful that this could have been easily seen by the unsuspecting homeowner. And sometimes roofers are selected based on price. It is true that often you get what you pay for. Further evidence of this is seen in our next section.
Improper shingle spacing.
Here is something that is very difficult to spot from the ground. It may even be difficult to see in our picture. The results often show up as leaks in the home. Sometimes, these leaks go undetected for years, resulting in real damage. This picture shows improperly spaced shingle offsets. When shingles are layed, succeeding courses should be offset by @6″. This ensures that water cannot easily travel horizontally under a shingle and reach a joint and causing a leak. The offsets on these joints is only about 2″. Not nearly enough. This is not the first time we have seen this. All to common. What can be done to prevent these types of problems?
Choose a reputable contractor.
Choosing the right roofing contractor is not always a challenge. For many homeowners, the choice comes down to price. The lowest guy gets the job. When that is the criteria, the problems outlined above are the result. The best criteria is getting the best job for the money. Otherwise, the investment in the roofing products may be wasted on a bad installation. Look for contractors that are certified by the manufacturers that offer extended warranties. Also, look for contractors that are members of reputable organizations such as NARI. What about online reviews? These can be worthwhile, but taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes contractors ‘game’ those sources by having relatives post positive reviews. Ask to see pictures of a contractors work. The more close up the pics, the more reliable. It allows you to inspect their workmanship on the details.