6 Signs of a Bad Roofing Job

damaged red roof shingles

Whether you’re installing a new roof on a home you’ve owned for twenty years or you're paying for a roof replacement as a new homeowner, it pays to have the job done right. Unfortunately, some contractors don’t always perform quality work, and if that's the case, it needs to be fixed quickly. Let’s take a closer look at some common signs of a roofing job done bad.

1. Something about the roof’s appearance just seems off.

roof repair

If you’re looking at the roof from a distance and the shingles just don’t seem to match up from one side of the house to another, the contractor probably took some shortcuts.

This is usually the result of two common practices:

  • The previous homeowner only chose to replace one section of the roof.
  • They chose to make patches to leaky areas.
A roof without a uniform appearance isn’t necessarily problematic; however, it may cause issues in the future if you want to sell the home. Chances are future buyers will want a uniform roof to reduce chances of leaks and future repair projects. Weigh your decision against how long you plan on staying in the home and how concerned you are about appearances.

KEEP READING: Avoid Disaster and Be Aware of These 10 Signs of Roof Collapse

2. They skipped out on the underlayment

Roofing underlayment is a crucial part of any roofing system. It provides a waterproof barrier between the shingles and the sheathing.

The chances of getting a roof leak greatly increase without proper underlayment, as will rapid deterioration of the roof.

This isn’t a sign you’ll be able to spot from the ground, so if you’re in the process of buying a new home, be sure to get a report back from the inspector about this component of the roof. It’s highly unlikely any qualified professional would skip such a crucial factor in the roofing process but shady scam artists may skip this step to provide a too-good-to-be-true project quote.


3. The roof lacks any drip edges.

Cleaning out a dirty gutter

Drip edges are pieces of steel or metal installed above underlayment and below shingles. They stick out just over the gutter and play an important role in directing water off and away from the roof and home foundation. They provide an extra layer of protection against moisture penetration at this vulnerable spot on the roof.

Some roofing contractors will skip adding this component to keep prices down.

If you fail to spot drip edges along the roof, it may pay to have them installed. Missing drip edges can cause premature soil erosion along the foundation of the home, basement leaks, and water damage to interior walls.

4. Roofing materials were not attached correctly.

Slate roof repair

Contractors who use the wrong nail type or don’t use the right amount of materials to install the roof will inevitably cause some type of damage that would otherwise be preventable. The proper method of installation or repair is typically determined by the local county or city building code.

Like a roof that lacks underlayment, a roof installed incorrectly may be hard to see from the ground. A qualified inspector will be able to tell you if it was done right.

5. Stains are visible on the shingles.

Water stains on roof

There are some signs of a poor roofing job that are apparent almost overnight, and noticing stains on the interior and exterior of the roof is a glaring one.

In certain cases, visual signs, like stains, won’t occur until a few months after the roofer has left. This leaves homeowners with little recourse. Black stains on shingles are a sign that water is leaking through the roof and into the attic or other areas of the home. Leaks can be repaired without replacing the entire roof, but the resulting interior damage may be more extensive.

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6. There are noticeable gaps where the roof is missing shingles.

Roof damage

If the roofer you hired tells you he is done with the job and you can see noticeable gaps where the roof is missing shingles, you’ve hired the wrong contractor. It’s an obvious and glaring problem, which contributes to an assortment of roofing damages.

If you’re looking at the house for the first time and notice missing shingles, it's possible a severe windstorm recently came through and damaged several homes.

Have the roof inspected and ask the inspector if he knows of any major storms that recently occurred. If your roof is the only one in the neighborhood with this problem, it’s likely the job wasn’t done by a qualified roofer.

Read on to find out how to hire a roofer who won't commit any of these signs: