How to Find Out If Your Roofer Did a Good Job

Whether you need a roofer, commercial roofing repair or a home roofing replacement, you want the contractor to do a good job and use high-quality materials. But how can you be sure that your contractor did their job well?

homeowners discussing with roofers

You can perform a few tests to confirm this. The first set of tests is easier, as it involves the roof’s appearance. The second is a little harder, as it includes the roof’s structural soundness.

Appearance Tests

It’s a lot easier to check your contractor’s quality of workmanship through appearance tests. In most cases, this type of inspection is enough. While they might not be obvious immediately, you’ll find signs if your roof is a little older or if it’s been through a storm.

  • Check for missing shingles. A roof should be able to withstand most weather conditions if it’s fairly new. If you spot missing or damaged shingles after about a year or two after installation, your contractor may have done a poor job. If you spot missing shingles even sooner, you’ll know for sure that they did something wrong. Get a roof repair immediately to prevent the damage from getting worse.

  • Check for uneven wear. It’s normal for a roof to show more wear on one side than the other because that side faces the weather and the other is more protected. But the wear should be uniform at least on each side. If there are mismatched shingles, it probably means your contractor was trying to save money by using different shingles. This will cause your roof to wear much faster.

  • Check for stains. Take a drive around your neighborhood and see if all the roofs have black streaks. If they do, then your roof has a certain type of algae and spores have traveled through the air to every roof in your area. Don’t worry; they don’t cause damage save for some aesthetic issues. But if it’s just your roof, and the stains are present in your attic too, there’s probably a leak. Your roof shouldn’t be leaking if it’s fairly new. If it is, your contractor may have been sloppy.

Structural Tests

Now, these are a bit more complicated than appearance tests, but if you really want to find out if your contractor did a great job, these tests are worth the effort.

  • Check the flashing. Flashing should be present where the roof is most vulnerable to moisture intrusion, such as valleys and roof penetrations (skylights, chimneys, etc.). If you added an extension to your home, there should be flashing where the new roof intersects with the old one. If you don’t find flashing where there should be flashing, or if it isn’t caulked or installed well, your contractor may have botched the job.

  • Check the nails. Shingles require a certain number of nails, properly sized and spaced. You can find this in the instructions that came with your shingles. If the nailing is incorrect, your roof is vulnerable to leaks. This is a huge red flag that means your contractor either didn’t know what they were doing or they tried to save a little money.

  • Check for a drip edge. This is the metal sheet that prevents water from dripping into the fascia. It should be present between the shingles and the underlayment, extending over the gutter. If it’s absent, or if it’s incorrectly installed, your contractor is to blame.

  • Check for an underlayment. The underlayment is a sheet of paper or felt that serves as a secondary barrier under the shingles. It keeps your roof from leaking if shingles are damaged or torn off during a storm. If your roof doesn’t have an underlayment, then it won’t be long before it leaks or requires replacement. This is another big red flag that should tell you never to hire that contractor again.

Never hire a contractor if they don’t satisfy your background check requirements, or if you feel uncomfortable when you’re talking to them. If your roof needs repairs, or if you need a residential roof replacement, get in touch with Sully Jones Roofing. We use drones for safer and more precise roof inspections. Call us today at (619) 444-0150 or fill out the form here to tell us about your project in El Cajon, CA.