Does it seem like something isn’t quite right when you look at your roof? As a homeowner, you may lack the roofing knowledge to determine if your roofer made a mistake while installing your new roof. But, roofing installation mistakes can occur, and they may influence the quality and lifespan of your roof. Roofers must adhere to building requirements, manufacturer instructions, and industry best practices while doing installations. When they don’t, you may be able to detect the issues by merely glancing at the roof. Moreover, when there is one issue with the installation, there may be others, resulting in future repair or replacement expenditures for you.

Safeguard your roof investment by learning about possible roof installation issues. We’ll review the symptoms of your roof and what you can do if it isn’t correctly installed.

1. Missing Components

Shingles are just one component of a roof. A good, water-shedding roofing system requires many additional roof components. If any portions of your roof were not installed or have come off over time, your roofers were not paying close attention to their job on your roof.


Are there noticeable shingles missing from your roof? It is uncommon for shingles to be missing because your roofers failed to install them in the first place. Instead, it is far more probable that your roofers attempted to install the shingles, but they flew off in heavy winds owing to faulty nailing or inadequate sealing.

A shingle that hasn’t been appropriately sealed will most likely be invisible. You may, however, see symptoms of incorrectly fastened shingles. You’ll note that they don’t rest flat on the roof but protrude a little. This is due to the nails not being correctly pushed into the decking. The inverse issue occurs when nails are driven too deeply and not visible from the ground. Either issue may result in leakage or other issues.

Roofers must also adhere to other nail-related regulations. Roofing nails must be of the proper composition and size. Roofers must also follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for nail placement in shingles. When you suspect that your roofer did not use the right nails or did not place them in the proper location, you may validate your concerns with another roofer or a roof inspection business.

When you have missing shingles, you should have a contractor evaluate the roof to see if there are any more shingles with poor nailing or failed seals. They may advise you to replace your roof, or they may discover that you merely need to replace the problematic shingles or have them manually sealed.


The layer of fabric-like material immediately underneath the shingles is called underlayment. It used to be felt, but synthetic materials are now available. If the shingles have already been put, you may be unable to determine whether underlayment is missing. Alternatively, your roof can seem uneven, with strange dips and high places. This might be due to incorrect underlayment installation. It might clump up in places if your roofers did not properly unroll the underlayment and enable it to lie level. This bunching may be evident as elevated areas or ridges through the shingles.

If you’re unsure what’s creating your roof’s unique appearance, a roofer may look under the tiles to see whether the underlayment was correctly put.

An underlayment performs many essential purposes, including protecting the shingles from resin, acting as a water barrier, and offering some fire protection. If it is missing from your roof, you should have a roofer install it.

Ice and Water Shield

Ice and water protector is a second thin layer that must be laid around the roof’s borders and along any valleys. Your building code and the manufacturer’s guidelines will determine the amount of coverage you need from ice and water protection. Typically, you won’t be able to tell when ice and water protection are missing from the ground. A roofer, on the other hand, may check the roof to find out.

Most construction requirements need an ice and water guard to protect your roof. If it is not fitted, you may need a new roof.

Drip Edge

Some unscrupulous or untrained roofers may fail to apply the drip edge to a roof to save money. The drip edge is a thin strip of metal flashing installed on the roof’s edge. It conducts water away from the shingles and into the gutters. Without drip flashing, you may notice water damage on your deck and the side of your house.

A roofer may install drip edge flashing to a missing roof, but they must first inspect the surrounding materials for damage and determine whether any need to be replaced.

Other Flashing

Several additional areas, in addition to the roof’s edge, need flashing. Flashing is a thin membrane that prevents water from entering susceptible roof areas. This comprises chimneys, valleys, dormers, plumbing boots, and other roof-protruding. When this flashing is completely absent, the most typical indication is a leak. Before that occurs, you may inspect the roof projections for flashing or hire a roofer to do it for you.

2. Shingle Installation Issues

Since they constitute the topmost layer of the roof, shingle installation faults are frequently easily visible. Even individuals unfamiliar with roofing might see that something isn’t quite right when they look at the pattern of shingles on a roof and compare it to its neighbors. We’ll offer you some additional pointers on recognizing badly put asphalt shingles below.

Incorrect Offset

Shingles must be offset from one another, similar to bricks in a brick wall. If all the shingle joints match up the roof, holes in the shingle layer might form, allowing water to drain. One of the most typical shingle offset blunders is misaligning the starter shingles and the first course. This may not seem a problem initially, but leaks may develop over time. A roofer may fail to follow the manufacturer’s specifications on offsetting the other courses of shingles on the roof. These errors may also detract from the beautiful patterns of correctly placed shingles. Also, incorrectly offset shingles may cause leaks and must be replaced.


The shingles should be aligned with the roof’s edge as you look at the roof. They must not run vertically or at an angle to the bottom edge. Improperly oriented shingles might result from a roofer commencing their installation process anywhere other than the roof’s edge. Maybe they might have forgotten to draw chalk lines on the roof. Chalk lines are temporary guidelines that assist roofers in maintaining the shingle line straight when installing shingles. 

In any event, misaligned shingles may produce unusual visual patterns. Roof designers may need roofers to make minor modifications to shingle course alignment to accommodate decking that is not square. Otherwise, a roofer may be required to repair mismatched shingles.


The amount of a shingle that is exposed and not covered by the shingle above it is referred to as its exposure. Manufacturers specify specified exposure for their shingles to guarantee optimal appearance and function.

Shingle exposure is more than simply an aesthetic concern. If the shingles are spaced too widely apart, sections of the shingle that were not intended to be exposed to the elements may be exposed. You may assess the shingle exposure by measuring the distance between one shingle’s edge and the start of the next. Then compare that distance to the distance specified in the installation instructions for your shingle. You may get them changed if they are too broad or too thin.


In the section on missing shingles, we discussed the incorrect nailing technique and its indicators of it.


Each shingle is unique, and manufacturers may provide additional installation standards that roofers must follow to guarantee the resultant roof performs effectively. It is a good idea to work with a roofer who is knowledgeable about these extra standards and can tell you whether your installation project accounted for them.

3. Flashing Installation Issues

There are several typical roof flashing mistakes to watch out for. Fortunately, in the case of flashing, these faults are generally visible without any research.

Chimney Flashing

Base flashing and counterflashing are required for chimneys. Unfortunately, counter flashing is often absent on incorrectly built roofs. If it exists, it is not embedded in the mortar. To resist water, proper counter flashing installation in the mortar is required. If your chimney lacks this feature, hire a mason or a roofer to repair it.

Step Flashing

Step flashing is a sequence of tiny flashing pieces incorporated with each course of shingles where they meet a vertical wall. Step flashing, for example, should be found along any dormers you have.

Sadly, there are several falsehoods concerning step flashing that the installer may believe. Adding additional nails to step flashing and relying only on a simple caulking application of roofing cement would help them resist water better. Both, however, may be errors that make the flashing more prone to water incursion.

Step flashing only requires roofing cement where two parts of the flashing overlap. On the finished roof, the cement should be invisible. Moreover, the roofer should have fastened each piece to the decking in the top corner just once. You can’t see this nail either, but if you find other nails or roofing cement against the dormer, it may suggest that there were installation mistakes.

Reused Flashing

When reroofing a property, no building standards require a roofer to install fresh new flashing. Nonetheless, except in rare cases when the roof is being replaced early in its life, it is best practice to do so. Flashing that has been thoroughly removed may be reused in this instance. 

When replacing an existing roof, roofers may not insert the nails in the same spot in the flashing or decking as previously, which means both may have unfilled holes when the installation is completed. Water infiltration may occur as a result of such holes. It is preferable to request that your roofer install new flashing. If an outdated flashing piece creates a problem, a roofer should replace it.

4. Valley Installation Issues

Valleys are one of the most vulnerable parts of the roof to leakage. They gather and drain water naturally from the rest of the roof. Thus they have more water running down them than the other roof surfaces. Valleys also need particular installation procedures owing to their form as a connecting point between two roof sides.

Open Metal Valleys

Roof valley installation may be done in various ways, but open metal valleys are the greatest choice for roof performance. If you have an exposed metal valley, you will see a strip of metallic material running down the valleys of your roof.

Building rules may still approve other valley kinds in your location. But, having a roofer certify that your roofers erected the valley appropriately for its type and that it is operating effectively is beneficial.

The limited guarantee provided by IKO does not cover shingles installed in a closed valley when shingles are used to create the valley or run-off sections of the roof.

Leaks and either no flashing or a soft non-metallic material used as flashing in the valley are signs of an incorrectly built valley.

5. Gutter Installation Issues

Do you have clogged gutters? Provided your gutters have been cleaned and are dirt-free, the issue might have been with their installation. Although gutters may seem level when seen from the roof, they must be gradually inclined towards each outflow. When the slope is correct, the issue may be that you have the wrong kind of gutters or insufficient downspouts for the size of your roof.

Another possible problem is the distance between the gutter and the roof. There should be a tiny space between the fascia and the gutters, and the gutters should be installed 2-3 inches below the shingle overhang so they capture water as it falls. Otherwise, the water may cause fascia board damage or skip the gutters, accumulating on the landscaping below and causing foundation problems.

A skilled roofer can advise whether your gutters should be altered for slope or distance.

6. Additional Roof Installation Problems

You should be aware of a few more issues with roofing.

Improper Material Selection

Asphalt shingles should not be used on a low slope roof with a slope less than 2:12. Your roofer should have utilized flat roofing material alternatives below that. Additionally, the manufacturer may need additional application instructions for roof slopes ranging from 4:12 to 2:12.

Weather Conditions

What were the weather conditions like when your roofers installed it? Roofing should not be erected until the rain and other storms have passed. It should also be put in sufficiently sunny conditions to activate the glue on the shingles. It may be essential to seal the shingles in chilly areas physically.

Poor Roof Design

Roofers cannot correct a faulty roof design planned by architects, but they may prepare for it. Your roofers may need to concentrate on flashing installation on roofs with dormers too near valleys, chimneys impeding the water flow, or valleys draining into a side wall to prevent water from flowing too high along the wall.

Downspouts that leak onto other roof faces or are too near the house are among the most obvious signs of bad roof design. If feasible, roofers should reroute gutter spouts to lessen the effect of water flow on the roof and your property.

What Should You Do If Your Roof Was Installed Incorrectly?

What can you do if your roof is improperly installed? Your first action should be to contact the roofers who installed the roof and explain your concerns. Minor errors happen, and competent roofers are more than eager to come out and inspect the installation work and correct any faults. Many roofing contracts contain guarantees for these specific repairs, so check yours to see if you have one.

If the original roofers are unresponsive, you should hire a second roofing business to check the roof, determine the full extent of any faults, and create a written complaint to deliver to the original roofers. If the original corporation does not reply, you might consult a lawyer about filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer is best placed to advise you on the appropriate action.

Likewise, collaborate with the second roofer to quickly complete repairs or a new installation to prevent further property damage. 

Can a roof that was improperly placed be repaired? Will you need a new roof? It all depends on the situation. Several issues we’ve covered, such as poor material selection, missing underlayment, and inadequate nailing, may need a new installation. Sadly, this might be an expensive procedure for you. There are roof finance alternatives and the possibility of suing the roofer, all of which may help you fund this extra work.

Is insurance coverage available for roof leaks caused by poor roof installation? This is determined by whether or not faulty installation is a covered danger under your insurance. Most homeowner’s insurance plans exclude bad workmanship by contractors, including roofers. Therefore, reviewing your policy to ensure you are covered is good.

Prevent Issues If Your Roof Is Fitted Incorrectly

When you see one of these warning signals, you must act on it before it causes more problems. Since poor installation may have invalidated your manufacturer’s limited warranty, any damage may not be covered by that guarantee as well.

Don’t make the mistake of trying DIY roofing when you have roofing installation issues. Call the professionals at V. Guinta & Son Roofing to ensure these issues are handled today!