Repairing or replacing your roof can often be a confusing process. Your roofing contractor will be trained in the different methods to fix or replace your roof, but you should definitely learn about roofing techniques in order to ensure that your contractor is using the most up-to-date methods with the proper techniques. By educating yourself about the variety of possible ways you can have your roof repaired or installed, you can work with your contractor to assure that he or she knows what you want for your roof.

In addition to knowing what the best roofing methods are, it’s important to know what can and will damage your roof. Here are a list of the seven deadly roofing sins:

1. Walking on the roof: Not only is walking on your roof dangerous, if you aren’t a trained professional, you could actually damage your roof. Walking on your roof can strip shingles of the coating that prevents leaking, and can even dislodge them, creating gaping holes that will allow rainwater and debris to enter into your home. However, roofing contractors are trained so that they can minimize the damage when they are on top of your roof.

2. Bad nailing technique: There are many different ways to incorrectly nail a roof. For example, “high nailing” — which occurs when the roofer inserts the nail too high — can lead to the bottom part of the shingle to become detached from the rest of the roof, resulting in unfortunate leaks. On the other hand, “shiners”  — which are nails that are inserted too low onto the roof  — can be visible from the ground which is not only unsightly but may also lead to leaks. In addition, over driven nails can tear at the shingles and decrease wind resistance. To ensure that your nails are driven into your roof correctly, your contractor should spend some time before the roof job gauging the pressure of the compressor used to insert the nails.

3. Covering damaged shingles instead of replacing them: Although it may seem like a good way to cut costs, the best way to fix a roofing problem involving old shingles is to remove them and replace them with new shingles. Covering old shingles with new ones will result in the collection of dirt and dampness in between the shingles, which will cause your roof to become damaged much faster than if the old shingles had been removed. When working with a contractor, check to make sure that he or she has removed the old shingles before installing new shingles.

4. Improper flashing installation: The metal flashing on the roof helps prevent moisture from entering your house from areas where your roof comes in contact with walls and chimneys. Avoid using old flashing to save money, because it will cost you more money in the long run because old flashing will break apart more rapidly. Also, talk with your contractor about the methods that he or she plans to use to install the flashing. If the flashing is not aligned properly or is not fastened securely, your roof may not be able to protect your house during heavy rainstorms and snowfalls.

5. Poor ventilation: Many homeowners often forget about the necessity of proper ventilation when considering roofing replacements. If your roof isn’t ventilated very well, it can result in the build-up of moisture and trap heat into your house. Unless you enjoy paying higher air conditioning bills in the summer, be sure to talk to your contractor about how he or she can improve your roofing ventilation.

6. Shingles that don’t extend outward over the eaves: The eaves are the section of the roof that overhangs or meets the building’s walls. If the shingles don’t overhang the eaves by at least half-an-inch, it could result in shingles becoming separated from the rest of the roof and blowing off.

7. Not researching the roofing contractor beforehand: With multiple roofing companies to choose from, how do you determine which contractors to work with? Confirm that the company is legitimate by checking that the company has a permanent address and workers’ compensation and liability insurance. You can also read reviews posted on sites like Angie’s List and Google to see what previous customers have said about the company. Choosing the cheapest contractor without checking the quality of his previous work could end up costing you a lot of money if you have to hire another company to fix his shoddy work.

Regardless of whether you are looking to do a routine roof repair or are planning to completely replace your roof, committing one of the the seven deadly roofing sins can prevent you from having the hassle-free roof you want. The roof is an integral part of the house in insulating your home and protecting your house from the elements. Working with a reputable roofing company, such as AROCON Roofing and Construction, is one of the best ways to ensure that you get all of your roofing problems solved!