8 Signs of a Bad Roofing Job

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Inspect for signs of a bad roofing job early

No matter if you’re remodeling your whole house or you’re just getting a roof replacement, you want to make the job done right. Therefore, during and after the project it is important to make sure there are no signs of a bad roofing job. After all, refurbishing your roof is one of the most costly and expensive projects when repairing your house.

Unfortunately, it also means you’ll find the most craftsmanship issues here. Especially if you’re a novice, the chances of you falling victim to the hands of incompetent people claiming to be roofing experts are high. Moreover, a poorly installed roof can lead to more expensive repairs and devastating structural damages in the future. 

To avoid remodeling your house, you must learn to spot the signs of a bad roofing job again and again. Luckily, the signs indicating poor artistry don’t require an expert outlook. Below, we discuss various ways to determine if your contractor poorly installed your roof. Then, we’ll go over how you can select the right contractor to correct the situation:

1. Lack of Uniformity in Appearance

It is the easiest to detect and takes no more than a quick inspection from where you stand. There are several super easy ways to spot a lack of uniformity in the appearance of your roof. For starters, look at your roof from a variety of different angles. If it looks different from both sides,  it means your previous contractor hammered the roof incorrectly. 

More specifically, look for dipping or curving rooflines. If a part of the roof is sagging, it means there’s a defect in the framework or decking. Another thing to check is whether the shingles of your roof share the same color or not. Mismatched roof shingles are a clear sign of a bad roofing job. Lastly, check if the materials from one part of the roof differ from the other. 

2. The Roof Has Missing Shingles

Typically, homeowners renovate their roofs upon damaged or missing shingles. If your brand new roof contains missing roof shingles, it means your hired contractor was unprofessional. 

Missing shingles is a sign of a bad roofing job

Missing shingles may be due to a storm; however, if your home is the only one suffering from bad roof shingles in the event of a weak storm, the problem is with your roof. After your roofer installs shingles, it’s essential you carefully look over them to ensure all shingles are of top-notch quality and brand-new. 

3. Stains Present on the Roof

A sure sign of a bad roofing job is dark black stains that start appearing on your roof over the years. It could be due to a faulty attic. 

A leaky attic can stain your roof, but it is best to check the leakage severity before you start fixing the roof. If it’s an isolated leak, you won’t have to replace the whole roof to fix it. On the other hand, if it’s extreme damage comprising multiple spots, you may have to spend on a proper renovation or installing a brand new roof.

4. Lack of Underlayment

Some signs of a bad roofing job will be hard to see until it is too late. The underlayment of a roof is a vital layer that ensures adequate waterproofing. Without one, you can count on the shingles absorbing water and leading to roof leaks.

Not just this, but the absence of underlayment can expedite the deteriorating process of your roof. If you’re working with an expert contractor, they’ll install a proper underlayment layer.

5. Drip Edge Missing

Drip edge refers to the metal sheet on your roof that protects the board present below the edge of your roof. Typically, it safeguards the area from water damage. This is an easy to detect but very costly sign of a bad roofing job.

Your contract will sandwich the drip edge between the underlayment and shingles. Moreover, it reaches the gutter and is attached with the help of cement and short roofing nails. The lack of a drip edge can lead to molding, routine, flooding in your basement, staining, and soil erosion. 

6. Wrong Nailing Technique Was Used

Another way to spot a bad roofing job is to check for horrible nailing techniques. You can identify whether the nailing technique is bad by looking out for the following problems:

  • Overdriven nails mean the roofer drove the nails too far in the shingles. Typically, these are due to extreme pressure a contractor may have applied when installing singles.
  • An expert contractor will only use nails that are resistant to corrosion. To ensure a durable roof, galvanized steel or stainless-steel nails are used.
  • Your previous contractor may have installed nails in the wrong location. Fix the nails 2.5 cm further from the edges and above the cut-out.

Here is an excellent video from Grand Roofing which will describe a few of the problems that can come from bad nailing techniques.

7. Poor Installation of Roofing Material 

Apart from using the wrong nail type and installing them incorrectly, another popular sign of a bad roofing job is the materials used. 

Your contractor may use the wrong type or a low number of materials. Both will lead to the fast decline of your roof. Moreover, both are easily preventable by selecting the right contractor that adheres to proper state codes. 

Besides this, make sure your contractor removes the previous material before establishing a new layer. It is done to spot any rotting plywood since it will not hold your roof in place. 

8. Usage of Old Flashing Material 

Flashing refers to a thin metal piece installed on your roof for the main purpose of preventing water leaks. Remember that regardless of whether your previous roof leaked or not, you must not reuse a flashing. 

Despite a lack of code violation, an expert roofer won’t reuse old flashing because, generally, old nails won’t fit in the new holes. It is the best way to ensure you won’t have to deal with leakages anytime in the future due to flashing. 

Fix signs of a bad roofing job & Hire a Good Contractor 

An excellent and super-easy way to avoid dealing with a bad roofing job is to find a professional contractor. Especially since roofs are known to up your ROI by 85%, you want to ensure the remodeling is in good hands. Luckily, spotting a qualified and proficient contractor is not all that hard. Following are a couple of things you should look for in a contractor:

Ask for License and Registration

A fake or inexperienced contractor may not have a license or registration. It is because both are easy ways to check the contractor’s performance and experience. Therefore, a competent contractor or company will not hesitate to show you their certifications, licenses, and additional paperwork. 

Moreover, do not shy away from the idea of asking for all the necessary credentials. You must check their authenticity regardless of how big or small the project is. 

 Do They Have Proper Permits?

Apart from ensuring you have selected a reliable contractor; proper paperwork is vital to get all the necessary permits. 

In fact, an expert contractor boasting a proper license will not request you to get building permits. Typically, asking you to get the permit means they will be off the hook, and you will be liable for additional costs and property damage that occurs during the project.

Moreover, based on your state, you need to get extra permits. These are generally to ensure the disposal of waste from the job. Ultimately, it means you need to check whether the contractor has all these permits before working.

Check for Insurance

Climbing atop the roof and hammering away means roof renovation jobs are sufficiently dangerous. Hiring an expert means you will not have to worry about injuries. Moreover, a well-versed contractor will have proper insurance alongside property protection. 

Both state that you are not liable for any injuries they sustain, and you will find out what minimum coverage they offer.

Look at Their Previous Projects

Going through a contractor’s previous works is a good way to discern how skilled they are. If the contractor you select is dexterous and qualified, they will have proper documentation. Furthermore, most contractors keep pictures and videos relevant to a project. 

To make sure your roof is in safe hands, you must look through these projects. Not to mention, some contractors even offer a list of past clients so you can collect first-hand feedback.

Ensure Effective Communication

Effective and clear communication between you and the roofer is essential to ensure the project goes smoothly. Miscommunication may lead to delays, and worse, poor work. In both cases, you’ll have a pile of costs without the results you want. 

A good way to spot whether your desired contractor has good communication skills is by answering the following questions. Are they friendly yet professional? Do they get back to you fast? Do they make you feel like a valuable customer?

Check Their Experience and Reputation

The roofing material world is vast. It means that without proper know-how about each product, something is bound to go wrong. To avoid anything going wrong, be sure to check whether the roofer has ample experience or not. 

Moreover, keep in mind that a reputation is well-earned. Select a contractor with a positive reputation. Checking online reviews of each company is a great way to compare local companies.


A sure red light is a contractor that does not wish to discuss the details of a project. Right from the materials to structures protruding through your roof, a good contractor will take some time to examine the site properly. 

Next, they will give you information on what job needs to be done, how and why. If a contractor just tells you an estimate, you should start looking for a new one.

Friendly Payment

A big no-no is paying the full cost when you sign a contract. A smarter idea is paying 30-40% upfront. A good contractor will agree to this since paying upon achieving a milestone is a common industry practice.

Call a professional if you detect signs of a bad roofing job

In conclusion, if you notice any of these signs it is important that you contact the an experienced roofing contractor for an inspection. Do not wait if you see any signs of a bad roofing job because more damage can be done over time. Future insurance claims will have a chance of being denied if your roof was not installed properly to begin with. At Above The Rest Roofing And Siding, we offer free inspections for all homes throughout Connecticut.

Our professionals will be able to tell you whether of not your roof was installed correctly. We use our 25 years of experience to make the process of a roof replacement hassle-free as well as answer any questions you may have about your current roof. Give us a call today or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free inspection or estimate. We proudly serve all towns in Connecticut at a time that is convenient for you.

CT Roofing specialists for your next project

Above The Rest Roofing and Siding is a complete and licensed roofing contractor in Plantsville, Connecticut. Our company proudly serves surrounding areas as well as the rest of the state. We provide free, no-obligation inspections to your roof and siding to protect your home and family.