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For many Delaware homeowners, a time comes when replacing a residential roof is no longer optional. Whether time and weather have taken their toll on your roof or you’ve experienced decay or damage that can’t be repaired, you must get a new roof to protect your home.

Replacing your roof is a considerable financial investment, so the more efficient and mistake-free the process, the better. Costly errors not only increase your bill, but also lengthen the project’s duration, further inconvenience your family, and shorten your new roof’s lifespan.

What Are Common Roof Replacement Mistakes?

To avoid expensive surprises and errors, it’s helpful to know what you’re looking for. Here are some of the common mistakes that occur during roof replacement projects, and what you can do to prevent them:

1. Using Mismatched Roofing Shingles

One common mistake is using mismatched asphalt shingles that make your roof look uneven and incongruent. This mistake often happens when roofing contractors get their shingles from multiple suppliers and don’t pay close attention to which ones they’re installing. Make sure your roofers are utilizing asphalt roofing manufactured by the same supplier for your project.

2. Overlaying an Existing Roofing System

Installing a new roofing system without first tearing off the old one is always a risk. Some jurisdictions will legally allow you to overlay your roofing system once. After that, it’s a requirement to rip off the old roof before installing a new one. However, even if overlaying your existing roofing system is legal, it’s not generally prudent. Your roof deck may contain weaknesses, gaps, and other problems that you can only detect by removing the existing roof and inspecting what’s underneath. Adding extra weight with an additional layer of shingles can also damage your home’s roof structure and walls.

3. Underlayment Issues

Underlayment is the layer of water-resistant material installed directly on your roof deck before you apply other roofing materials. There are three main types of underlayment: asphalt-saturated felt, rubberized asphalt underlayment, and non-bitumen synthetic underlayment. Each of them, to varying degrees, protects against severe weather and elements. For example, rubberized asphalt underlayment is waterproof while the other two materials are water resistant.

4. Improper Use of Roofing Nails

There are several nail-related errors that could cause future roof failure: the nails are too short, the nail heads are too small, driving the nails in above the self-sealing strip, or not using the right number of nails per shingle. It’s important that all of the materials you’re using for the roof installation — including nails — are in good shape and applied properly.

5. Too Short or Long Overhang at the Eaves

Shingle overhang along the eaves should be no less than 6mm and no more than 10mm. If the overhang is too short, water can infiltrate the roof deck and leak within the structure. If it’s more than 10mm, the shingles can be blown off during a severe storm or high winds. You can avoid this common mistake by adding a drip edge flashing to protect the edges of the deck. Flashing can prevent water infiltration, deter insects from entering the structure, and support shingles to keep them from breaking and sagging. Even if your old flashing looks to be in good shape, you shouldn’t reuse it when you’re replacing your roof.

6. Not Adhering to Roof Slope

You should choose materials based on the specific measurements of your roof, including its slope. For example, the recommendation for installing wood, asphalt or tile shingle roofing systems is to have 4 units rise per 12 units of run. If your materials don’t suit the slope of your roof, you risk water leaking into and corroding your structure.

7. Neglecting to Get a Roofing Permit

If you’re replacing your entire roof system, you may need a permit from your local municipality. Before you start your project, you should check the relevant building codes and secure a permit if you need one. Otherwise, you may face potential consequences such as fines, refusal of insurance coverage, or forced removal of your new roof.

Roof Replacement in Delaware

One of the best ways to avoid these common roofing mistakes is to hire a qualified construction crew to handle the roof replacement on your Delaware home. The professionals at Bromwell Construction use high-quality materials and apply them correctly so that your roof replacement is done right the first time and you can have peace of mind that you will get the maximum lifespan from your new roof.