First Roofing Job? Avoid These Common Mistakes


(guest post by Nate Smith)


Any roofing job can be dangerous, whether you are an expert or a beginner. The nature of the work carries risks, no matter your experience level.

Although costs are high to repair or replace a roof, it can be even more expensive if not done properly the first time, and extra trips to the job site have to be made.

For those new to the roofing business and want to know what not to do during your first roofing job, read on.

Most Common Mistakes

Let’s start with the basics. Each component of the job itself is designed to be apart of a larger whole. Professionals use materials from one source, allowing for the roof to be as seamless and flawless as possible.

From the gauge of the nail to the roofing materials used, every component has an important role in the finished product.


A lot of mistakes beginners make start with nailing, which causes problems down the road if not done properly.

Exposed nails, under-driven nails, high nails, and over-driven nails are common problems. When this occurs, the risk of condensation buildup and water running through gaps is greatly increased. Not only will this cause the job to not look professional, but you’ll also get a call from your client asking why their roof is still leaking.

Roofing Materials

As mentioned before, the materials used for a roofing job are vital if you want to have a professional finish.

A common mistake made by beginners is purchasing the incorrect materials for the project. It is important to match the materials used to replace or repair the roof to the building’s existing materials, or else the materials may be too heavy for the underlying layers and require extremely expensive damage repairs.

Another common mistake that beginners make is using membrane roofing for a roof with a lot of traffic. If this is done, the roof will eventually be exposed to punctures and tears that will be vulnerable to wind and water damage.

Never work over materials that are wet. This will cause dry rot, rust, mold, and other material failures, as well as blistering in asphalt roof systems.

Roof Installation Mistakes

There are many mistakes to be made during the installation process of a commercial roofing job. Workers on their first job may not know the ins and outs of the installation process when it comes to low-slope roofs, leak barriers, and drip edges.

Flat Roofs

Installing a flat roof may seem like an easy task but could cause damage from leaks if not done properly. Making sure there is proper sloping that leads water to drain spouts is important, otherwise water will pond. Inevitably taking you back to the job site with an unhappy customer due to damage and leaks.

Ventilation also needs to be accounted for when working on a flat roof. This will prevent mold and mildew from condensation building up. This can be done by installing a pop-up vent and ventilator on opposing ends of the roof. Check the ventilator once in a while to make sure it is properly working.


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