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Chesapeake Roofers: Article About Common Roofing Mistakes

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When a property owner pays premium price for roofing materials that are guaranteed to last for 25 years, it is heartbreaking when the roof starts to leak after only eight or 12 years. This is especially galling when the fault lies not with the materials, but with the contractor who installed them. There are more than 90 different known roof installation mistakes that make it necessary for roofs to be replaced before their time. This article describes the two most common reasons why perfectly good roofs need to be replaced before their time.

The smooth plane of material that underlies the actual roof is called the deck. It is generally constructed from plywood or other type of sheeting. The International Building Code specifies that there should be a one-eighth-inch gap between these plywood sheets. It is not necessarily Chesapeake roofers who install the deck, usually carpenters and framers.

Buildings are in a constant state of flux, expanding and contracting with changes in the weather. Every activity that takes place inside a building generates moisture: bathing, talking, cooking, etc. Moisture rises and becomes absorbed by the plywood deck underlying the roof.

If there are no gaps between the decking sheets, the joints will buckle in the summer time, applying a negative pressure to the nails that hold down the shingles and causing them to lift up.

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The joints remain buckled throughout the winter, relaxing in the spring when people start opening their windows to let moisture out. After eight or so years of this, the nails eventually pop out.

The second most common roofing mistake is to install a new roof directly over the old one. Some building codes actually allow this up to three or even four times before the roof, by law, must be removed. Roofs are heavy and there is only so much weight a structure can take.

Another reason for taking off the old roof before installing a new one is to be able to inspect what is happening on the deck. There are specific places on a roof where it is prone to leakage, which rots the deck. Nail a new roof on top of a rotting deck, and the new roof will fly off with the first gust of wind.

A roof is not just a roof, it is a roofing system. Each individual component plays a specific role in protecting a property owner's prime asset, be it a home or commercial premises. When shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to protect that asset, it is important to put it together in such a way that the purpose of the roof isn't defeated by poor workmanship. This is why roofing manufacturers take the trouble to certify the people who install their products and why it behooves the property owner to seek out only certified roofing contractors.

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