3 Drawbacks Of Hiring The Wrong Roofing Contractor

As you can probably tell by this article’s title, I hired the wrong contractor for a roofing job.  There were four big drawbacks to my ordeal.

In June of 2014, Minnesota received the most rainfall on record.  In total, more than seven inches of rain poured down.  This led to statewide no-wake boating restrictions and massive flooding.  Although I live far away from any flood zone, the record precipitation affected me in another way: I saw a huge increase of water leaking through my ceiling.

I invited over a friend of mine who has home repair knowledge.  He told me that the problem originated in the roof and he suggested that I hire a professional roofing contractor and recommended one to me.

For the sake of this article, I will refer to the roofing contractor as Jim.  Jim came to my house the next day and checked out my roof.  He told me there was several reasons water was getting through.  First was that my chimney stack was collecting water that then leaked in through its opening.   Second is that some of my shingles were too old and were simply worn out (some were missing as well).  Last but not least: older flashing was damaged throughout the roof.

Jim – an independent contractor – offered to replace my shingles and add flashing to my chimney and roof.  He estimated the total cost would be around $1000 ($700 up front).  After the job was completed, I paid him thinking that my leaking problem was gone.

Below are the three reasons why I should not have hired Jim:

Jim did Inadequate Flashing Repair around My Chimney

Jim said that in order to prevent leaking caused by openings near my chimney, he would have to install flashing.  The problem is that Jim installed the flashing improperly.  He did not fasten the metal down and so the flashing did next to nothing to prevent water leakage.  In addition, I can literally see light coming through the area where he installed the flashing when I am in my chimney.  Next time I have an issue with my chimney, I will hire a chimney specialist instead of relying on a general home repair professional.

Jim Installed Aluminum Flashing

Little did I know that aluminum flashing does not withstand the harsh weather that Minnesota has to offer.  Jim told me that the material used would save me money and that it would last.  However, after speaking with true professionals, I learned that my flashing will deteriorate within a couple of years and I am going to end up spending more money to replace these replacements.

Jim Improperly Nailed the Shingles

How did Jim do this?  He used a nail gun that was simply too powerful and the extreme pressure ended up slashing the matting between the shingle layers.  This is a common mistake for non-professionals trying to replace or fix their shingles but an “experienced” roofer should have checked the pressurization of his gun.

What I learned from this experience is that I can’t simply take someone’s word for it.  In order to find a real roofing contractor, I need to do some homework.  Now I am left with the option of pursuing reimbursement.  It is another drawback to add to my list of three drawbacks of hiring the wrong roofing contractor.