Roofing installation problems come to light with the onset of spring

Most homeowners have no idea what is going on up on their rooftops, as the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality takes over. But, critical errors during the roof installation process could produce more costly effects down the road.

"When the [nail gun] pressure is set too high, the nails get driven into the shingles too far, plain and simple," home inspector Reuben Saltzman writes for The Minneapolis Star Tribune. "When the nails are overdriven, the heads of the nails punch right through the mat of the shingle. This voids the shingle manufacturers warranty and greatly increases the potential for shingles to come loose and blow off, possibly in sheets."

Home inspection professionals generally consider spring to be the ideal time to climb up on the roof and determine whether repairs need to be made. In some regions of the country, harsh winters can tear shingles away, as they prove to be no match for whipping winds and snowfall that can blanket roofs for weeks at a time. If these shingles are not repaired, homes could be compromised by the elements, thus increasingly energy bills.

Spring also provides a narrow window of opportunity for roofing experts to make repairs without having to worry about the scalding heat of the sun. Roofs do not afford contractors much shelter, so any work done in the summer may be limited in its scope.

Although someone with an untrained eye may have difficulty determining whether a roof could be prone to damage during a storm, a seasoned Washington, D.C. home inspector will be best able survey a roof and determine whether repairs may be necessary. Even though Home Inspection Month ended with the beginning of May, there is still plenty of time for homeowners to take the necessary steps to repair their homes.