Nashville Home Inspector - Roofers Gone Wild - How to Mess Up a Perfectly Good Roof

Home Inspector with HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC


by Richard Acree  

At HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, we sometimes see situations during a Home Inspection and we wonder just what were they thinking.  It seems like they did things wrong just to say they could.  Look at the picture of the roof shingles below.  What's wrong?

HINT: Water flows downhill, and this picture was taken from a roof top. 

Poor Valley Shingle Installation 

ANSWER:  Actually this is wrong from whatever angle you look at it.  In any condition, whether in a valley as shown or on a slope of the roof, composite roof shingles should always be installed so that the shingles overlap from the top down.  In other words, the upper shingle overlaps the lower shingle.  In this photo, the shingles from one side of the valley were simply carried over on top of the other side, in the forefront.  That puts the downslope shingles above the upslope shingles.  It won't take much for water from upslope shingles to slip under the downslope shingles and onto the decking below.  This is a poor roof valley shingle installation.  The picture below is how it should look.  And the picture below is from the same roof, different valley.  What were they thinking?

Proper Roof Valley Shingle Installation

On the same house the shingles have been used as siding for the second floor dormers.  This is not the usual but it is allowed.  Look at the "siding" below.  Does that look OK?  HINT:  NO!

Poor Roof Siding Installation 

ANSWER:  The hint already gave it away.  The correct way to install these "siding shingles" is shown below.  Neat and orderly with the top shingle overlapping the lower shingle.  Again, same house, but different dormer.  What were they thinking?

Correct Siding Installation 

Last but not least, strange things come to homes in foreclosure.  For an example see the picture below.  What's missing from this new roof?  HINT:  New roof shingles should look similar to each other.

Missing Ridge Vent Shingles 

ANSWER:  The good news is that the shingles needed to finish this ridge are laying over there on the right in this picture.  Some of them anyway.  This home went into foreclosure while the builder/roofer were installing the new roof.  Knowing they probably would not get paid, they at least covered the ridge opening with whatever they had handy.  Then just left the rest laying up on the roof.  In this case we do know what they were thinking.  "Let's cut out losses and get out of here!?"

Thank you,

Richard Acree


Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. 



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  1. Dan Edward Phillips 12/30/2010 02:39 PM
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Don Wixom
RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Richard, you would think those issues would be obvious when you consider which way water flows. Its amazing what we find out there sometimes.

Dec 25, 2010 01:43 PM #1
John Puplava
ABC Home Inspections,L.L.C. - Prescott, AZ
ABC Home Inspections,L.L.C.

Richard---Thats a really nice roofing job..Wow...You must had fun on this home inspection.Thank you for sharing

Dec 25, 2010 02:43 PM #2
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Wow, Richard. 

I love that first pic...  water should flow OVER the shingles and not UNDER them?  Who would have thunk it? 

Dec 25, 2010 04:06 PM #3
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA - Eureka, CA
Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA

Good Morning Richard, thanks for sharing the photos, there are so many issues with the roof!

Dec 25, 2010 08:08 PM #4
Robert Dirienzo
HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC - Franklin, TN
Home Inspections - Nashville TN

Hello Don, John, Fred and Dan.  Thanks for your comments.  Fortunately we don't find these sort of problems too often.  But when we do, I immediately think "Blog Material!!"


HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

Dec 26, 2010 02:15 AM #5
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Richard~ I can't even imagine how any roofer could ever install like this and expect to ever get any more business from anyone!

Dec 30, 2010 02:45 PM #6
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Robert Dirienzo

Home Inspections - Nashville TN
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