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Common Roofing Problems to Watch Out For

Walls and floors are important to a comfortable home, but your roof is the star of the show when it comes to keeping your family shielded from the elements. Unfortunately, many people forget to care for their roof, because it is a part of the house they can’t easily see. You are not likely to notice if something is damaged because of wear and tear from the elements. There are five common roofing problems your roofer sees on a regular basis, from Brighton, Germantown, Collierville and Brunswick these hold true. All of them start as minor roofing concerns, but before you know it, they become major headaches.

The climate in Brighton and other areas of Tennessee can make the roofing process problematic. Some issues may require only a simple fix, but others can be costly. To handle these regional problems, you need to hire a roofer familiar with avoiding these common mistakes.

Below Are 5 Common TennesseeRoofing Problems​


All of Brighton’s new roofs started off with a wooden frame, with wood panels attached to hold its structure. Of course, wood can’t keep moisture out of your home, so the entire surface of your roof is covered with shingles. When your shingles start to curl, become damaged or fall off altogether, rainwater can get in. Many roofing problems in Brighton start off as improper ventilation or poor roofing installation. This causes rot in the wood, and it can lead to other problems like mildew, mold, and leaky ceilings.


Fascia is the name of the wooden panels that frame your roof and face outward, adding a finished look to your home. These pieces are often more fragile than other features of your exterior, so heavy winds and rain can jar them loose. This is another opportunity for moisture to seep inside. Your Brighton home should have what is called a drip edge running along the top edge that keeps the rain off the fascia and helps prevent rot.


Your gutters serve to move rain water away from the walls and foundation of your home, which prevents damage to the property. However, they can easily get blocked by sticks, leaves, and even kids’ toys like tennis balls. Under extreme weather conditions, gutters can fill with water becoming very heavy and become detached or let water under the shingles and leak into your home. Gutters are another very common Brighton roofing problem even though they are not technically part of the roof.


Your heating and air conditioning units vent outside, along with your furnace which causes many common Brighton roofing problems. Often, the vents go out through your new roof, which requires holes in the wood structure felt and shingles. Your Brighton roofer uses metal or plastic flashing called pipe jacks to keep these features sealed tightly so that no water squeezes between the vents and the new roof. Damaged or missing flashing is another way to create a water leak through your roof into your home.


This unusual word is the proper name for the area underneath your roof’s overhang. It is more sheltered from the elements than other parts of your Brighton home, so birds, squirrels, and other creatures often make themselves little nests. As your home ages, it gets easier for them to find or make holes in this area, allowing them access to your walls and ceilings.

Here Are 5 More Very Common Roofing Mistakes

1. Installing Shingles on Low-Slope Roofs

A roof with a pitch of 2:12 or lower is not ideal for shingling because shingles create a water-shedding roof layer, not a waterproof one. If water flows down the roof thanks to gravity, things are fine. However, if an area is at too shallow a pitch, water seeps or wicks up under the shingles and creates leaks. James Russell Roofing prefers not to install shingles on any structure under a 4:12 pitch. The best option is to use single-ply materials like TPO/PVC or a specialized asphalt product.

2. Not Installing Drip Edges

Though a drip edge is only required on a home’s eaves, they are recommended on the home’s rakes as well. This small metal trim piece positioned just right after the shingle’s edge, does the following:

  • Repels squirrels and insects
  • Prevents rain from getting through the roof’s edge
  • Channels water away to prevent fascia rot
  • Stops sagging shingles

The drip edges must be fastened every 8 to 10 inches, and the shingles must only overhang the drip edge by about 1/4 to 3/4 inches.

3. Using an Improper Starter Course

Utilizing upside down three-tab shingles is a common practice, but using them correctly means applying the unique starter material furnished by the manufacturer and setting them about 1 inch from the tar line and the roof’s edge.

4. Ignoring Leak Barrier Problems

Make sure the roofer provides leak barriers in all valleys and around all skylights.

5. Nailing Issues

Shingles constructed of a fiberglass mat and asphalt tear when nails are inserted at an angle, and these damaged shingles must be thrown out. Similarly, nails that are over-driven can tear a shingle’s mat. High nailing is another common problem in when using a dimensional shingle, a two-ply affair with a thin area glued together. Failing to nail the shingle in the right place can make the bottom ply come apart and cause leaks.

Additionally, roofers shouldn’t use a rainbow arch when utilizing two end nails is preferable. Roofers must also avoid “shiners”: nails that can be seen from the ground and can cause leakage.

James Russell Roofing knows how to avoid these common Tennessee roofing errors and get the job done right to provide a quality service to the city of Brighton and surrounding cities in Tennessee.

Don’t let small problems turn into big ones on your home. James Russell Roofing, Your Tennessee roofing company offers appointments to provide basic prevention and maintenance. If you do notice signs of water damage, call right away.