Common Mistakes Homeowners Make in
Maintaining Roofs

As a homeowner in New York, maintaining your roof is an essential part of homeownership.

Chimney FlashingHowever, many homeowners make common mistakes that can lead to costly repairs and replacements.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most frequent mistakes homeowners make when maintaining their roofs and how to avoid them.

As a trusted roofing contractor, we’ve seen many examples of people ignoring small issues that lead to big problems down the road. We don’t want this for you. Here are some common issues to look out for. 

Ignoring Regular Inspections

Regular inspections are crucial for maintaining the health of your roof. Unfortunetly, many homeowners overlook the importance of scheduling routine inspections.

By ignoring regular inspections, you run the risk of missing minor damages that can quickly escalate into larger, more costly repairs.

Overlooking Minor Damages

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is overlooking minor damages.

Even small cracks or missing shingles can lead to significant problems if left unaddressed.

Over time, these minor damages can allow moisture to seep into your roof, causing rot and decay. This can lead to more significant issues, such as leaks or even structural damage.

To avoid overlooking minor damages, it’s essential to inspect your roof regularly. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracked or missing shingles, damaged flashing, or loose gutters.

By catching these issues early, you can take steps to address them before they become more severe.

Neglecting Professional Inspections

While it’s essential to inspect your roof regularly, it’s also crucial to have a professional inspection done periodically.

A professional inspector can identify issues that may not be visible to the untrained eye. They can also provide recommendations for maintenance and repairs that can help extend the life of your roof.

Neglecting professional inspections can lead to missed opportunities for preventative maintenance. By catching issues early, you can take steps to prevent them from becoming more significant problems.

Additionally, professional inspections can help identify areas where your roof may be vulnerable to damage, such as around chimneys or vents.

Luckily, if you live in Rockland County, Westchester County, or Bergen County, our team at Segelman Shaw Roofing, Siding & Gutters can provide an Enhanced Annual Maintenance package for your roof and gutter system. 

Poor Ventilation and Insulation

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make in maintaining their roofs is neglecting proper ventilation and insulation.

This can lead to a range of problems, from high energy bills to premature roof failure. 

Inadequate Roof Ventilation

Inadequate roof ventilation can cause a variety of problems. During humid, hot summer months in the northeast, the temperature in your attic can rise to well over 100 degrees, which can damage your roof and lead to higher energy bills.

Poor ventilation can also cause moisture buildup in the attic, which can lead to mold and mildew growth, as well as damage to your roof deck and shingles.

Signs of inadequate roof ventilation include:

  • Excessive heat in the attic
  • Ice dams in the winter
  • Moisture buildup in the attic
  • Mold or mildew growth
  • Premature aging of roofing materials

To ensure proper ventilation, you should have a balanced system of intake and exhaust vents installed on your roof.

This will allow air to flow freely through your attic, keeping it cool in the summer and dry in the winter.

Insufficient Insulation

Insufficient insulation can also lead to a range of problems, including energy loss, moisture buildup, and premature roof failure.

Without proper insulation, heat can escape from your home in the winter, leading to higher energy bills and a colder home.

In the summer, insufficient insulation can cause your home to retain heat, making it more difficult to keep cool.

Signs of insufficient insulation include:

  • High energy bills
  • Uneven temperatures throughout your home
  • Ice dams in the winter
  • Moisture buildup in the attic

To ensure sufficient insulation, you should have your attic inspected by a professional.

They can determine if you have enough insulation and recommend any necessary upgrades. The amount of insulation you need will depend on your climate and the type of roofing material you have.

Incorrect Installation of Shingles

Poor shingle installation can lead to a host of problems, including leaks, damage to the roof structure, and decreased energy efficiency. We’ve seen this time and time again. 

Improper nailing is a common mistake when installing shingles. Nail heads should be flush with the top of the shingle, but many contracts will drive nails too deep, causing shingles to crack and allowing water to penetrate the roof.

On the other hand, nails that are not driven deep enough can cause shingles to lift, creating gaps that allow water to seep in.

Another common mistake is failing to offset shingles properly. Shingles need to be offset from one another, similar to the bricks in a brick wall.

If all the shingle joints align up the roof, they can create gaps in the shingle layer for water to drain into. One of the most common mistakes with shingle offset is aligning the starter shingles and the first course.

Using the wrong type of shingle for your roof is also a common mistake. Not all shingles are created equal, and different types of shingles are better suited for different types of roofs. For example, asphalt shingles are a popular choice for sloped roofs, but they are not recommended for flat roofs. If you choose the wrong type of shingle for your roof, you could be setting yourself up for problems down the line.

Neglecting Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts play a crucial role in protecting your roof and home from water damage. Neglecting them can lead to significant damage and costly repairs.

Clogged Gutters

When gutters become clogged with debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt, they can no longer properly channel water away from your home.

This can lead to water damage to your roof, walls, and foundation. To prevent clogged gutters, it is recommended that you clean them at least twice a year, in the spring and fall. 

Broken Downspouts

Downspouts are the pipes that carry water from your gutters to the ground.

When downspouts are broken or damaged, water can accumulate and overflow from your gutters, causing damage to your roof, walls, and foundation.

To prevent broken downspouts, ensure that they are securely attached to your gutters and that they are not clogged with debris. You can also install splash blocks or extenders to direct water away from your home.

Delaying Necessary Repairs

As a homeowner, you may think that a small leak or missing shingle is not a big deal, but it can lead to bigger problems down the road.

One of the biggest risks of delaying repairs is that the damage can escalate quickly. What may have been a small leak can turn into a major problem that requires a full roof replacement.

This can be a costly mistake that could have been avoided with timely repairs.

Another risk of delaying repairs is that it can lead to further damage to your home’s interior. A leaky roof can cause water damage to your ceiling, walls, and floors. This can lead to mold growth, which can be hazardous to your health.

DIY Approach to Major House Repairs

When it comes to major repairs, such as a complete roof replacement or significant structural damage, it can be tempting to take a DIY approach to save money. However, this can often lead to costly mistakes and further damage to your roof. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when attempting major repairs on your own:

Not Assessing the Full Scope of the Repair

Before starting any major repair, it’s essential to assess the full scope of the damage. This means identifying all areas that need repair and determining the materials, tools, and expertise required to complete the job successfully. Failure to assess the full scope of the repair can result in incomplete or inadequate repairs, leading to further damage down the line.

Or, worse, it can lead to the job getting done halfway. This can lead to a higher contracting bill if the company you hire has to redo the work. 

Underestimating the Complexity of the Repair

Major roof repairs can be complex, requiring specialized knowledge and expertise. Underestimating the complexity of the repair can lead to mistakes, such as using the wrong materials or techniques, which can result in further damage to your roof. It’s essential to be honest with yourself about your abilities and knowledge and seek professional help if necessary.

Using Inadequate Materials

Using inadequate materials to complete a major repair can lead to significant problems down the line.

Cheap materials may seem like a cost-effective solution in the short term, but they are often of poor quality and will not last as long as high-quality materials.

It’s essential to use high-quality materials that are appropriate for the job to ensure that your repairs are long-lasting and effective.

Not Following Safety Protocols

Roof repair can be dangerous, and failing to follow safety protocols can result in serious injury or even death.

It’s essential to take safety seriously and use appropriate safety equipment and procedures when working on your roof.

This includes wearing appropriate clothing and footwear, using safety harnesses and ropes, and following all safety guidelines.

Ignoring Signs of Aging Roof

One of the most obvious signs of an aging roof is missing or broken shingles.

Over time, shingles can become brittle and crack, exposing the underlying roof structure to the elements.

If you notice missing or broken shingles, it’s important to have them replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Another sign of an aging roof is water damage. If you notice water stains on your ceiling or walls, it could be a sign that your roof is leaking.

Ignoring a leaky roof can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can be harmful to your health. It’s important to have your roof inspected by a professional if you suspect a leak.

Curling or buckling shingles can also be a sign of an aging roof. This is often caused by exposure to the sun, which can cause the shingles to warp and become misshapen. If you notice curling or buckling shingles, it’s important to have them replaced to prevent further damage to your roof.


Roofing Contractors NYMaintaining your roof is crucial to ensuring the safety, comfort, and value of your home. By avoiding common mistakes, you can extend the lifespan of your roof and prevent costly repairs. Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Regular inspections and maintenance are essential for identifying and addressing issues before they become major problems.
  • Avoid using pressure washers or harsh chemicals on your roof, as they can damage the shingles and shorten the lifespan of your roof.
  • Keep your gutters clean and clear of debris to prevent water damage and leaks.
  • Trim overhanging branches to prevent damage from falling limbs and debris.
  • Hire a professional roofing contractor for major repairs or replacement to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.

Are you looking for a trusted contractor in one of these NY & NJ areas? Segelman Shaw Roofing, Siding & Gutters can help! We have been in business for over 20+ years and have many 5-star reviews. We are the trusted roofing contractor to many homeowners. Give us a call at (845) 364-8200 or email us directly at

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Segelman Shaw Roofing Siding & Gutters

1 Executive Blvd., Suite 105B, Suffern, NY 10901

NJ: 201-530-9500
NY: 845-364-8200
WC: 914-874-1197 

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