Is your home’s asphalt shingle roof protected from wind damage? Maybe, maybe not! Asphalt shingle roofs have a narrow space across the shingle where the nails are to be placed. This area is reinforced to help the nail hold down the shingles under high winds. If the nail is not placed in this narrow nailing band, the shingle can lift and tear off leaving the nail snuggly in-place on the roof. This is exactly what happened to me on a 4-years old home with top-of-the-line 30-year asphalt roof.
The first year we had a few shingles blow off the roof during a storm and instead of turning the damage in under my insurance, we hired a roofer to repair the area at a cost of about $500. Our deductible was $1,000. The third year, more shingles blew off the roof during a storm. Again, the missing shingles was an area about ten-foot diameter, so I called the roofer again for the repair and this time the cost was $1,500. We decided not to call the insurance company so they would not have a reason to raise our rate. The fourth year, we had a large area of shingles blow off the roof and this time, we contacted our insurance company, The Hartford. We quickly called the roofer to make the repair before another rain to prevent any water from leaking through the roof. The Hartford sent the insurance adjuster out to write-up the claim. We picked up shingles out of the yard and the adjuster showed me the nailing strip and only about half of the nails hit the nailing strip. The nailing strip was only about ½” wide. We received a letter in a few days from The Hartford declining any payment, “stating they do not cover poor workmanship”. I quickly requested another adjuster evaluate the damage and again, the same letter arrived, DENIED. I argued for days with the insurer about how we were supposed to know about the poor workmanship and escalated the issue up the chain within The Hartford. The final result was NO PAYOUT and we quickly changed insurance companies.
It is not easy to see whether asphalt shingles are nailed properly, because no nails are visible without removing other shingles. The entire roof had to be replaced the next year due to more wind damage. The home builder went out of business a year before and we had no where to turn but to pay for the new roof ourselves. As a home inspector, I see very few roofs nailed properly!
Chuck retired from an engineering management career to start a home inspection business