Improper Installation of shingles

My house was built in the Fall of 2003. I had dimensional asphalt shingles put on, which are rated for 80mph winds. This past Friday, we had wind gusts of between 40-50mph, and I had about a 10’x10’ section of shingles blown off my house.

I had a roofer (who subcontracts for my original builder) come out and look at the damage. I asked him why the shingles failed, and with one glance at a shingle that had fallen off, he was able to tell me. Apparently the roofer who put the shingles on my house didn’t nail them down in the proper position. Instead of going through 2 layers of shingles, pretty much every nail was driven behind that overlapped section through only 1 layer. This obviously voids the warranty on my shingles.

The roofer who told me this didn’t work for my builder at the time my house was built, but now he depends on the business from that builder, so he doesn’t want to get in the middle of any dispute. The builder already told this roofer that I would be responsible for the cost of any work that needs to be done, since my home is outside of my original 1-year limited warranty.

I haven’t personally talked to my builder since I found all this out, but I think he should be at least partially responsible for what happened. Does this sound right, or am I completely wrong?

Thanks for any opinions you can give.


Builders normally give a 1 year warranty. There is really nothing that you can do. Odds are the roof was installed like this all over. Yes shingles will blow off when they are nailed in the incorrect place. I see it about once a week on newer homes. My advise to you is if you have the means have the enitre roof checked by a reputible roofer and see if the whole roof needs replacing or it can just be repaired. Normally the repairs can be covered by your home owners insurance.

Yes, unfortunately, this is the conclusion that I think I’ve come to as well.

Thanks for the advice - I’ll ask about having that done first. I guess I had just assumed that the shingles couldn’t be checked unless you tore them all up anyway.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Homeowners insurance covers damage by storms (wind, etc.), but not when faulty construction is the primary cause.

Thanks again for the reply!

[quote=“larrysano”] Homeowners insurance covers damage by storms (wind, etc.), but not when faulty construction is the primary cause.


the shingles blew off from the wind…bottom line. insurance will cover it.

Yes they will it stayed on the roof for 4 years they will repair it.

Insurance will cover it when the roofing contractor writes it up as “wind damage”. I do it that way all the tie and homeowners get it covered.
one 10 X 10 area to be fixed shouldn’t be too much $$. 4-5 hundy at most depending on where you live.

in my area i can usually get that entire slope replaced by insurance.

well mr larrysano,
im glad you came here.
ill just take the time to say i told ya so to all the guys
who think im crazy when i say that i like to see some low nials
on a two peace demensional shingle.
if there aint no low ones then theres to many high ones
and the roofs ends up like mr larrysanos,
in the neighboors yard.
so the next time im tellin somebody that low nails are not a bad thing
i dont expect to hear some knucklehead tellin me different.

now mr larrysano,
sounds like your roof is high nailed.
there is no fix for that.
if your house has alot of valuables in it, alot of stuff
that is very inportant to you, i would do something, cause the first
storm that comes along your shingles are goin bye bye, and evrything inside is goin to get wet.

so what do you do to get a good storm proof roof.
put on a metal roof on and screw the hell out of it.
its the only thing doin real good in the hurricanes.

if you do get talked back into shingles, make shure the nails are
put low enough. tell em you want to see a low nail or two.

good luck


Well one thing is for sure, Tearing off the roof should be easy enough. I just loved tearing off high nail roofs. No fork needed. Just grab and pull. And off it comes.

Question - where do you live?

You might also have a “3 tab flipped” first course of shingles; this will allow the leading edge of the lowest shingles to get lifted by a ‘moderately’ high wind.

As for insurance, a good co. adjuster (vs. an independant) will disallow it based on improper installation. Sure, you should get @ least 2 or 3 independant appraisals & hope your insurance co. will pay the bill minus your full deductible, however if you were to ask a reputable contractor to state that it wasn’t builder error when they knew otherwise would potentially constitute insurance fraud (not saying you will or would, only discussing all possible concepts).

Additionally, if the total damage is in fact one 10’ x 10’ area, chances are your deductible for high wind events might not cover this amt. & it’s somewhat not worth your effort to file a claim. If I came across a ‘field’ (i.e. n ot close to a ridge, not near a hip & not on the eave) damage of one square (100 sq. ft. or what we call a “square”), so long as it’s 7:12 or less, you’re looking @ top end around $ 700.00 in parts & labor.

One last item is your builder. If you were to explain that you have had 2 or 3 roofers out & they have all said it’s a high nail / improper installation issue, he may have it repaired @ his expense. If he declines, let him know that you’ll be contacting the consumer reporter for any of the local TV stations & they’ll certainly be happy to knock on his car window & ask questions one day when he leaves his home. That might wake him up.

PS: You can’t go wrong posting photos here… we love to pick jobs apart that way. Good luck.

oh ya love tearing high nail roofs off. bottom line nail amount/location is the problem. every man on my crew storm stitch by habit, 6 nails per in the right location. just last month we did a roof on a lake, 70 mph winds the day after, 20 pitch A frame, not a single problem, and was not hot enough to even seal yet. NAIL the shingles right…