I ran into a situation a few weeks ago where the tarpaper on the roof didn’t go all the way to the side of the house. As the water traveled down on the rake edge, it rotted the underlying wood. And it’s all because the roof installer wasn’t professional enough to install the tarpaper correctly. 

Tarpaper is the waterproof material that is laid underneath your shingles, on top of your plywood, to create a barrier and prevent leaks. As with most roofing issues, installation is everything, and if you get a cheap roof repair or a bad contractor it can damage your roof and your home. Incorrect installation, or lack of installation can void your roof manufacturer’s warranty.

Issues like these are the type that can cause you to replace your roof prematurely, and they can cost you a lot of money.

How can you know if your tarpaper has been installed correctly? You should be able to lift the rake edge shingles on your roof and see that the paper goes all the way to the edge. The paper should also lie flat without and wrinkles or bumps, as this will cause the overlaying shingles to ripple and allow water to flow underneath them. If the contractors installed the paper correctly, they will have replaced any rotten wood underneath the paper, as well.

So what can you do, if you realize that your tarpaper has been installed incorrectly? Well, it depends on the condition of the wood. If the wood is strong and sound, it would be a good time to lift up the existing shingles and install new tar paper. It would be a low cost solution, but you’d save a lot in the long run. If the wood has rotted, then you will have to get quotes for full replacement. Click here for more information on our roof replacement process!

Of course, it’s always best to do it right the first time around, which is what we always take care to do. We install roofs with an eye for detail. If you find think your tarpaper may be causing you problems, schedule a free roof well care check-up with Roof Life of Oregon. We’ll diagnose the problem and figure out what we can do to make your roof look good, work right, and last longer.


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