4 Signs You Need Shingle Replacement

Fixing Roof Shingles – Tumwater, WA – the Roof Doctor

Many people who have asphalt shingle roofs believe the common misconception that roof repairs are only needed if the roof is leaking or has other extreme damage. However, the truth is that you can often avoid the need for these extensive roof repairs by simply replacing shingles as they begin to show signs of damage or are blown off your roof by high winds.

When you have one or more missing or damaged roof shingles, rainwater can penetrate through your shingle layer and into the roof decking, potentially leading to deck rot. Once a roof deck begins to rot, rainwater can begin seeping through it and into your home, and/or the deck can develop a hole.

Read on to learn four signs that shingles need to be replaced before more severe roof problems occur.

Shingles Have Missing Granules

All asphalt shingles are coated with a layer of granules that protect the asphalt underneath them from the sun’s harsh UV rays and increase shingle fire resistance. Over time, these granules can wear away due to exposure to the outdoor elements, and this gradual slight granule loss over the years is expected. However, some shingles experience dramatic granule loss that leads to the need for early shingle replacement.

Granules can be removed from shingle surfaces when shingles are hit by large hailstones, tree branches overhanging the roof scrape the granules off, or after an object hits your roof and knocks granules loose. When a shingle loses most of these protective granules, the sun’s heat and UV rays can deteriorate the asphalt layer of the shingle very quickly, inhibiting its ability to protect your roof underlayment and decking from rainwater.

Signs that shingles may have lost granules during a bad storm include the presence of a large number of granules in your home gutter system and, if shingles are light in color, dark spots your roof where colored granules were lost and the black asphalt underneath them is exposed.

When you notice shingles with an extensive amount of missing granules, you should have these shingles replaced to restore the integrity of your roof.

Severe Shingle Blistering

Another sign that you need shingle replacement is the presence of severe blistering on one or more asphalt shingles. During their early stages, shingle blisters typically appear as small bubbles on shingle surfaces. Over time, these bubbles can wear away exposing the unprotected asphalt shingle mat underneath them.

These blisters occur when air or moisture becomes trapped inside of the shingle and then expands. If these blisters develop shortly after new asphalt shingle installation, then they may be caused by a product defect, and affected shingle replacement should be covered by your shingle manufacturer warranty.

However, blistering can also occur in older asphalt roofs due to improper roof ventilation. When a roof lacks proper ventilation, shingles can become extremely hot, leading to any moisture or air that became trapped in them over time expanding and rising to the shingle surface.

You should replace blistered shingles as soon as you notice them, because after blister bubbles wear away, often only a thin layer of asphalt mat remains under the bubble surface. This thin mat cannot protect your roof decking from the elements well.

Shingle Curling

Over time, the edges of roof shingles can detach from the roof underlayment and begin to curl upward. Shingles begin to curl for many reasons. If your attic is poorly ventilated, the hot, moist air that lingers underneath your roof can cause shingles to curl. Shingle curling can also occur due to improper shingle installation — most shingles are held into place by both an adhesive and nails, and curling can occur when either adhesive or nails are improperly installed on shingle edges.

While all asphalt shingles can curl over time, shingles are more likely to curl when they are installed over top of an existing layer of shingles instead of being attached directly to roof decking.

All curled shingles should be replaced because curled shingles edges cannot protect the roof underlayment and decking underneath them from the elements well. 

Loose or Missing Shingles

After a heavy rainstorm hits your area, especially if it is accompanied by strong winds, you should always check your roof for missing or loose shingles, because strong winds can blow shingles right off the surface of your roof or loosen them dramatically.

All shingles are given wind-resistance ratings, and those with lower ratings are more likely to be blown off the roof during a bad storm. For example, while a Class F shingle is made to withstand winds of up to 110 mph, Class A shingles have only been proven to be able to withstand winds of up to 60 mph. When possible, choose shingles with a high wind resistance rating to reduce the chance that they will be blown off your roof by high winds.

All missing and loose shingles should be replaced as soon as possible to restore your roof’s outer protective layer’s integrity. 

If you have an asphalt shingle roof, then you should always replace damaged or missing shingles as soon as you notice them to prevent the need for more extensive roof repairs in the future. Contact the roofing experts at The Roof Doctor to schedule an asphalt shingle roof inspection or shingle replacement today.

Comments (1)

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    Jon Dominic


    Many thanks for your effort, Your blog post is quite informative about 4 signs that shingles need to be replaced before more serve roof problems occur.


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