Asphalt shingles are a beautiful, durable roofing option. However, even high-quality materials can suffer damage from turbulent storms, heavy impact, poor ventilation, or old age.
Fortunately, by performing regular maintenance checks, you can locate and repair damaged shingles to extend the lifespan of your roof.
Use this guide during your next roof inspection to identify the types of wear and tear affecting your asphalt shingles so you can save your home from water leaks and costly repairs down the road.
Signs of Damaged Asphalt Roof Shingles
Homeowners should perform visual roof inspections at least twice a year, as well as after big storms, to identify shingles that need to be repaired. Unless you have prior roofing experience, it’s safest to conduct your roof inspection from the ground with a pair of binoculars or hire an expert roofing contractor to complete the job.
Look for the following six signs of shingle damage:
1. Missing Shingles
Powerful storms can rip asphalt shingles off your roof, leaving the underlayment on top of your decking exposed. These bare spots can become a source of water leaks if they aren’t covered quickly.
2. Bruised Shingles
Shingles may become bruised when pelted with solid objects at high speeds, like hail, rocks, or debris. These shingles are typically darker in color than the surrounding roof, and they showcase a round, concave dent embedded with shingle granules.
Bruising can compromise the strength of your shingles, leaving your roof vulnerable to storm damage.
3. Blistered Shingles
Blistering is a result of the natural aging process for shingles, but it can also occur from excessive heat, poor ventilation, or faulty installation. This type of damage is more common in regions with frequent sun exposure, like the Southeast or West Coast.
Shingle blisters look similar to bruises. However, blisters are characterized by the loss of granules in a small, concentrated area, where you can often see the underlayment exposed underneath the shingle.
4. Curled or Cupped Shingles
Your asphalt shingles can develop concave centers, known as cupping, or form raised edges, known as curling. This type of damage is typically caused by aging or heat exposure from a poorly ventilated attic.
Instead of allowing rain, snow, and ice to slide off your roof, cupped shingles provide a “bowl” for water to sit in. This standing water may eventually leak into your attic, which can result in frustrating damage and costly repairs.
5. Cracked Shingles
Similar to wood siding, asphalt shingles expand and contract in hot and cold temperatures. Eventually, the material becomes worn and can result in cracks on the surface of the shingles.
These cracks allow water to seep into your shingles, which can cause damage to your underlayment, decking, and, eventually, the attic.
6. Flaking Shingles
Asphalt shingles begin to shed their granules as they age, and you may notice them in your gutters or on your front lawn. This process makes your roof more vulnerable to damage, and it’s usually a sign that it’s time for a roof replacement.
What Causes Shingle Damage?
These three factors are the most common causes of asphalt shingle damage:
Storms & Hail
Wind and other turbulent types of weather can cause your shingles to blow off your roof and cause debris, like tree branches and rocks, to crack, puncture, or fall on your shingles. After powerful storms, it’s crucial to perform a roof inspection to confirm your roofing system is still intact.
Hail can be incredibly detrimental to asphalt shingles, creating bruises and cracks, and it can also cause shingles granules to go missing.
Pesky critters, like squirrels, can damage your roof. They may tear your shingles or even chew through your decking. To prevent roof damage from rodents, frequently trim the trees that hover near your home so squirrels won’t have an easy launching point from a tree branch to your roof.
General Wear & Tear
The typical lifespan for asphalt shingles is 15 to 30 years. Even if you perform regular roof maintenance, over time, your shingles may blister, crack, or flake as they age.
Get Your Roofing Questions Answered by a Local Indianapolis Contractor
Have you noticed one (or more) of these signs of asphalt shingle damage, and you’re wondering what to do next?
If so, get your questions answered with the complete homeowner’s roofing guide by JD Hostetter. This guide includes the average cost of a new roof, benefits of a replacement, how to find a reliable roofing contractor, and other helpful information you can utilize during the roof repair or replacement process.