As a homeowner, one of the most important maintenance tasks you can perform are periodic roof inspections. If you have an asphalt shingle roof, there are specific problems that can affect the shingles themselves. These problems can lead to leaks or they may indicate a more severe problem with the decking beneath the shingles.
Sinking can appear in multiple ways. The most common is shingle cupping, where the center of a shingle seems to sink as the edges curl upward. Cupped shingles may indicate a manufacturing defect with the shingle itself, or it may occur due to age and moisture exposure. In both cases, replacement of at least the cupped shingles is necessary.
Problems with the decking beneath the shingles can also lead to sinking. If a section of the roof appears to have sunk, then rot to the decking could be causing the issue. As the shingles sink into the rotten decking, water can collect in the dip when it rains. This collected water increases the chances of a leak, so you need to have both the decking and the shingles repaired or replaced.
Split shingles are most often the result of thermal damage. As temperatures drop and rise, the roof will expand and contract. Old shingles or those that have a manufacturing defect may not be able to handle thermal expansion and contraction properly, which then leads to the split.
Split shingles allow water to seep beneath them, which can then make its way into your attic. If you notice splitting shingles, prompt repair is necessary before the damage spreads to the decking or into your home.
Shrinking is the opposite of splitting, but it is may still caused by thermal contraction of the roof. The shingles won't expand properly due to a manufacturing defect, thus they appear to shrink apart. Not only is this unattractive, the spaces that form as the shingles shrink can allow moisture to penetrate.
Sometimes shrinkage only affects older shingles. In this case the problem is a sign of age, not defect, and indicates that it is time to have the roof replaced.
All asphalt shingles are covered in small granules of gravel. This gravel protects the shingles from weathering and helps them maintain their imperviousness to water. The gravel typically begins to shed as shingles age and reach the end of their service life, but extreme weather like hail can cause premature shedding.
If your shingles begin to develop smooth spots or if you notice an increase of gravel in your gutters, shedding is a problem and it may be time for a major repair or a roof replacement.
Contact a roof repair service in your area for more help.