Have you ever seen a roof where some of the shingles start to curl upward? Obviously, this isn’t a good thing. But how did it happen? How serious is it? What needs to be done to get it fixed? Essentially, what do curled shingles mean on a Baton Rouge roof?
Let’s start with what caused it. There are a number of different possibilities, but the main four are excessive heat, poor attic ventilation, poor installation, or simply a defective product.
Excessive heat and sun – We are no stranger to this in South Louisiana. When your shingles are exposed to extreme temperatures, they can age faster than if they were in a more moderate or temperate climate.
Poor attic ventilation – This takes the problem of excessive heat and makes it worse. A poorly ventilated attic traps heat inside, raising the temperature of the shingles on top of it. Basically, the sun beats down, the attic heats up, and your shingles bake while they broil.
Poor installation – There are a number of ways that shingles can be poorly installed and lead to problems of curling, but they all come down to this; did your roofer try to cut corners? If the person who installed them tried to save money and used fewer nails than necessary; or tried to save time by not removing the old shingles, stored them in a place that forced them to retain moisture, or tried to install them while they were wet, the shingles are more likely to curl and are not going to protect your roof for as long as they should. Reading that list, you may wonder about installing new shingles on top of the old ones. Why is that harmful? The short answer is, it’s because unless the top shingles and bottom shingles line up perfectly, you are less likely to have them cover and seal the way they are supposed to. Also, once they begin to curl, new shingles on top of old ones are more vulnerable to being torn off your roof in high winds.
Defective product – Though rare, this has been known to happen. A poorly manufactured shingle may be the reason behind it curling. One of the most obvious ways to tell if substandard shingles were used on your roof is if you got your roof after one of those nasty storms where it seemed like half the block got their roof, the curling will likely happen on the new roofs at the same time. This is one of the reasons it is important to choose a local roofer. There is so much less accountability with people who magically appear after a bad storm.
Age – This is most often the case. Shingles have a lifespan, and that lifespan does run out. One of the best ways to know how far in to that life span your shingles are is to note what is in the gutters when you clean them out. If you find an excessive amount of granules from the shingles in your rain gutters, you know you’re getting close to the end.
Regardless of what the cause of the curling is, it means it’s time to replace the shingles. Curling makes your roof more susceptible to multiple problems; losing shingles in high wind, or have wind-blown rain push under the shingles. Either way, you are allowing water to get to exposed areas that should be sealed from the elements. While shingles are considered to be the most affordable type of roof, they do have the shortest lifespan, and therefore need the most frequent upkeep.