Different Types Of Shingle Damage

April 12, 2021

Different Types Of Shingle Damage
We Often See On Denver Roofs

Mother Nature can be hard on your roof. The extent of damage will depend on the type of roofing materials and roofing shingles used. Whether your roofing material consists of asphalt shingles, slate shingles, wood roof shingles, laminate shingles, fiberglass shingles, solar roof shingles, composite shingles, composite plastic roof shingles, rubber roof shingles, architectural shingles, dimensional shingles, metal roofing, or another type of material, it’s important to have your roof regularly inspected for damage or potential issues.

From the sun’s harsh rays to hail, ice, precipitation, snow, and wind, there are different types of roof damage that homeowners should be aware of. If not repaired, roof damage may lead to severe problems like water leaking inside the house.

Learn about the various types of damage that can occur to your roofing shingles and other types of roofing materials.

Granule Loss or Flaking: When Your Roof’s Top Layer Begins Wearing Out

A typical asphalt shingle is made up of three layers: backing material, asphalt, and a granule layer on top. The granules are responsible for the asphalt shingle’s color and energy-efficient reflective properties, and are a necessary component of the roof. In addition to the roof’s appearance, asphalt roofing granules protect the integrity of your shingles from the elements, including ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Granule loss or flaking occurs when the top layer of your roofing material deteriorates. The wearing away of the top layer causes several issues:

  • It reduces the protection provided to the matting and asphalt in the shingles.
  • It removes the color from the shingles.
  • It removes the fire-retardant finish.

Flaking can occur as the roof ages. Over time, weather and sun exposure will cause your roof to lose flexibility and shed some of the asphalt roofing granules that cover it. What you don’t want is to end up with asphalt roofing shingles that expose the asphalt layer, also known as “bald” shingles.

Granule loss or flaking can also occur as a result of hail or storm damage to roofs. Hailstorms can cause your asphalt roofing shingles to lose its granules, which can reduce the remaining lifespan of your roof depending on how severe the damage is.

Granule loss or flaking in an asphalt shingle roof can also be as a result of a manufacturer’s defect.

In order to prevent significant damage to your asphalt roofing shingles, have your roofing contractor replace the shingles before the granule loss is significant.

Hail Bruising and Damage to Asphalt Shingles and Other Roofing Materials

Bruising occurs when hail damages the asphalt shingles. It can also damage the mat under the asphalt shingles. Bruising causes the asphalt shingle to lose its ability to shed water and the premature failure of the roofing system. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent hail bruising and it’s difficult to identify, which is why you should have your roof inspected by a roofing contractor following a hailstorm. An experienced roofer will look for bruised roof shingles to see if there is any give, an indicator that deterioration is taking place. The roofer will replace the damaged asphalt shingle.

Tile roofing shingles can be damaged by hail, as well, and will need immediate attention to prevent roof leaks, mold, and other structural issues. Hail can also cause chips and cracks in clay roofs.

While slate tile roofing shingles are much less likely to suffer direct damage than other roofing materials like asphalt shingles or wood shingles, they too can be damaged by hail. Hail damage to slate shingles appears as holes with sharp edges or as broken edges or corners in the tiles. Hail can leave a small hole in the top of the slate and a crater on the underside of the tile. Unless the roof is closely examined, neither of these can be seen. Water will enter the hole, pool under the tile, and absorb into the decking during subsequent rainstorms, causing often undetected damage that can compound hail damage and necessitate costly repair. It’s important to note, however, the most common cause of damage in slate shingles is wear and tear from natural aging.

Metal roofing stands up much better to hail damage than asphalt shingles, fiberglass asphalt shingles, or tile. Hail may cause dings to metal roof shingles but it would take substantial sized hail to cause cracks.

Close-up of a metal roof with mild hail damage

Roofing Shingles Cupping

Cupping gets its name from the way the shingle edges curl up, resembling a cup. Common causes of cupping include:

  • Aging: Roofs are subject to normal wear and tear. When exposed to harsh weather for an extended period of time, a roof can also sustain damage and develop cupping.
  • Roof Ventilation Issues: Poor roof ventilation can lead to shingle cupping. If your property is frequently subjected to extremely hot weather conditions, the structure of your roof can suffer significantly. To avoid further roof damage, make sure you have adequate roof ventilation.
  • Mishandled Shingles: Even if there were no problems during the manufacturing and installation of the asphalt shingles, their quality may deteriorate faster if they have been stored or handled improperly. Shingles must be stored in areas that are not exposed to harsh weather and elements.
  • Inadequate Asphalt Binders: If your roof does not have enough binders, your asphalt shingles will wear out prematurely. A professional roofing contractor can assist you in determining solutions for asphalt-based binders.

Close-up of an asphalt shingle roof with cupping damage

Shingle Cracking and Splitting in Asphalt Shingles

Cracking can occur for several reasons:

  1. The mat drying out can cause cracks. As it dries out, it shrinks.
  2. High winds are another cause of cracking. The wind causes the shingles to move, which can make them crack.
  3. Temperature changes can also be the cause of cracking.

As asphalt shingles crack, they can allow moisture to enter your home. Have the shingles inspected and replaced from time to time in order to prevent moisture from entering the home.

Fluctuating temperatures are the main cause of asphalt shingle splitting. When the temperature changes, these types of roof shingles expand and contract, making them smaller or larger. Wood shingles can also split as a result of being exposed to different weather patterns over time. Splitting typically occurs gradually but it can also happen instantly after a storm.

Close-up of an asphalt shingle roof with splitting damage


Blistering of a roof’s asphalt shingles is caused by excessive heat and damages the roofing materials. Blistering usually occurs early in the life of the roof. The most common cause is improper ventilation. The way to prevent this is to ensure that you have proper roof ventilation. Once blistering starts, it can’t be prevented and the home will need a new roof. A less common cause of blistering is installing new shingles over a wet surface. Avoid this by hiring a quality roofing contractor to oversee the installation of your new roof.

Curling In Roof Shingles

Curling is when the edges of the roof shingles curl up. Again, ventilation is often the cause of this. A second layer placed over an existing layer increases the likelihood of curling. Curling is repaired by applying a sealant to the areas that are curled. Asphalt shingles are not the only type of roofing materials exposed to curling. Wood shingles can start to curl or cup as part of the aging process. If the wood shingles/cedar shakes start to curl too much, the home will be exposed to leaks, especially if the underlayment beneath your shakes is exposed.

Moss Growth in Roof Shingles

Moss growth can compromise the integrity and security of your roof shingles by collecting water and causing water damage as well as mold or mildew growth. Moss is also a common cause of roofing shingles lifting. In addition, it makes working on the roof more dangerous because moss does not provide good footing.

Inadequate Installation

Many roof repair needs can be traced back to poor installation. Roofing over old shingles invites leaks and broken shingles. Failure to use underlayment, to install proper flashing as needed, to use poor or no roof sealants, or to fasten and/or overlap shingles correctly can all cause roofing shingles problems.

The best way to prevent roof shingles issues is to always use a reputable roofing company to inspect and oversee the work on your roof. Our experts at Roof Worx are happy to help! If you’re in the Loveland, Fort Collins, Denver, Aurora, or Colorado Springs, Colorado area, contact us today.

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