Why Is Your Shingle Curling?

Feb 6, 2023


Viking Contractors




February 6, 2023


May 10, 2024

Got Questions?

Homeowners are always astonished -and frankly upset- when their roof shingles start curling. Considering they’ve been told their shingles will last for at least 20 years, they’re well entitled to feel that way. But why exactly does shingle curling happen? 

If you’re asking yourself this exact question, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you all the reasons your shingles may be curling and what to do to fix your roof. 

Common Reasons for Shingle Curling

Shingle curling can occur for a number of reasons. Some you can control, others you can’t. But either way, you need to know the exact cause to prevent further curling. So, let’s take a look and see why shingle curling occurs. 

Poor Ventilation 

The number one cause of shingle curling is excess moisture in your roof, typically due to poor ventilation. 

You see, all houses contain some degree of moisture in the air. It can come directly from the surrounding environment or be caused by the simple acts of living (breathing, cooking, showering, etc.). 

For this warm, moist air to be released, there needs to exist a proper ventilation system, especially for the attic. 

If the vents are correctly designed, the warm, moist air and subsequent condensation should bypass the shingles without causing any damage. However, when there’s an issue, the roof decking and the felt underlayment absorb the excess moisture. With time, they’ll start to shift, pushing the shingles and causing them to curl. 

So, if a new roof shows signs of shingle curling in a short period, know there’s most likely an issue with your ventilation. 

Faulty Installation 

Though not as common as poor ventilation, faulty shingle installation is another cause of shingle curling.

As you probably know, shingles are installed using nails. If a roof installer doesn’t place the nails correctly, the shingles will start to pull apart from the roof and curl. This will also occur if the nails are not long enough, insufficient, or poor quality. 

Similarly, if the adhesive strips on the shingles aren’t properly oriented, they won’t adhere satisfactorily. As a result, the shingles may curl, buckle, or even fall off. 

Note: Occasionally, unregistered contractors will buy shingles made of poor materials as a way to make some extra cash. Unfortunately, these shingles will rapidly begin to curl, crack, and break, severely shortening the lifetime of your roof. 

Two Layers of Roofing

Occasionally, roof installers will recommend installing a new roof atop the old one. Now, inherently, this isn’t a bad idea. 

Since you don’t need to spend hours removing the old roof, you can save a ton of effort and money. And as an added bonus, the new layer will serve as protection for the old layer, making your roof extra secure. 

Unfortunately, this scenario doesn’t always pan out. 

You see, the old roof may sometimes contain water damage that goes unnoticed. This will ultimately cause issues in the new roof, causing the shingles to loosen and curl.

Static vent installed on a shingle roof for passive attic ventilation to avoid shingle curling

Curling will also happen if the two roof layers aren’t properly locked together. The second layer of shingles will begin to buckle and curl when that occurs. Ultimately, they’ll be significantly damaged by rain and strong winds. 

Wear and Tear

Quite simply, your shingles may be curling due to age. Even though shingles basically have a lifetime warranty, you can’t stop the effect of time, and you’ll eventually notice some wear and tear. 

Still, you can do a few things to minimize the wear and tear. For instance, make sure your roof foundation is sound by promptly repairing any damage you notice. Also, ensure your water pipes, windows, and drains are all in perfect working condition.

Last but not least, try to prevent any frequent fluctuations in temperature. When the shingles experience repeated heating and cooling, they keep expanding and contracting. Over time, the asphalt will lose its flexibility, shrink, and start to curl.

How to Fix Curled Shingles

Fixing curled shingles occurs in two phases. First, you need to correct the underlying problem responsible for the damage. Without removing the cause, it’s only a matter of time before your new roof starts to deteriorate. 

Once you resolve the main issue, you’ll now need to replace the curled shingles. To do so, your roofing contractor will lift the old shingles and access the nails. They’ll then proceed to pull out the nails with a flat pry bar and remove the damaged shingles. 

Workman using pneumatic nail gun install tile on roof of new house under construction

All they have to do now is install new shingles that match the old ones. When everything is in its place, they’ll apply a roofing sealant to link the new shingle to its neighbor and secure it using six roofing nails. 

Note: If your roof has two layers, the contractor has to check each layer for damages thoroughly. If both layers are affected, you’ll probably need to place new shingles over your entire roof. 

Noticed Shingle Curling? Here’s What You Need to Do

Unfortunately, once shingle curling occurs, you have no option but to replace them. You may also need to replace your roof deck if the damage is extensive enough. 

But you can’t just hire anyone to do the job. You need experienced professionals who know what they’re doing, and here, at Viking Contractors, we’ve got some of the best. 

They’ll inspect your roof from head to toe and figure out all the problems they need to tackle. And, of course, they’ll only install high-quality shingles that’ll last you 20, 30, or even 40 years. 

So, make sure to contact us once you notice any curled shingles. We’ll give you a free roof inspection, and in no time, you’ll get your roof back in working order.

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