Why Are My Shingles Lifting? Understanding the Causes and Solutions

Posted on May 16, 2023

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shingles lifting

Do you see your roofing shingles lifting or curling? Then it’s crucial to note that this is not a normal thing, and it needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Shingles that have lifted up or become warped leave gaps in the roof, exposing it to the elements. Through this gap, water and pests can reach the roof deck, rafters, and attic, leading to rot, mold, and algae. 

At OConnor Contracting, we’re here to help you learn the causes and solutions of this issue so that you can prevent costly damage to your home. So let’s discuss why your roofing shingles may be lifting and the permanent solutions for the problem.

Shingles Lifting and Warping: Causes and Solutions

The most common reasons behind lifted and curled shingles are poor installations, damaged shingles, and high winds. By understanding all these reasons, you’ll be able to permanently fix the issue.

#1 Poor Installation

When it comes to roofing, proper installation of roofing materials is the most important thing. Inexperienced roofers and unauthorized handymen can make mistakes during installation, such as shingle nailing and alignment.

Incorrect Nailing Techniques

One of the most common reasons why shingles lift is due to incorrect nailing techniques. If a roofing contractor does not use enough nails or the nails are not placed in the right location, it can cause the shingles to lift. Using nails that are the improper length or diameter can also lead to shingle lifting.

Improper Alignment of Shingles

Improper shingle alignment is often a result of a random or reckless installation technique. Uneven alignment leaves gaps that allow wind and rain to get underneath the shingles, causing the shingles to lift and curl up.

Repairing poor installation requires correcting the mistakes made during the initial installation process. You can do this by choosing a reliable and experienced shingle roofing contractor for repairs. They will not only solve this issue but also identify potential problems with the roof and suggest the best course of action you can take. You can ask for a free roof inspection and estimate to get an idea of your project beforehand.

Poor Installation

#2 Age of the Roof

Over time, even the most well-installed roofs will experience wear and tear. Your roof’s age is a significant factor in the development of shingle lifting. Exposure to UV rays, extreme temperatures, and moisture can cause shingles to lose their granules and adhesive power, and cause the shingles to become brittle and cracked over time. This results in shingles lifting or curling, making the roof susceptible to leaks and further damage.

It’s essential to note that organic asphalt shingles can last around 15 years under severe conditions, and advanced versions like laminated and designer shingles can remain sturdy for at least 30 years. So if your roofing shingles are at the end of their expected lifespan, you may need to replace them with new ones before you face an unexpected roof failure or a destructive storm.

#3 Inappropriate Roofing Materials

Organic asphalt shingles may not be suitable for every part of the country as they are outdated and do not provide protection for homes exposed to severe weather conditions for a long time. Luckily,  fiberglass, rubberized, and composite shingles are newly developed roofing materials designed to withstand today’s climate. 

If your roof has asphalt shingles that are poor quality or outdated, they might have been damaged, which is causing them to lift up. You must get the damaged shingles repaired or replaced before water and pests enter your roof. 

#4 Extreme Weather Events

Many areas in the United States are prone to seasonal storms involving blizzards, tornadoes, hail, and heavy rain. If your town is prone to wind storms, the strong winds may lift the edges of shingles, which can lead to shingle lifts and more severe damage, such as tearing or breaking of the shingles and a sagging roofline. Hail, snow, and ice dams can also damage the granules, nails, and adhesive, causing the shingles to come off.

If you live in a hail-prone state, like Tennessee or Ohio, it’s best to cover your roof with Class 4 impact-rated shingles that will prevent hail damage to your roof. For snowy and windy states like New York and Wisconsin, roofing materials with high wind ratings and shingles with rubberized composition are excellent. We highly recommend GAF’s Timberline®  AS II shingles, slate tiles, and metal panels for such areas. By choosing the right roofing materials, you can prevent shingle lifting and curling for many years.

#5 Poor Roof Ventilation

Roof ventilation is an essential part of all types of roofing systems. It allows for air circulation throughout the attic and home, which helps regulate the temperature and moisture levels in the space. Poor ventilation can lead to a range of problems, including shingle lifting.

Here are a few signs that can indicate poor ventilation in your roofing system: 

Presence of Moisture

One common sign is the presence of moisture or condensation in the attic space. If you notice dampness, mold or mildew growth, or a musty odor in your attic, it may be a sign that your roof vents are not functioning correctly or the system is not installed in the right way. 

Heat Accumulation and Ice Dams

If your attic overheats during the summer and ice dams take over in winter, it can cause the shingles to become brittle and eventually start curling and lifting. This indicates poor ventilation, which is what happens when there’s improper temperature regulation in the attic.

If you suspect any of the above problems, it’s crucial to consult a reputable local roofing contractor. The professionals can assess the situation correctly and help prevent risks and expensive home repairs. In case of a storm, you should call the pros as soon as possible for a storm damage roof inspection.

Free Consultation and Roof Inspection for Homeowners

At OConnor Contracting, we offer free consultations, roof inspections, and estimates to all homeowners in New York. If you are worried about your shingles lifting and curling, you can trust our experts to find the source of the issue and fix it permanently. Our skilled and experienced specialists are known for their reliable and superior roofing services in Buffalo and all of Western New York. Call us at (716)-600-7663, and we will be happy to help you with your roof repair project.

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