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Causes of Lifting in Roof Shingles

Christie Gross

Lifting roof shingles can be a thorn in the side of a homeowner, especially if the roof is relatively new. Replacing shingles often requires the skill of a professional roofer as improper installation can exacerbate problems related to failing shingles and lead to more problems down the road.

Examine workmanship defects as a possible cause for lifting shingles.

Save time and money by pinpointing the source of lifting shingles because the problem can be linked to more than one cause.

Faulty Shingles

Only shingles that arrive flat, neatly stacked and covered should be installed on a roof. A faulty shingle -- one that is bent or torn -- should never be used as it’s susceptible to further destruction. Furthermore, a shingle can accidentally become damaged by tools during roof installation, causing it to split or break. When a tool damages a new shingle, the shingle must be substituted with an unblemished shingle to protect against future, more serious shingle damage that could result in roof leaks. Once exposed to rain, snow and wind, a defective shingle can curl and lift.

Foot Traffic

Foot traffic can harm asphalt shingles. Damage is commonly found in areas where work has been performed, such as near chimneys and skylights, states InspectAPedia. Shingles become broken when workers abruptly shift, turn and move about the roof with their tools without caution. InspectAPedia warns that workers should refrain from spinning on their heels while walking on the roof as this can lift shingle edges.

Poor Installation

Poor installation is usually to blame for lifting shingles more so than weather; weather only exacerbates an existing problem, claims InspectAPedia. A raised or misplaced staple can cause a shingle to lift and tear. A nailing error, such as misplacement, nailing too deeply or shallowly and simply overlooking nails can cause shingles to lift, curl and fall off. When a nail is driven too far into the asphalt surface, it can cut the shingle and eventually cause it to become raised. Similarly, a new shingle that is not appropriately nailed down may not seal, which can cause it to lift and bend from wind. Install shingles based on the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent installation problems.