Wavy and Uneven Shingles: A Sign Your Roof Is Aging

Roof with signs of Collapse

Asphalt roofs can last for over three decades with proper maintenance, but eventually, these roofs all begin to show signs of serious aging. Timing your roof replacement based on the signs of wear and tear allows you to get as much life as possible out of the current roof without risking damage to the rest of the structure.

If you notice distinctive waviness or unevenness among the asphalt shingles when looking at your home’s roof, schedule a professional inspection. This kind of distortion of the shingles indicates the roofing materials are near the end of their lifespan.

Wavy Appearance

New roofs can develop a wavy appearance due to wrinkles in the underlayment or a lack of adhesion between the individual tabs. If your roof has looked smooth for years and has only developed an uneven appearance with age, the change is likely due to damage instead.

Loss of surface granules, damage to the felt or composite base layer, and UV damage often leads to this wavy development. Ripples in the shingles cause the tabs to lift up, allowing water to seep under the surface and soak into the wood decking. Ignoring an uneven roof can result in rot and mold growth in the attic.

Buckling Surface

Layer separation is a major reason that aging asphalt shingles develop an uneven or wavy look. The surface layer starts to peel up and away from the asphalt and felt or paper backing, resulting in visible distortion among many of the shingles. If you only see a scattered few shingles separating in this way, you may only need minor roof repairs to deal with a few early failures.

Excess Moisture

If the gable or shingles have damage, moisture can become trapped under the first layer of roofing. This moisture soaks into the asphalt shingles from below. Going back and forth between wet and dry more than usual speeds up the aging of the shingles.

Taking care of small roof leaks with routine inspections and maintenance is the best way to prevent moisture from soaking under the shingles. If you notice any signs of moisture from the roof, such as water marks on ceilings or wet insulation in the attic, hire professionals to solve the problem as quickly as possible to minimize long-term damage to the entire roof.

Brittle Binders

Asphalt shingles rely on asphalt as a binder. While asphalt is durable enough to withstand temperature extremes, rain, and UV rays for decades, eventually the material starts breaking down and loses its natural flexibility.

As the asphalt grows brittle, so do the shingles containing it. Brittle asphalt shingles tend to curl or cup as the binders contract or expand and harden into shape. These shingles are also prone to snapping and crumbling in high winds and, when branches fall, leading to serious leaks. Only replacing the shingles will solve the problem of brittle asphalt binders.

Shingle Replacement

Regardless of why an older roof looks uneven, replacing the entire roof is likely the best way to deal with the problem. Damage to the wood decking supporting the shingles can cause visible dips and rises in the surface of the roof. This kind of damage definitely requires an overhaul of the entire roof to restore a proper water-shedding surface.

Stick with asphalt shingles or change to a completely different material if you prefer. A full replacement is the ideal time for making a major upgrade to your home’s roof.

Hire us here at A-1 Roofing to inspect your roof and discover the cause of wavy or uneven shingles. We’ll recommend the best repairs and replacement options so you can protect your home’s value.

 

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