The Difference Between Shingle Cracks and Splits

When it comes to asphalt shingle damage, roofers and home inspectors alike often use the terms “cracks” and “splits” interchangeably. To the untrained eye, they may look the same, but shingle cracking and splitting are two different things. Cracking occurs on the surface of the shingle, while splitting refers to the roofing material becoming fractured. Failing to address either of these issues can lead to moisture damage to the underlayment and decking. 

Shingle Cracks and Splits

For this reason, it’s important you know the difference between cracks and splits. Read on as State Roofing discusses the difference between the two.

Shingle Cracks

During the manufacturing process, volatiles are added to the asphalt mix to make roofing shingles. Volatiles are chemicals with a low boiling point that give asphalt shingles flexibility and waterproofing capabilities. Over time, your asphalt shingles may start to lose their volatiles, causing the material to dry, shrink and crack.

The likelihood of your shingles cracking increases as they’re constantly exposed to heat. You may see random cracks on the surface called craze cracking. Most cracks are signs of aging, but if your roof is new, this means that you have low-quality asphalt shingles. 

Shingle Splits

Asphalt shingles expand in the morning when exposed to the sun’s heat, minimizing the joint space between them. At night, they contract as temperatures drop, making the joints between them larger. This process is called thermal stress. Thermal stress can eventually lead to shingle splitting. 

Furthermore, another reason why asphalt shingles split is because of the adhesive used to secure the shingles in place. The adhesion of the shingles on the underlayment and decking might be too strong to the point they become less resistant to wind shear. When exposed to strong winds, splits and tears may form on your shingles.

Whether you see cracks or splits on your asphalt shingles, be sure to call a roofing professional for repairs. Shingle cracks and splits increase the risk of leaks and wind damage, which may lead to costly issues in the long run. 

Get in touch with State Roofing for roofing work. Our expert roofing contractors will determine the condition of your roof and perform the necessary repairs to prevent further damage. Call us today at (360) 794-7164, or fill out our online contact form to set an appointment. We proudly serve homeowners in Seattle and Tacoma, WA.

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