Asphalt shingles are a hardy roofing material, although they are not indestructible. Blistering is a condition that sometimes happens with asphalt shingles and can affect the longevity of a shingled roof. Homeowners who notice blistering should have their roof inspected by experienced roofing contractors, as there are numerous causes for this problem. Determining the reason for blistering is important, as this will indicate whether or not it is necessary to have roofers install a new roof, or if the damage can be remedied in other ways.
What Is Shingle Blistering?
Blistering of asphalt shingles is the formation of little bubbles between the layers that are bonded together to make the shingle. At first, they appear as little bumps sticking up from under the gravel and top layer of the shingle. If they burst, they will show up as holes through the top layer of the shingle.
What Causes Blistering?
Blisters in asphalt shingles have two main causes. First, they can appear on shingles that have moisture within the shingle layers, which can happen during manufacturing. They can also appear if poor roof ventilation causes extreme heat to build up under the roof, overheating the shingle from the underside. It is essential that roofers check the attic ventilation in any home that experiences blistered shingles, since poor roof ventilation can cause shingle damage we well as unnecessarily inflate cooling bills.
Blisters or Hail Damage?
Blistering and hail damage look very similar, so it can be challenging to tell them apart. What roofing contractors look for is the way shingles respond to pressure when walked on and the pattern of damage. Blisters usually occur sporadically across a rooftop and can pop if walked on or if other debris, like tree branches, hit the roof. Hail damage is usually on one side of the roof, whichever way the wind generally blew during the storm.
Should Blistered Shingles Be Replaced?
Any type of damage to roofing shingles can shorten their useful lifespan. A few blistered shingles may not be a major problem, as shingles can be easily replaced by roofing contractors. More widespread damage is a definite concern. When blistering is widespread and the blisters begin to open up, this is a clear indication that it is time for a new roof. Opened blisters leave shingles and roofs more exposed to the elements and increase the risk that shingles will crack, tear, or begin leaking.
Blistering asphalt shingles are a concern that should be examined by roofing contractors to determine the cause and severity. Homeowners who notice blisters on roof shingles should schedule roofers to inspect their roof to determine the extent of damage. In a worst case scenario, a new roof may be recommended. In many cases, replacing damaged shingles or monitoring the roof is also acceptable. Be sure to work with a roofing contractor who will give accurate advice and make honest suggestions about repair or replacement!