In Michigan there are many danger signs that your roof may be failing or that it could fail in the future. We recommend a thorough roof-top assessment to identify the severity, reparability, and urgency , yet this article provides several examples of damage that you can reference.

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Weather can be unpredictable, and turbulent weather—especially hail—can damage shingles. Contractors should explain to homeowners how hail can affect shingles and what they should watch out for.

Hail Damaged Shingles in Michigan

Homeowners should also review their warranties to determine whether it provides any coverage for hail damage. Here are some answers to common questions regarding hail damage.

Is hail damage immediately noticeable? Not always. Hail impact may cause latent damage that can, over time, result in premature aging of the shingles. Without obvious visual damage, there is no real way to be sure how much, if any, damage shingles have encountered. Latent damage caused by hail or severe weather may not be apparent until months or years later and may cause the shingles to age prematurely.

How can I tell if the roof has hail damage? Generally, damage can be seen as indentations and/or fractures on the shingle’s surface. Hailstones vary in size, shape, and hardness and can create a random pattern of dents or depressions. If this is not evident, look for indentations on metal flashings, siding, chimney caps, or even skylight flashings. After some time, clusters of granules may come off (at the point of impact) in a random pattern and expose the asphalt.

What are the most common types of damage?

  • Granule loss at points of impact, which may be accompanied by surface depression. Loss of mineral granules as an immediate or gradual consequence of storm damage can lead to the asphalt coating being directly exposed to the elements. This may lead to accelerated aging of the shingle. Therefore, granule loss is NOT just cosmetic damage, and “sugaring” — the process of adding loose granules to damaged shingles with asphalt cement — is not a permanent solution.

  • Cracks in the granule-asphalt surfacing, which may radiate outward from points of impact. Cracks may be present especially if high winds blew the shingles back.

  • Exposed fiberglass mat, where hail shattered the granule-asphalt surfacing causing it to break away from the fiberglass mat.

  • Fractured fiberglass mat, which may or may not be immediately visible. A fractured mat may result in tears radiating out from the points of impact. Furthermore, hidden damage to the mat may later develop into cracks and tears in time as the shingles age.

  • Loosening of the self-seal strip. This damage may or may not be immediately visible and may weaken the seal integrity, creating the possibility of future shingle blow-off.

Hail Damaged Roof - West Michigan

Can several individual shingles be replaced or should the entire roof be replaced?

While it is possible to replace individual storm-damaged shingles, latent damage to the surrounding shingles caused by a storm can be difficult to assess. Because of the potential for the surrounding shingles to also have experienced storm damage, complete roof replacement is sometimes recommended for the long-term performance of these roofs. If the damage is confined to one plane of the roof, replacement of just the damaged roof plane may be possible. If individual shingles are being replaced, any nails that were removed from surrounding shingles must be replaced and the surrounding shingles must be resealed by hand for the best results.


How Wind Damages Your Roof

Wind Damaged Shingles West Michigan

The effect of wind moving over a roof is not uniform. Areas like the corners and perimeter of the roof can be susceptible to higher wind pressures, while the center of the roof might have lower stresses. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), most wind damage to a roof starts on the edge. Anywhere the roofing material is even a little bit loose, the wind can get below it and push it up, thus giving the wind more to grab onto next time and creating a chain peeling effect. This type of wind damage can start very small, but continue to grow over time through repeated exposure to wind.

Once a whole corner of insulation is exposed, rain can get in and start to cause leaks and water damage. Homeowners can avoid this type of wind damage by making sure materials on the edge and corners of their roof are strong enough and in good condition to withstand high winds.

Missing Shingles - West Michigan


(Typically found to be trapped heat, inspect attic temp)

Curling Damaged Shingles - West Michigan

1. Poor attic ventilation – In your home, hot, moisture-filled air typically rises to the attic. If your attic is well-ventilated, this is not a problem because the excess moisture will be circulated around and pushed back out of the attic. But if not, you’ll begin to see problems. If your attic is poorly ventilated, all of the moisture from the rising air tends to get trapped in the decking, which will cause mold to form, and shingles to curl as a result.

2. Multiple layered roofs – Sometimes, homeowners opt to lay a second roof on top of an old, decrepit one. While it’s not often recommended, many people choose this option because it’s much cheaper than stripping the old roof and starting over. Though it saves on upfront cost, this usually leads to premature shingle curling. The shingles on the second layer of the roof won’t be as secure, and are easily blown and curled by high winds.

3. Shingles were improperly installed – The most common problem here is that whoever installed your roof didn’t use enough nails per shingle, or improperly placed the nail. Either way, this is a sure way for your shingles to curl. If there aren’t enough nails holding the shingle down or the nails are placed in the wrong spot, it’s likely to work itself out over time, leaving the shingle loose.

4. Shingles weren’t lined up properly – There’s an adhesive strip called a tar line on each shingle. If the tar line isn’t lined up by a professional on each shingle, it won’t adhere properly. Which means your shingles will eventually curl or could potentially fly off.

5. Old age – One of the most common causes of curling shingles is age. Simply put, your roof just might be too old. If you have an asphalt roof that was done more than 12-15 years ago, and the shingles are curling, it’s probably time to get it re-roofed. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money if you redo it now, before the shingles become a real problem and begin to let in water.

6. Defective or Discontinued Shingles - There have been several shingles that were manufactured with defects. Organic shingles were designed to decompose in the landfill, unfortunately they fail prematurely and have caused many issues for homeowners. There have been several class action law-suits for deflective and discontinued shingles CLICK HERE FIND OUT IF YOUR HOUSE QUALIFIES


Blistering shingles are a common problem with asphalt shingles. There are two main reasons that asphalt shingles blister.

Blistered Shingle Damage - West Michigan

1. Trapped Moisture in the Shingles

Sometimes during the manufacturing process moisture can get trapped within the shingle itself. If the shingles on a roof have trapped moisture, they are highly likely to start blistering. Why? Because as the sun heats up the shingles the trapped moisture heats up as well and can cause blisters to rise up on the shingle.

2. Poorly Ventilated Roofs

Roofs that do not have an adequate ventilation system in place can get too hot for shingles. If a roof that is poorly ventilated gets too hot, the shingles can blister because of the intense heat.


Thermal Cracking / Splitting - Damaged Shingle - West Michigan - Discontinued Shingle

"Thermal splitting," or "cracking" which in fact is in most cases actually a tearing of the shingles is considered by experts to be the principal current problem with fiberglass-based shingles. We prefer the term tearing as a most accurate description of what's probably happening. Originally observed on the lightest-weight (15-year life) shingles this problem has now been found across all shingle styles, weights (life ratings), and we suspect, probably across most or all manufacturers of this type of product.

It's possible that shingles made by some manufacturers do not meet the ASTM Standards for tear resistance.

Even where shingles meet the Standards, it's possible that the standards themselves were defective. In particular, for a time the asphalt roof shingle standards combined these concerns:

  • A thin fiberglass mat was permitted as the shingle substrate, lacking adequate tear resistance

  • The wind uplift prevention bonding adhesive was too strong, causing the shingles to bond into nearly a single continuous surface that lacked adequate movement to respond to significant changes in temperature without tearing the bound surface

  • In any case, Fiberglass mat may lack adequate tear resistance

  • Self-sealing tabs on shingle backs may glue shingles together with too much strength, causing the roof covering to form a single large membrane which cannot accommodate large temperature changes. This explanation was discovered across the asphalt shingle industry.

  • Reduced total amount of asphalt in thin fiberglass mats might become brittle after exposure to heat and sunlight

  • Temperature swings probably contribute to the onset and extent of tearing, and we'd expect worse tearing where temperature swings are more extreme such as in Northern climates.

  • Nailing or placement pattern of shingles: "laddering" vs. "staggered." On laminate and strip type shingles we have inspected roofs on which damage is found occurring at the corners of shingles rather than in the middle of the shingle material. It appears that as temperatures dropped and the glued-together-roof-membrane cools and contracts, the natural point at which movement occurs is where shingles are end-butted together.

  • When the pattern of end-butts is laddered rather than staggered up the roof we have found corners tearing off of shingles following the laddering pattern exactly. (Laddering is not a recommended installation pattern according to NRCA and ARMA publications nor according to instructions from some manufacturers.)

  • Laddering alone cannot be blamed for this failure however, as we have seen similar shingle tearing following a staggered end-butt pattern up other roofs. However laddering may indeed create a more localized natural point of separation on a roof, causing most of the movement to occur in a smaller area when the roof material contracts with cooling.

Buckling shingles

A structurally sound Michigan roof will protect your house and possessions from rainwater or melting snow that has accumulated during the winter months. A roof should look smooth if it is in good condition. Ripples or waves on the roof surface are a sure sign that the shingles or decking has probably buckled. Roofs buckle because either the roofing underlayment has wrinkled or the wood deck itself has shifted for some reason. Occasionally, the buckling is caused by poor workmanship, wrong materials or possibly by a problem with the structure itself. Endura-Roof can assess the severity of the buckling and take care of the problem for you

Causes of Buckling

Several factors can cause buckled shingles, especially if you had a Michigan roof replacement during the hot, humid months of a Michigan summer. When an old roof is removed, moisture is absorbed by the wooden deck. This could make the deck shift due to the increase in moisture content.

Nowadays, homes have more insulation and tighter building tolerances, so they might not have adequate ventilation. That results in moisture becoming trapped in the roof system, which causes the felt underlayment, commonly called tar paper or felt, to absorb the moisture and wrinkle. Your Houston roofing company should check the recommendations from each manufacturer to make sure that additional ventilation is added when necessary. Buckling can also occur if the tar paper was stretched and applied to your roof improperly.

Expansion and contraction in the decking happens if spacers were not used. Spacers are placed between the decking boards that absorb any expansion from excessive heat. The decking can also buckle if it is not fastened to the framing correctly or if water leaks beneath the roof’s shingles. The decking will rot from continuous exposure to water, which would seriously damage your home.

Sometimes, new shingles are applied directly on top of old, uneven shingles. A “roof-over” or “re-roof” is not recommended because it will certainly lead to buckling.

Buckling can occur if the wrong type of nails were used to connect the sheathing to the rafters. The nails slip out of the sheathing and create small visible bumps on the surface of your roof. A broken, sagging rafter will also cause a dip in the roof’s surface.

Buckled Roof - West Michigan

Solutions to Roof Buckling

  1. By removing the affected shingles, the wrinkled tar paper can be repaired by cutting and reattaching it so that it is flat. Then, existing or new shingles can be replaced.

  2. Excess moisture must be allowed to exit the roofing system. After it dries, the roof should be flat again. As long as it stays dry, the buckling will not come back.

  3. Properly vent the attic. For every 150 square feet of attic floor space, there should be at least 1 square foot of free vent area. If your vapor barrier has a perm rating of 1 or less, you can reduce the ventilation area to 1 square foot per 300 square feet of attic floor space as long as you allow 50 percent of the ventilation at the eaves and 50 percent at the top of the roof.

How to Prevent Roof Buckling

  1. Only use wood decking materials that are at moisture equilibrium with the local environment. They should also be approved by the roofing manufacturer.

  2. Keep all decking materials dry before and after installation.

  3. Use an asphalt-saturated felt shingle underlayment to cover the decking materials before applying the shingles.

  4. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for ventilation requirements. You might have to add exhaust fans to adequately ventilate the attic space and remove built-up moisture.

  5. Install the shingles according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Defective and three-tab shingles were popular with home builders here in Michigan, and they were used on thousands of Michigan homes over the last ten to 25 years. Around the West Michigan area, CLICK HERE to SCHEDULE A FREE INSPECTION

Contact Your Local Roofing Expert - Endura-Roof



1251 Century Ave SW Suite 108, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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