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Common Issues That Can Destroy An Asphalt Shingle Roof & What To Do About It

Posted on June 26, 2023

Common Issues That Can Destroy An Asphalt Shingle Roof & What To Do About It

When protecting a building against the weather, the roof is often the first line of defense, so keeping it in good condition is essential. Asphalt shingles have been a popular roofing material for many years because of their durability, low cost, and attractive appearance. However, asphalt roofs, like roofs made from any other material, can deteriorate and need repairs if not maintained properly.

In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the most common problems that can compromise an asphalt roof and the best ways to fix and prevent them from happening in the first place. Remember, a well-maintained asphalt roof protects your property and enhances its value. Property owners and homeowners should be aware of these problems and take preventative measures to avoid spending extra money on repairs or premature roof replacement.

Common Issues That Can Destroy an Asphalt Shingle Roof

As a protective barrier against the elements, an asphalt roof is an excellent choice for any building. However, an asphalt roof is not unaffected by dangers that could lead to major problems if unaddressed. Several threats to an asphalt roof’s durability and effectiveness include sloppy installation, weather damage, and lack of routine maintenance. By addressing these problems, homeowners can extend the life of their roofs and avoid more expensive repairs or replacements in the future. 

Improper Installation

Improper roof Installation

An asphalt roof’s lifespan can be cut in half by negligent installation. Installation errors can weaken the roof’s overall structure, leaving it vulnerable to leaks and other forms of damage. Premature shingle wear, water infiltration, and roof failure can result from improperly aligned, fastened, or sealed shingles. The roof’s resistance to weather conditions like strong winds and heavy snow can also be compromised by shoddy installation, further reducing the roof’s expected lifespan.

Consequences of Poor Installation 

By identifying the signs of improper installation early on, you can take corrective measures and minimize potential damage. Some common symptoms of poor installation include:

Misaligned or Crooked Shingles 

The shingles may have been installed poorly if they are crooked or don’t line up evenly. When shingles aren’t properly aligned, water can seep in at odd angles and cause leaks and structural damage.

Curling or Buckling Shingles 

Improperly installed shingles may end up curling or buckling at the edges. This can occur if the shingles need to be secured properly or if there needs to be more airflow. Due to the uneven surface created by curling, the shingles’ ability to keep out rain and snow is significantly reduced.

Inadequate Fastening 

Shingles that are not securely fastened are prone to becoming dislodged during high winds or storms. The roof’s integrity is compromised, and the shingles’ ability to keep water out is diminished.

Improper Flashing Installation

Flashing is necessary for waterproofing weak spots like roof valleys, chimneys, and vents, but it is often installed incorrectly. Flashing that isn’t properly aligned or sealed is a telltale sign of sloppy construction, which can result in leaks and mold growth.

Lack of Proper Ventilation 

Inadequate airflow and moisture buildup in the attic due to improper roof ventilation can be caused by sloppy installation. This can speed up the process of roof deterioration by encouraging the growth of mold and rot.

Lack of Regular Maintenance

Neglecting routine maintenance is a common oversight that can reduce the condition and lifespan of an asphalt roof. Without regular maintenance, seemingly insignificant problems can quickly snowball into those requiring expensive repairs or even a complete roof replacement. Regular inspections will enable you to assess the roof’s condition and spot any damage or wear.

Consequences of Neglecting Maintenance

Neglecting regular maintenance can result in several negative effects on an asphalt roof:

An Increased Risk of Leaks and Water Damage

Minor issues like damaged or missing shingles, cracked flashing, or deteriorated seals are typically noticed with regular maintenance. Water infiltration can cause roof leaks, rot, and structural damage over time.

Accelerated Deterioration

Exposure to the elements degrades asphalt roofs. Without routine clearing of debris, leaves, and branches, moisture will become trapped on the roof’s surface and accelerate roof deterioration. Moss, algae, and lichen can grow without regular cleaning, causing more damage.

Reduced Energy Efficiency

Neglected roof maintenance can lead to inadequate ventilation and insulation, reducing energy efficiency. An improper amount of insulation, or damaged insulation, lets heat escape in winter and enter in summer, increasing energy consumption and utility bills.

Compromised Structural Integrity

Neglecting maintenance can lead to unnoticed structural issues like sagging roof supports. This is a sign of a weakened roof and is a danger to all occupants.

Decreased Lifespan of The Roof

A poorly maintained asphalt roof will degrade faster than a well-maintained one. Neglecting maintenance shortens the roof’s lifespan, requiring costly replacement.

Proper Ventilation

Proper roof ventilation is a critical aspect of maintaining the health and longevity of an asphalt roof. Inadequate ventilation can lead to various issues that can compromise the roof’s performance and durability.

Consequences of Inadequate Ventilation on Asphalt Roofs

Apart from increased energy costs and structural damage, insufficient roof ventilation can also result in various negative consequences:

Reduced Roof Lifespan

Attic temperatures can rise due to inadequate ventilation and overheating asphalt shingles. This accelerates aging, causing shingles to curl and crack prematurely. As a result, the roof needs to be replaced sooner than expected.

Mold and Moisture Damage

Insufficient ventilation can trap moisture in the attic, encouraging mold and mildew growth. Mold can spread throughout the home, causing health problems and expensive cleaning services to remedy the issue.

Shingle Damage

Shingle Damage

Inadequate ventilation can cause the underside of asphalt shingles to remain damp for extended periods. This moisture can lead to the deterioration of the shingles and algae or moss growth. Over time, the shingles may become discolored, lose granules, and experience premature aging.

Warranty Issues

Many roofing manufacturers require proper ventilation for warranty coverage. If inadequate ventilation is identified as the cause of roof damage or premature failure, it can void the warranty on roofing materials, leaving homeowners responsible for repair or replacement costs.

Aging and Deterioration

The asphalt in your roof will degrade with time, just like all the other roofing materials. A roof made of asphalt typically deteriorates slowly over time due to weathering and general wear and tear. Homeowners must recognize the warning signs of a roof showing its age to plan for necessary maintenance and repairs.

Consequences of Aging and Weathering on Asphalt Roofs

Aging and weathering can result in several major issues for an asphalt roof:


Prolonged exposure to sunlight, rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations causes surface deterioration. UV rays break down asphalt’s binders, making shingles brittle.

Loss of Granules

Loss of Granules

Protective granules on asphalt shingles wear away with age, leaving the underlying mat exposed and vulnerable to the elements. Granules shield against UV rays, enhance fire resistance, and improve appearance.

Shingle Deterioration

Aging asphalt shingles can develop cracks, curls, or cupping, compromising their water-shedding ability. This can lead to potential leaks and water damage.

Weakened Seals

Over time, shingle seals deteriorate, causing lifting or shifting. Moisture can penetrate beneath shingles, resulting in water infiltration and damage.

How to Deal With Common Issues 

The following measure will help tackle the above-mentioned roof ailments:

Professional Inspection and Maintenance

  • Qualified professionals can accurately identify and fix roof issues
  • To prolong the life of an asphalt roof, they can provide comprehensive maintenance
  • Inspections detect and prevent issues and should be conducted twice a year
  • Cleaning, debris removal, and minor repairs should be done as needed

Addressing Poor Installation and Identifying Signs of Poor Installation

  • Employ a qualified roofing contractor to assess and repair any installation issues
  • Professional repairs will help restore the integrity and performance of the asphalt roof
  • Look for misaligned or improperly secured shingles, unevenness, or gaps

Regular Cleaning and Debris Removal

  • Routine cleaning prevents the accumulation of dirt, leaves, and debris that can trap moisture
  • Clearing debris helps maintain proper water drainage and prevents damage to shingles
  • Use gentle methods like low-pressure washing or brushing to avoid damaging the shingles
  • Avoid harsh chemicals that can deteriorate the roofing materials

Prompt Repairs For Weather-Related Damage

  • After severe weather events, inspect the roof for missing or damaged shingles, leaks, or signs of water infiltration.
  • Act quickly to prevent further damage and minimize the risk of leaks and structural issues
  • Hire a professional roofer to assess the damage and perform necessary repairs
  • Replace missing or damaged shingles, seal any leaks, and address underlying issues

Enhancing Ventilation

  • Consult with a roofing professional to determine the optimal ventilation system for your specific roof type and climate
  • Install intake and exhaust vents to ensure proper airflow in the attic or roof space
  • Consider adding ridge vents, soffit vents, or gable vents to enhance ventilation efficiency

Replacement and Re-Roofing Options

  • If the asphalt roof is severely aged, damaged beyond repair, or has extensive issues, replacement may be necessary.
  • Re-roofing is an option when the existing roof is in good condition, but an additional layer of shingles is desired.
  • Consult with a professional to assess the roof’s condition and discuss material options, costs, and warranties.
  • Consider factors like durability, aesthetics, energy efficiency, and budget when deciding on replacement or re-roofing.


Homeowners must address common issues that can destroy an asphalt roof promptly. By taking swift action, you can prevent further damage, extend the roof’s lifespan, and avoid costly repairs or replacements. Ignoring these issues can lead to significant consequences, including structural damage, water infiltration, and compromised energy efficiency.

If you need help with the inspection, repair, or maintenance of your asphalt roof, ReNew Roofing is here to help. Our experienced team will identify and resolve the issues with your asphalt roof, providing tailored solutions for your needs. Trust ReNew Roofing to keep your home’s asphalt roof in optimal condition, ensuring a safe and efficient roof for years to come. Call us today at (813) 400-3329!

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