Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material known for their durability and cost-effectiveness. Over time, however, they can experience wear and tear, including cracking and splitting. While these terms may seem interchangeable, they actually describe distinct issues with different causes and implications for your roof. Let’s explore the differences between asphalt shingle cracking and splitting below.
Asphalt Shingle Cracking
Cracking refers to the development of small, linear fractures on the surface of asphalt shingles. They’re typically narrower and shorter in length, resembling fine lines or fractures in the shingle’s surface.
This issue can occur due to several factors, including exposure to harsh weather conditions like extreme heat and cold, ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, and the natural aging of the roofing material. Inadequate ventilation in the attic can also contribute to excessive heat buildup, leading to potential cracks on the surface of the shingles.
While unsightly, cracking may not immediately result in roof leaks. However, if left unaddressed, water can infiltrate through the cracks, potentially causing significant damage over time.
Asphalt Shingle Splitting
Splitting involves the separation of the asphalt shingle into distinct layers. It typically occurs along the shingle’s edges or at the cutouts, where the shingle is thinnest. Unlike cracks, splits are often wider and deeper, extending through the entire thickness of the shingle.
Splitting is primarily a result of manufacturing defects or poor-quality materials. It can also be caused by improper installation, such as over-driving nails during installation or using nails that are too long, which can cause shingles to split along the nail line.
Splits can be more concerning than cracks, as they can lead to immediate water infiltration and roof leaks. If you notice splits in your shingles, it’s essential to have them addressed promptly by a roofing contractor to prevent further damage to your roof and the underlying structure.
How to Address Cracking and Splitting
While both cracking and splitting can affect asphalt shingles, they are distinct issues with different causes and consequences. Cracking is often related to environmental factors and may not immediately lead to leaks, while splitting is usually due to manufacturing or installation issues and can result in water infiltration and roof damage. If you encounter either issue, it’s advisable to consult with a professional roofing company to inspect the damage and determine the best course of action.
Hire a Reliable Roofer
Working with a trusted roofing company like D & M Roofing for regular roof inspections and maintenance can prolong the life of your asphalt shingle roof and protect your home from potential water damage. Call us today at (330) 852-3800, or fill out our online form for all your roofing requirements. We serve clients in Canton and Akron, OH, and the surrounding communities.