How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Why is premature curl of roof shingles a problem?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

One of the ways that a shingle roof shows its age is curling at the corners. It is one of several indications that a roof is older and ready to be replaced, and usually accompanied by deterioration of the tab adhesion at the leading edge of the shingle and noticeable loss of the granules on the surface—all of which means that a strong wind can grab the curled edges and rip off the shingles.

   Sometimes shingles curl prematurely. The roof in the photo above has the beginning of curl, only minor granule loss, good tab adhesion, and we expect that it will probably have just a little less than an average lifespan due to this defect.

   But a complication arises when some insurance companies send an agent out to take a quick look at the roof of older homes on which they have recently written a policy, to evaluate the condition by looking up at it from the ground. Even this small amount of curl stands out clearly when viewed from the ground, and can be enough to cause the company to cancel the policy. Because the agent does not actually get up on the roof for a full evaluation, they cannot tell if the tab adhesion is satisfactory.

   Sometimes the company will accept a roof inspection letter from a licensed roofer or building contractor afterwards that certifies that the roof is in good condition and still has sufficient life left to meet their standards. Others insist that the roof be replaced or the coverage will be cancelled. So we try to warn our customer of this possibility when see any premature shingle curl.

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  To learn more about roofs and attics, see these other blog posts:


• What are common problems of asphalt shingle roofs?

Why is my roof sheathing sagging between the trusses?

Are H-clips required by the building code for roof sheathing?

Why is granule loss a problem for an asphalt shingle roof? 

What are the mistakes to avoid when doing attic improvements?

What causes roof shingles to curl up at corners?  

What causes shingles to buckle along a line on the roof?

What causes leaks at a fake roof dormer? 

What causes a sagging roof ridge line?

What causes bubble-like blisters in a built-up and gravel roof?  

Why does it cost so much more to replace a steep roof than a low slope roof? 

What is "ponding" on a flat roof?

Is an attic required to have a light by the building code? 

How can I inspect my roof for hurricane damage?

Why is premature curl of roof shingles a problem?

How can I tell if a roof has more than one layer of shingles? 

What are the common problems with attic insulation? 

What is the life expectancy of an asbestos cement shingle roof? 

What's the average lifespan of a roof?

Why is it a mistake to replace a roof and not replace its flashings? 

Why is there no attic access hatch in the house?

What is the building code requirement for an attic access hatch, scuttle, or door? 

Does a roof with multiple layers of shingles last longer?

What can I do to prevent roof leaks?

Are roof trusses better than roof rafters (stick framing)? 

Why is a popped nail in a shingle roof a problem? How do I fix it?

What are the most common problems with wood roof trusses?

What causes a lump or dip in the roof? 

If my roof is not leaking, why does it need to be replaced?

Is a ridge board/beam required for a roof framed with rafters?  

Does it cost more to roof a hip roof than a gable roof? 

How can I be sure my roofing contractor got a permit?

How many layers of roofing are allowed on a home? 

What are the dark lines running parallel to shingles on my roof?

Can metal roofing be used on a low slope/pitch roof? 

How can I make my roof last longer?  

What are the warning signs of a dangerous attic pull-down ladder?

How can I find out the age of a roof? 

Should I buy a house that needs a new roof?

Should I buy a house with an old roof? 

What are those metal boxes on the roof?

What is roof flashing? 

What does "lack of tab adhesion" in an asphalt shingle roof mean?

Why do roof edges start leaking?

Why do my dormer windows leak? 

Do home inspectors go on the roof? Do they get in the attic?

Should I put gutters on the house? 

What's the difference between a roof inspection and a roofing estimate?

How much of a roof truss can I cut out to make a storage platform in the attic? 

What's the difference between an "architectural" and a regular shingle roof? 

What is an EPDM roof?

 I'm buying a '50s modern house with a "gravel" roof. Is the roof going to be a problem?

What does a home inspector look for when examining a roof? 

Do stains on the ceiling mean the roof is leaking?

How can I tell if the house needs a new roof?  

 Why does my homeowner's insurance want a roof inspection?

What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic? 

• What is a roof certification letter/report?

    Visit our ROOF AND ATTIC page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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