Shingle Cracking and Splitting: What’s the Difference

what causes shingles to split and crack

Roofing is all about ensuring you have quality material and a good-looking aesthetic. A roof needs to insulate a home, keep homeowners safe, and provide a wonderful look. The thing is, however, that your roof isn’t going to last forever. At some point, you will have to deal with a few issues regarding the quality and the beating it will have taken over the years. 

Shingle cracking and splitting are two outcomes that tend to happen over the years. They’re both common and entirely normal, so it’s not too much to worry about. A specialist in roofing will be able to help out and provide a wonderful service when called upon. 

In terms of the issues of cracking and splitting, not many people will understand what they exactly are. Here are a few explanations that may clue you in somewhat. 

Firstly, What Causes Them To Crack Or Split?

As shingles age, they tend to then dry out. They become less flexible and more prone to breaking and dropping in quality. The shingles will crack as time moves on while it’s typical for shingles to split due to the change in weather conditions. If the splitting occurs, it can be hugely detrimental to a property as leaking can happen.

In terms of the specifics behind cracking and splitting, let’s go into a little more detail: 

Shingle Cracking

Shingles have volatiles in them. They are chemicals with a relatively low boiling point. They are added to asphalt roofing shingles in order to make them more flexible. They’ll then improve their water resistance overall. Over time, however, they evaporate and suddenly begin to become brittle. They’ll crack shortly after. This is the main reason you’ll see cracks in your roofing. 

For those who live in a hotter climate, the evaporation process will obviously speed up and this will become a more frequent occurrence. If there is too much filler in the asphalt mix or low-grade shingle, this will make cracking a lot more likely, too. 

Shingle Splitting 

Splitting (or thermal splitting) all comes down to the changes in the temperature overall. Climates where the temperature changes dramatically are the ones that suffer the most. Typically when it goes from boiling hot to extremely cold is when you’ll experience this kind of issue. 

The shingles will expand in the warmer temperatures and then shrink in the cold. This means there will be lots of stress on the adhesive strips that lie between them. The roofing will become weaker, leakier, and a lot less resistant to wind and cold breezes.

If you’re in the Greater Northwest, we’d love to serve you! Our professional roofers and installation specialists in Portland, Vancouver, and Salem serve all of NW Oregon & SW Washington.

You can call and get in touch with Western Pacific Roofing at (503) 659-7663 for all your roof and gutter needs.



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