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Roofing FAQ’s

Q: Why is ventilation so important?

bad roof

Roof in need of replacement from lack of ventilation

A: Ventilation is a crucial factor in the life of a roofing shingle. Heat build-up in the hot summer months, as well as the cold weather of winter will accelerate the aging process of your asphalt roofing shingles. Proper air circulation, regardless of the weather outside, will greatly reduce the chances of leaking, blistering, distortion, curling, rotting of wood structure, wet insulation and many other potential problems.

It is also important to note that adequate ventilation is required to validate the shingles manufacturer warranty. In all cases, the most stringent applicable building codes must be followed.

Q: Why are there sections of my roof where the roof shingles are buckling or puckering?

A: Fish-mouthing looks like buckling but it is usually random on the roof. The front edge of the roof shingles are raised, and tapers back into the shingle. Although it does not usually affect the durability of the shingle, it should be addressed. Possible Causes:

Moisture build-up in the attic can cause wetting & drying cycles in the roof shingles. Improving attic ventilation can prevent this.

Installing wet shingles on a dry day, or dry shingles on a wet day will almost guarantee the appearance of fish-mouthing.

Nails that are ‘popping’ out can also cause fish-mouthing. Simply correct the position of the nail.

This phenomena is mainly an aesthetic issue that can be repaired in most cases. The most common repair method would be to use hot melt adhesive to glue down the distorted shingle rendering it flat. To proceed, the sealant bond of the affected shingle should be broken first. These types of repairs are best carried out in mild (not too hot) weather conditions.

Q: Why are the corners of my shingles turning up?

A: Corners of shingles turning up is referred to as Curling and it is generally caused by excess moisture attacking the underside of the shingle. Inadequate ventilation causes the entrapment of heat and moisture in the attic. This will eventually penetrate the roof deck and cause the shingles to curl. Improving air circulation within the attic space can stop the progress and rectify the situation if the curling is not too severe. In some rare instances, curling can reveal itself only under cold weather conditions. This would be refered to as winter curling. The corners of the shingles will slightly curl up from the roof deck when cold, then lay flat again during warmer weather. This is especially prevalent during damp winter conditions when frost forms on the top surface of the shingles. This cooling on the top surface will cause the shingle to contract while at the same time the underside of the shingle in contact with the roof receives a certain amount of passive heat from the attic space. The variation of temperature between the top side and underside of the shingle will result in some minor curling. This does not affect the shingle’s durability and effectiveness to shed water.

Q: Why are my shingles doing the wave?

A: Buckling shingles can become humped or wavy, usually running in a straight line up, or across the roof.

Possible Causes:

Deck or felt movement often caused by varying moisture levels in the material under the shingles. The shift will cause the nails to move in accordance with the deck forcing the shingles closer or farther apart depending on the situation.

Improper nailing – nails will ‘pop up’ creating the buckling effect.

Shingles nailed too tightly together.

Thin decking (3/8”) over 24” centers can be the cause due to clips, meant to hold the decking in place, coming lose or coming off.

Depending on the cause of the buckling, improving attic ventilation to eliminate excess humidity, removing fasteners and refastening or replacing distorted shingles can be some possible solutions

Q: What are the black streaks on my roof?

A: Usually visible on North-facing light-colored roofs ranging from five years old, discoloration or streaking is sometimes mistaken as dirt, moss, or granule loss. It is actually caused by algae growth that propagates in areas of the roof that receive less direct sunlight, and thereby retain a higher level of moisture. Although most noticeable on light shingle colors, the algae affects all asphalt shingle roofs, including darker colors. The discoloration caused by the algae is in no way indicative of a shingle defect. This is an aesthetic concern and will not harm the shingle or shorten the life of the roof. The algae discoloration is difficult to remove from roofing surfaces, but may be lightened using various solutions available at most lumberyards.


Cleaning the shingles is a temporary solution as it will eventually grow back due to higher humidity levels in areas of limited exposure to direct sunlight. The cleaning process will have to be repeated every few years. Care must be taken when cleaning the algae as to not remove excessive amounts of granules that are attached to the surface of the shingles.

Q: What is making my roof leak?

A: Leaking roof: Normal weathering of asphalt roofing shingles will not cause leaking.


Flashings are crucial areas that must be watertight to avoid leaks. These are the areas most frequently identified as the causes of leaks.

Damaged shingles leave the roof exposed to leaks and should be repaired without delay.

When installing shingles take note of the alignment of the cutouts, depending on the type of BP shingle chosen, as well as the nailing location as these areas are crucial to the ease with which water can infiltrate a roof. They should always be covered by overlying shingle tabs.

Inadequate ventilation can cause ice damming, frost and condensation accumulation. These problems can all be easily prevented with proper air circulation.

Q: What are the aging signs in shingles?

A: All shingles, whether organic or glass based, will be subjected to UV rays from the sun, causing the asphalt coating to dry, loosening the granules covering in the long run. Other visible signs are pieces of torn shingles, curled tab corners as well as center-line cracks.

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