The terms “splitting” and “cracking” are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different things. Knowing the difference can help you get a more accurate assessment of your roof’s condition during routine inspections. In today’s post, the local roof replacement contractors at 4U Roofing share a look at the differences between these two terms.
Splitting Vs. Cracking
The chief difference between splitting and cracking is that the former goes through a shingle, dividing it to pieces, while the latter occurs on the surface of the asphalt layer. Asphalt shingles are typically flexible—in fact, starter strips or the first row of shingles come in rolls—but can be split if bent past their capacity to flex. A common example is wind damage, which can be considered cracking if only the granule layer is affected, but is considered split when the backing material is torn.
Split or cracked shingles are more than just cosmetic problems. They create gaps that can let moisture infiltrate the layers underneath, which would result in problems that will need to be addressed by a storm damage roof repair contractor as soon as possible. The following are some of the most common causes of splitting and cracking shingles.
High speed winds — Modern asphalt shingle roofs are designed with wind resistance in mind, with features such as reinforcing adhesives at the shingle edges. Sometimes the wind may be too strong and lift these shingles, which can result in the example we cited above: wind may lift the shingles at the edges, “folding” it and resulting in noticeable cracks on the granule layer. Stronger winds may cause splitting.
Thermal expansion — All materials expand and contract when exposed to temperature changes. This is why proper asphalt shingle installation dictates a minimum gap between shingle pieces. Place them too close together and the shingles would be exerting pressure on each other as they expand, resulting in cracking or splitting.