The terms “cracking” and “splitting” are used interchangeably when describing a certain type of asphalt shingle damage. But these are actually two different things.
Cracking vs. Splitting
The chief difference between cracking and splitting is that the latter divides an asphalt shingle into pieces while the former does not. Modern-day asphalt shingles are made of flexible fiberglass, which makes them less likely to suffer splitting than cracking. However, it’s important to note that asphalt shingles can split if bent beyond their capacity to flex, which can happen during extreme weather conditions.
Common Causes of Cracking and Splitting
A roof with cracked or split shingles is at risk of rainwater infiltration, and, therefore, it needs to be repaired by your roofing contractor sooner rather than later. The following are the two most common causes of shingle cracking and splitting:
High winds – Standard asphalt shingle roofs are designed with some measure of wind resistance, with features like reinforcing adhesives at the edges. High winds can lift shingles by the edges if they’re not held down. A common sign of wind damage is creases that appear about an inch below shingle edges, where wind lift caused the shingles to fold.
Thermal expansion – All substances expand and contract from temperature changes, some more than others. This is why large areas made of multiple pieces – concrete slabs, floor tiles and roofing shingles, to name a few – need to be installed with gaps in between in order to accommodate thermal expansion. On asphalt shingle roofs, this helps prevent the shingle pieces from exerting pressure on each other as they expand, which would otherwise result in cracking. Fortunately, cracking or splitting caused by thermal expansion is preventable by working with a knowledgeable roofer while workmanship or installation warranties can help mitigate the cost of repairs.
Renovation Team is your leading provider of residential roofing services. Give us a call at (636) 428-3634. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in St. Louis and St. Charles, MO, as well as the surrounding communities.