Curling shingles are sometimes a stand-alone problem, but they might also indicate a much more severe issue with your roof. Asking the right questions can help ensure you treat the problem correctly.
1. Why Are the Shingles Curling?
Shingles curl for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are water damage, manufacturing defects, age, or a combination of the three. Before you can properly fix the shingles, you need to figure out why they are curling. If moisture is the cause, you must determine whether the moisture is affecting the shingles from a leak or water sitting on top of the roof, or if poor attic ventilation is causing condensation to damage the shingles from below. Defects, on the other hand, may be covered under the manufacturer's warranty. When age is the issue, it may simply just be time to have the entire roof replaced.
2. How Extensive Is the Damage?
How to proceed with repairs also depends on the extent of the damage. For example, a water leak may only affect a small patch of shingles, while ventilation issues could impact the entire roof. In some cases only the shingles are damaged, while in other cases the plywood sheathing may be warping and rotting as well. In severe cases, curling shingles could be the first outward sign of complete roof failure and extensive internal damage, such as mold and water damaged attic insulation, warped sheathing, and rotting wooden roof trusses. You can't make any decisions until you know the extent of the damage.
3. Is Full Replacement Necessary?
Once you know the extent of the damage you can work with your roofer on a repair plan. For minor or localized damages, replacement of the affected shingles and patching any small leaks is often sufficient. Just keep in mind that the patched area may not match the rest of the roof if new shingles are no longer available in the same shade as the old. If age is causing most of the shingles to degrade, then you may need all new shingles installed but you likely won't need to replace the sheathing unless it is also damaged. Major damages, such as from moisture leaks or condensation, may require a replacement of attic insulation, some or all of the trusses and rafters, the sheathing, and the shingles. Additional ventilation may also need to be incorporated into the replacement roof to help avoid future problems.
Contact a roof replacement service for more assistance if you notice curling shingles.