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How Do I Know If My Roof Shingles Are Bad? 8 Signs to Look For

The roof protects your family through winter and summer, whether it’s raining or sunny, and is arguably the most essential part of the home. In addition to the protection it affords your family, it also plays a  critical role in protecting the structure itself.

Signs that your roof shingles are bad are:

  1. Curling, cracking or lifting shingles
  2. Sagging roof
  3. Stained attic walls
  4. Visible sunlight through the roof
  5. Exposed loose nail heads
  6. Nails were driven in too hard
  7. Increased utility bills
  8. Missing shingles

Taking care of your roof shingles is an often overlooked but critical activity. It’s easy to concentrate your attention at ground level without checking what is covering it all. Regularly checking the shingles will alert you to possible problems and enable you to intervene. Here are 8 signs to look out for to ensure that your roof shingles are in good working order…

8 Signs That Your Roof Shingles Are Bad

When your roof shingles become worn, damaged, or compromised in any way, clear signs become observable. The most common indications that your roof shingles are compromised are:

1. Curling, Cracking Or Lifting Shingles

One of the following situations will cause the roof shingles to curl, crack, or lift.

Attic Space Ventilation

If you don’t have a well-ventilated attic, it causes moisture to build up, condensing on the roof sheathing and leading to the shingle curling.

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There Is An Installation Error

When the roof shingles are being installed, it is essential to make sure the sealing strip on one shingle lines up with the sealing strip on the next one.

If they are not installed with the sealing strips lining up, the shingle tabs will not be secure and may end up with shingle curling, withering upward or inwardly over time.

The Shingles Haven’t Been Nailed Down Correctly

If the shingles are nailed down incorrectly, possibly hammering nailing through the sealing strip. After the roof has cooled and heated over time, the nails become loose, allowing the shingle tabs to lift and part from the seal.

2. The Roof Has Started To Sag

If the roof has started to sag, it needs to be investigated urgently as the reasons may be severe. Possible reasons include:

  1. An Incorrectly Installed Roof.
  2. The roof has been installed with inadequate materials (trusses etc.), which have begun to fail.
  3. The roof carries too much weight, such as snow or ice.

The reasons for the failure need t be actively investigated, and whatever remedial action is necessary should be taken.

3. The Walls Or Ceiling Of Your Attic Becomes Stained

If you start to notice stains appearing in the ceiling or within an attic, it is usually a sign of water damage. If you cannot find a leaking pipe in the attic or loft space, it means the actual roof is leaking.

TIP: If the stains are soft to the touch, the leak is still present, and new damage is being caused.

Even if the potential leak is not a direct result of damaged roof shingles, you must find the leak’s source and have it rectified as soon as possible.

Left uncorrected, It could result in the insulation becoming wet and moldy. If this happens and the insulation becomes seriously compromised, it will allow cold air to enter the house, which will make it harder to heat and will increase your utility bills.

4. You Can See Sunlight Through The Roof

Damaged roof shingles should be replaced or repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

If you stand in your attic or loft space with no lights on and can see sunlight through the roof, it is a sure sign that your roof shingles need attention. It compromises the roof’s integrity, but it will also cause the roof to leak.

5. There Are Exposed Or Loose Nail Heads

When temperature cycles between cold and hot, the roof expands and contracts to make the nails pop up and lift the shingles. One of the causes of this may be inadequate ventilation in the ceiling or attic space.

Other possible causes of nails popping out may have resulted from incorrect installation and not being nailed tightly enough.

Irrespective of why nails are becoming loose, exposed, or even popping out, it will result in the roof becoming less effective and starting to leak.

6. Nails Driven Too Hard Into The Shingles

One of the most common shingle installation errors is when the shingles are driven too deeply into the shingle. Too high a nail gun pressure causes this, and the nails are driven too deeply into the shingles.

Manufacturers of asphalt shingles give specific instructions on how to fasten shingles, and if those instructions are not followed, the warranty conditions are breached.

If the nails are driven too deep, the shingle is compromised and will eventually lift or curl.

7. The Heating And Cooling Bills Have Increased

If the heating and cooling bills have increased faster than the utility company’s tariff increases, it is possible that your home’s roof has become compromised and needs attention.

The cause may be a leak that has affected the insulation or shingles which have moved and become displaced.

8. Shingles Are Missing

It sounds a little obvious; however, if shingles are missing, the roof’s integrity has been compromised and needs urgent attention. The reason for the missing shingles may be caused by:

High Winds Which The Roof Has Been Exposed To

Shingles are meant to stay on a roof in steady winds; however, even high-quality shingles can be damaged or torn off if very high wind speeds are recorded. Shingles which are installed n the eaves or roof ridge are more vulnerable.

Someone Walking on the Roof

If someone walks on the roof and isn’t very careful, a few shingles may be damaged. Asphalt shingles are more vulnerable in sweltering temperatures, and they can more easily be pulled out at the nails.

Incorrect Installation

If the shingles were incorrectly installed, for any reason explained earlier in this article, mainly if the weather has been roasting, the shingles may work loose and even fall off.

The Shingles Are Too Old

If the shingles are more than twenty years old, it’s highly likely that they’ve reached their lifespan and need replacing.

Weather Damage

Shingles are designed to handle adverse weather conditions. Hail and shingles are morally able to withstand these. However, mother nature is capable of producing situations beyond which shingles cannot resist, causing them to crack or even fall off.

If a few shingles are compromised this way, it will start a failure progression unless you intervene and replace the missing shingles.


Having a stable and effective roof over your family’s head is essential. However, if the asphalt shingles on your home’s roof aren’t installed incorrectly, are damaged by bad weather, or have gotten too old, they need to be remediated as soon as possible before they fail.

Maintaining your asphalt shingles is a critical function that will ensure your roof protects for the expected lifespan.