Shingle Damage Evaluation – Introduction – Part 1

Posted by in Shingles, Start Here to Read Series About Shingle Damage | April 26, 2012


There have been numerous storms with hail that have passed through Northeast Ohio, especially since 2003.  At Prugar Consulting, Inc., we have had the opportunity to examine hundreds of shingle roof surfaces, roof vents, gutters, siding, trim coverings, etc. that have been exposed to these storms.  We have observed and documented damage to shingle roofs and other exterior building components that were caused by hail, wind, and other storm related damage producing mechanisms.  We have also observed flaking, cracking, clawing, wear, etc. on older roofs that have served well‐beyond their expected service life; shingle defects that were mistaken for hail damage; mechanical damage applied in a systematic fashion (intentionally); random mechanical damage applied during installation or later roof maintenance; dislodging of granules from lichen growth and bird‐droppings; damage from poor installation of the shingles; etc.

So how does one evaluate the cause(s) of damage to a shingle roof and its related components?  A proper evaluation begins by familiarity with the materials that comprise a composite asphalt shingle and its related components, an understanding of proper installation, and an accurate understanding of the characteristics and features of the damage caused by various damage producing mechanisms.  The application of these coupled with in-the-field experience of verifiable shingle damage leads to an accurate and true assessment of the cause of damage to the shingles.

The components of a composite asphalt shingle may be better understood by reviewing the information on the websites of various shingle manufacturer’s, attending shingle roof seminars, viewing the manufacturing process, etc.  Many of the manufacturers are pleased to describe the properties of the components that distinguish their product from another.  Some even describe the process of manufacturing or provide a video of their process.  Shingle manufacturers are also pleased to provide information regarding proper installation of their products.   Hands on experience such as, visual and tactile examination of different styles and brands of composite shingles is also helpful in being familiar with composite asphalt shingles.  The installing and repairing of shingle roofs provide additional insight regarding the properties of shingles and the damage producing mechanisms they are exposed to during installation.

The known and documented characteristics and features of various causes of shingle damage are found in industry publications.  These provide a criteria for the assessment of various damages to composite asphalt shingles.  These criteria are based on industry experience and laboratory testing.

Our next post will discuss the materials that comprise a common composite asphalt shingle.  In subsequent posts we plan to discuss the installation of shingles and the characteristics and features of various damages to them.