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What Is Roof Blistering and What To Do About It

Posted on May 20, 2024

roof blistering

Your roof protects you and your home from a lot of things. Be it the harsh sunlight, heavy downpours, or the occasional storm, your roof stands tall. But one common roofing problem that you might face as a homeowner is roof blistering. 

Though this is not so serious that you will need to replace your entire roof, it is still a concern that you shouldn’t ignore. Not addressing roof blistering as soon as you notice can lead to extensive damage throughout your roofing system.

In this blog post, we will cover what roof blistering is, how it affects your roof, and what you can do to avoid it in the future. 

Understanding The Issue Of Roof Blistering

Roof blistering is a common roofing issue in which bubbles or lumps form, depicting raised areas on the surface of a roof. This typically occurs when air or moisture gets trapped between layers of roofing materials, such as shingles or flat roofing membranes, and the heat from the sun causes the trapped air or moisture to expand. 

Over time, this expansion creates blisters, which are visible as bumps or bubbles on the roof. Blistering can be a sign of poor installation, inadequate ventilation, or the natural aging of roofing materials. If left unaddressed, these blisters can burst, potentially leading to leaks and further damage to the roof structure. For homeowners, it’s important to regularly inspect your roof and consult a professional if you notice any blistering to prevent more serious issues.

What Causes Blistering On Your Roof? 

blistering on roof

Blistering is a common issue in several areas. But why does this happen? There are several factors that can contribute to the formation of blisters on a roof, irrespective of the material you install. Here are some of the most common factors: 

Moisture Buildup

One of the primary causes of blistering on shingle roofs is excess moisture. Water can seep into roofing materials through cracks, holes, or inadequate ventilation. When this moisture becomes trapped between the roofing materials, it causes the layers to separate and form blisters. Other than asphalt shingles, moisture-related blistering is also common on flat roofs as they are more vulnerable to condensation and water damage.  

Proper sealing and adequate ventilation are crucial steps to prevent moisture buildup and the subsequent formation of blisters. Also, inspecting your roof regularly can help identify and address potential water infiltration points.

Also Read: Will A Roof Leak With One Shingle Missing?

Faulty Installation

Improper installation is the root cause of the majority of pitched and flat roof problems, and it can contribute to roof blistering as well. For example, mistakes during installation such as not sealing materials properly can cause bubbles right from the start. 

If your contractor does not follow the manufacturer’s instructions or industry standards when installing a roof, you can run into problems such as adhesion issues. Other mistakes include not cleaning the roof deck before placing the underlayment or shingles or installing the roofing layers incorrectly. These mistakes can stop the roofing materials from bonding properly, leading to separation and blisters. To avoid this, you need to hire experienced, certified professionals who follow industry best practices during roof installations.

Using Poor-Quality Materials

The use of poor-quality materials in roofing can also lead to blistering. Substandard materials may not adhere well, withstand environmental stresses, or provide adequate waterproofing. Over time, these inferior materials can deteriorate, causing the roofing layers to separate and form blisters. Investing in high-quality roofing materials that meet or exceed industry standards is essential for long-term durability and performance. Selecting reputable manufacturers and suppliers can help ensure the quality of the materials used.

Extreme Temperature Changes

Changes in temperature, which are frequent in Wisconsin, play a significant role in the development of roof blisters. Roofing materials expand when exposed to high temperatures and contract in cold conditions. This constant cycle can weaken the bond between layers, eventually causing them to separate and form blisters. To combat this, it’s important to consider the local climate and choose materials designed to withstand temperature fluctuations. 

What Are The Effects of Blistering on a Roof? 

While roof blisters may seem like a mere aesthetic or a cosmetic issue at first, they can have severe consequences if left unaddressed. 

Continuous blistering on shingle roofs can weaken the integrity of the roofing system. As the blisters grow larger, they can weaken the adhesion between the layers, making the roof more susceptible to leaks, wind damage, and even potential collapse in extreme cases.

One of the most significant risks is water damage. The blisters will create entry points for water, which can seep into the underlying layers and eventually make its way into the home, causing damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation.

How Can I Prevent Roof Blistering? 

Install High-Quality Shingles: 

Invest in high-quality shingles from leading brands like Atlas, GAF, or Owens Corning. These are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and have enhanced adhesive properties to prevent blistering.

Also Read: 6 Top-Rated Atlas Roofing Shingles Of 2023

Proper Roof Ventilation: 

Adequate ventilation is key to preventing moisture buildup, which can lead to blistering. Ensure your attic is well-ventilated by installing ridge vents and soffit vents, and make sure insulation does not cover the vents. This will allow air to circulate and reduce condensation.

Hire Reputed Contractors: 

Work with experienced, reputable roofing contractors who follow proper installation techniques and use high-quality materials. Improper installation is a common cause of blistering, so choosing a reliable contractor is crucial.

Regular Roof Inspections: 

Schedule routine roof inspections, at least annually, to identify any potential issues early on. A professional roofer can catch minor blisters or other problems before they escalate into major repairs.

Use Moisture Barriers: 

As we saw, moisture is the biggest culprit when it comes to blistering. Install an effective moisture barrier or underlayment beneath the shingles to prevent water infiltration and moisture buildup.

Roof Blistering vs. Hail Damage 

Roof Blistering vs. Hail Damage 

Roof blisters appear as raised bubbles or bumps on the surface of the roofing material. Their appearance may be similar to the dimples and dents caused by hail damage, and both types of damage can cause granule loss on a shingle roof. 

As a homeowner, it’s easy to be confused between the two issues when inspecting your roof. However, roof blisters are typically larger and more rounded than the sharp, concentrated impacts from hailstones. Additionally, blisters result from a separation of the roofing layers, while hail damage penetrates and fractures the top layer of the shingles or roofing material. A professional roofer will be able to properly diagnose whether you are dealing with blistering or hail damage and recommend the appropriate solution.

Roof Inspection and Repair Services in Wisconsin

If you find that your roof has blisters, all you need to do is contact the team of Prestige Roofing. We are among the top-rated roofing contractors in Wisconsin and offer the finest residential roofing services.   

Our first step is a proper roof inspection to assess the extent of the damage. Depending on the severity of the blistering and the overall condition of the roof, our roofers may recommend either repairing the affected areas or replacing the entire roofing system.

If you spot signs of blistering or damage on your roof, don’t wait. Contact us today at (920) 791-0414 for a free consultation and inspection.