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What Causes Roof Shingles To Buckle & How Do You Fix It?

Posted on June 26, 2024

roof shingles buckling

As a homeowner, the roof over your head is one of the most important parts of your home, providing shelter and protection from the harsh weather. However, even the most well-constructed roofs can face problems over time. One common roofing problem that you can face as a homeowner is your roof shingles buckling. 

You should be aware of the fact that these are not just unsightly bumps across the surface of your shingles that detract from your home’s curb appeal, they can also lead to more severe problems if you don’t address them. 

In this guide, we’ll answer questions such as what shingle buckling is, what the various causes are behind it, and most importantly, how you can fix this problem. By understanding the root causes and taking the appropriate steps, you can restore the integrity and aesthetic appeal of your roofing system. 

What Does It Mean When The Shingles Are Buckling?

Imagine you’re looking up at your roof on a sunny day, and you notice some unsightly bumps and ripples across the surface of your shingles. This is a telltale sign of shingle buckling, a common issue that can compromise the integrity and appearance of your roofing system. But what exactly does it mean for your roof when your shingles are buckling?

Shingle buckling refers to the raised or distorted appearance of your roof shingles, which can resemble waves or ridges across the surface. This phenomenon occurs when the shingles are no longer lying flat against the roof deck, causing them to protrude upwards in an uneven and irregular pattern. This is also known as curling or warping. 

While a few buckled shingles may not seem like a major concern, ignoring this issue can lead to more severe problems down the line. Buckled shingles are vulnerable to water infiltration, which can cause leaks, rot, and even structural damage to your home. Additionally, the unsightly appearance of a buckled roof can detract from your home’s curb appeal and potentially lower its value.

What Causes Roof Shingles To Buckle? 

Roof Shingle Buckle
Roof Shingle Buckling

To effectively address the problem of buckling shingles, it’s crucial to identify the underlying causes. Here are some of the most common reasons why your asphalt shingles may buckle or warp:

Improper Installation

One of the primary reasons why shingles start to buckle is due to improper installation. For example, if the shingles were not nailed down correctly or if the nails were overdriven during installation, it can cause damage. 

When shingles are not secured properly to the roof deck, they are more prone to movement and shifting, which can cause them to lift. Similarly, overdriven nails can create indentations that weaken the shingles, making them susceptible to buckling. Improperly installed underlayment can also contribute to this issue. 

Also Read: 6 Tips For Finding The Best Roofing Contractor In De Pere, WI

Thermal Expansion and Contraction: 

In states like Wisconsin, temperatures fluctuate throughout the year and the materials used in roofing systems can become vulnerable. 

During hot weather, the shingles and underlying material expand, while during cooler periods, they contract. This repeated expansion and contraction can cause the shingles to loosen and shift, leading to buckling. 

However, the extent of buckling often depends on the severity of temperature changes and the quality of the roofing materials. For example, if you have good-quality architectural shingles on your roof, there’s less of a chance that your new roof shingles will buckle

Moisture Issues

Excessive moisture is your roof’s and attic’s biggest enemy. This problem can wreak havoc on your roofing system and is the major reason for your roof shingles buckling. This moisture can originate from various sources, such as leaks, condensation, or improper attic ventilation.

When moisture seeps into the roofing system, it can cause the shingles and underlying materials to swell and expand. This expansion puts pressure on the shingles, forcing them to buckle and lift. 

Moisture in the underlayment, which is the protective layer between the shingles and the roof deck, can be particularly problematic. If the underlayment becomes saturated with water due to leaks or condensation, it can lose its effectiveness and allow moisture to penetrate the roofing system, leading to shingle buckling and other issues.

 Aging and Deterioration

Over time, the shingles on your roof will naturally age and deteriorate due to exposure to the elements, such as sun, wind, and rain. As the shingles become more brittle and less pliable, they are more susceptible to buckling.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays, extreme temperatures, and environmental factors can cause the shingles to break down and lose their flexibility. This aging process can even lead to cracking, curling, and buckling of the shingles, as they are no longer able to lay flat against the roof deck.

How Do You Fix Buckled Shingles?

While shingle buckling can be a frustrating issue, there are several ways to address it and restore the integrity and appearance of your roofing system.

Repair or Replace Damaged Shingles

If the buckling is localized to a specific area or caused by a few damaged shingles, repairing or replacing those shingles may be the most cost-effective solution. This involves carefully removing the affected shingles and replacing them with new ones, ensuring that they’re properly installed with the correct nailing techniques.

Also Read: 8 Signs Your Roof Needs Flat Roof Repair (& Who To Call)

Roof Replacement

In cases where the buckling is widespread or caused by severe deterioration, a complete roof replacement may be the best course of action. This comprehensive solution involves removing the existing roofing system, addressing any underlying issues with the roof deck or ventilation, and installing a new roofing system with high-quality materials and proper installation techniques.

Improve Your Attic’s Ventilation

Inadequate attic ventilation can contribute to moisture issues and temperature fluctuations, both of which can lead to shingle buckling. By improving the attic ventilation system, you can help regulate the temperature and moisture levels, reducing the stress on the shingles and minimizing the risk of buckling.

Also Read: Understanding Roof Ventilation Basics & Its Role In Your Home

Address Moisture Issues

If moisture is the root cause of the shingles buckling, it’s crucial to identify and address the source of moisture. This may involve repairing leaks, improving drainage systems, or installing proper ventilation to prevent condensation buildup.

Are Your Roofing Shingles Curling Or Buckling? We Can Help! 

Shingle buckling can be a frustrating and unsightly issue for homeowners, but it’s important to address this as soon as possible. 

Remember, regular maintenance and roof inspections are crucial for catching shingle buckling early on. So if you feel that your roof is not up to the mark, don’t hesitate to consult with the team of Prestige Roofing. We are a reputable and experienced roofing contractor serving De Pere and the surrounding areas of Northeastern Wisconsin. 

We can properly diagnose the issue and recommend the best course of action for your specific situation. Contact us today at (920) 791-0414 to learn more about us and the services we provide. 


Q: How Do I Protect My Asphalt Shingle Roof From Buckling? 

A: Asphalt shingles are one of the most lightweight roofing materials available. Some of them are made from shingle strips that can easily curl or buckle. To avoid this, it is important to install shingles made by reputable manufacturers and hire contractors that adhere to the guidelines. 

Also Read: 7 Top-Rated Atlas Roofing Shingles Of 2024