New Roof Shingles Not Lying Flat? 8 Reasons Why It Happens and What To Do Next

Posted on May 12, 2023

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New Roof Shingles Not Lying Flat? 8 Reasons Why It Happens and What To Do Next

Your roof is a vital component of your home that shields you from the outside world. However, even with the best care, issues may arise, and one of the most common issues involves shingles that refuse to lie flat. When this occurs, it can compromise the structural integrity of your roof, leaving it vulnerable to water damage, and reducing its lifespan and effectiveness. If you notice your new roof shingles are not lying flat, identifying the problem’s root cause is critical. 

At Trusted Roofing, we aim to help homeowners properly maintain their roofs and exteriors for maximum protection and curb appeal. This article will explain why your new roofing shingles are wavy or bumpy, and provide you with solutions to restore your roof to optimal condition.

Is It Normal for New Shingles to Not Lie Flat?

If your new shingles are not lying flat, this is a problem. Ideally, when properly installed, new shingles should lie flat by sticking against the roof underlayment and sheathing. If you notice that your new asphalt shingles are not lying flat, it’s essential to call a reliable roof inspector to find the root cause and address the issue promptly to prevent roof damage.

A new roof is a major investment, so it’s essential to address this issue promptly to prevent roof leaks, rot, pest infestations, and other problems that can be costly to repair. Moreover, a new roof can add a lot of value to your home if it is properly installed and looks appealing. On the other hand, a damaged and uneven shingle roof diminishes the curb appeal of your home and puts your investment at risk. If the shingles are left uneven for a long time, they can crack and break, exposing the underlayment and sheathing.

So, let’s discuss some common reasons behind warped and wavy shingles so you can get started with repairs as soon as possible.

Why Your New Roof Shingles Are Not Lying Flat

There are several reasons why this may occur, including poor installation, faulty materials, and even weather conditions. By finding the main cause of this problem, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that your new roof provides the protection and durability your home deserves.

Truted Roofing 19

#1 Poor Installation 

The first reason why new roof shingles may not lie flat is improper installation. When shingles are not installed correctly, they may not rest flat against the roof deck, causing unevenness and potential damage to the roof’s structure. For instance, if the shingles are nailed too tightly or not correctly aligned, they may buckle, curl, or even crack, leaving them unable to lie flat. 

This usually happens when you hire a handyman or an inexperienced roofing contractor for the job. That’s why it is essential to hire a professional and reputable roofing contractor for roof repair and replacement.

#2 New Shingles Were Installed Over Old Ones

Another common cause of uneven shingles is the failure to remove old shingles before installing new ones. When new shingles are laid over old ones, it can create an uneven surface that makes it challenging for the new shingles to lie flat. In some cases, the old shingles may be curled or buckled, which can cause the new shingles placed over them to also buckle and curl, leading to an uneven look.

To fix this issue, the old shingles must be removed before installing the new ones. This process may take longer and require more effort, but it is necessary to ensure that the new shingles lie flat and that your roof remains structurally sound. Removing the old shingles can also help you identify any underlying problems that may need to be addressed, such as rot or water damage.

#3 The Shingles Are Installed In Unfavorable Weather Conditions

Another reason why your new roofing shingles are not lying flat is that they could have been installed in unfavorable weather conditions. Asphalt shingles have a sealant layer that binds shingles to the roof deck. This sealant adheres fast and strong under warm weather conditions, which causes the shingles to form a watertight barrier on your roof. However, if the shingles are installed during cold or rainy weather, the sealant may not adhere right away, which can result in uneven or warped shingles. 

The ideal temperature range for asphalt shingle installation is between 40 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is likely to occur during the summer and spring months.

#4 Careless Transportation

To avoid damage during transportation, ensure the shingle bundles are properly secured during transport, and handle them carefully to prevent bending or creasing. Otherwise, they could jostle around, which can leave your new shingles curved or warped even before installation. 

To prevent transportation damage, you must work with a reputable contractor and manufacturer who takes proper precautions when transporting shingles to a job site. It’s also important to carefully inspect the shingles upon delivery to ensure they are not damaged.

#5 Using Poor Quality Shingles

Poor quality shingles can be a result of various factors, including using low-grade materials, manufacturing defects, or poor workmanship during the manufacturing process. Poor quality shingles may be cheap, but they might have inconsistencies in their thickness, shape, or size, which can be another reason why your new roof shingles are not lying flat.

#6 Improper Roof and Attic Ventilation

Proper roof ventilation ensures that your roofing system functions effectively. Inadequate ventilation in the attic or space below the roof can lead to a buildup of moisture, heat, and other factors that can damage your roofing system. When there is not enough ventilation, the hot air and moisture cannot escape, causing the shingles to become soft and flexible, which can cause them to curl and not lie flat. Additionally, inadequate ventilation can also cause the roof decking to become wet and rot, compromising the structural integrity of the roof.

If you suspect improper ventilation is causing your new shingles to lie unevenly against the roof deck, the best solution is to ensure proper ventilation in your attic. A reliable roofing contractor can help you with that by adding or improving attic vents, soffit vents, or ridge vents, depending on your home’s ventilation requirements.

#7 Damaged or Uneven Roof Sheathing

When the roof sheathing or decking is not level, the shingles can’t lie flat and may appear wavy or bumpy. This can also cause shingles to lift or buckle, leaving gaps for moisture to enter. Damaged or rotted roof sheathing can also cause the shingles not to lie flat, as the wooden planks or OSB sheets can no longer support the weight of the shingles. This causes a bigger problem for the roof as its structure becomes weak, which can lead to unexpected failures and leaks at any time.

#8 Your Local Weather Conditions

Climate and weather conditions have a significant impact on the performance of asphalt shingles. You must choose a shingle model that is specially built to withstand the weather conditions in your area. 

  • In hot and dry climates, some shingles may quickly expand and buckle, while in colder climates, they may contract and crack.
  • Windy conditions can loosen the nails holding the shingles down and cause them to rise up. 
  • Heavy rain and snow can cause the shingles to absorb moisture, making them heavy and less stable.

If your new shingles are curling and not sealing properly due to humid or cold weather conditions, there is still a chance they may begin to lie flat after a few weeks or months when the weather is warm.

 In other cases, you will need a roofing professional to repair the installation faults and replace the shingles that were damaged during transportation. They should also be able to help you file a claim for the issue.

How Long Does It Take for New Shingles to Lie Flat?

New asphalt shingles will seal within a week if the temperature is consistently under the ideal range (40 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit). The sealing and flattening process of the shingles depends on several factors that we’ve discussed above. If the shingles were installed during wintertime, they should seal properly after a few months.

If you’re struggling with uneven roof shingles in Tennessee, reach out to our experts at Trusted Roofing. We can help you fix this issue without disturbing your routine and use a cost-effective approach.

Free Roof Inspections for Tennessee Homeowners

When you invest in a new roof, you want it to be a source of pride and protection for years to come. But when those new roof shingles start to ripple, it can be frustrating and worrisome, as it puts your investment at risk. At Trusted Roofing, we are a part of your community, and it’s our duty to help keep your home and family safe. 

Our skilled professionals understand the importance of a well-maintained roof, and we are committed to providing cost-effective solutions that will restore the beauty and functionality of your home. Don’t let uneven roof shingles dampen your spirits, call us at (615)-714-4300 for a free roof inspection, and let us help you get that beautiful and sturdy roof you’re looking for.

"Protect What Matters With A FREE Roof Inspection!"

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(615) 714-4300

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Call US: (615) 714-4300

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