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Shingles and Construction Defects

by Whitfield Bryson | Construction Defect | Share

With new buildings and construction projects seemingly popping up overnight, it’s no surprise construction defects are becoming more apparent with each new build. Roofing defects involving shingles are particularly common. Causes of shingle problems can be improper storing and handling practices prior to installation, improper nailing, and defective asphalt product materials, just to name a few. In order to determine if a shingle is defective, it’s important to first identify the defects when they occur.

Types of Shingle Roof Failures

As more residential structures are built, shingled roof defects have become fairly common. Knowing the difference between a cosmetic issue or a functional shingle is incredibly important in understanding what could go wrong.

  • Cosmetic roof covering complaints

When making cosmetic adjustments to one’s roof, shingle installation can involve defects if you see shadow lines, superficial blistering, uneven surfaces, and/or improper randomizing of shingle bundles, which can lead to color patches on the roof’s surface.

  • Functional roof covering defects

When your roof needs structural repair, defects involved when repairing them can lead to active leaks or an anticipated reduction in the life of the roof shingles when compared with the shingle warranty period anticipated by the manufacturer. The lifespan of any roofing product can be greatly influenced by factors beyond the material itself, such as:

  • Roof slope, color, and orientation to the sun
  • Effects of nearby trees
  • Weather damage

Identifying an Asphalt Shingles Manufacturing Defect

  • Cupping defects: Cupping occurs when the center of each shingle is concave in shape, or “cupped.”
  • Curling defects: Curling occurs when the corners of a shingle begin to move or “curl” in an upward motion.
  • Fishmouthing defects: Fishmouthing occurs when a shingle lifts up from the center, creating a tent-like shape.
  • Blistering: Blisters on asphalt shingles can result from the manufacturing process and can be mistaken for hail damageor other damage. The likely causes of asphalt shingle blisters or “blister rash” are moisture trapped in the shingle substrate during manufacturing and/or due to gases from volatile organics or resins used in the shingle construction. Either can produce trapped gas bubbles as the shingles are often exposed to high temperatures during production.
  • Degranulation/granule loss: This defect often exposes the shingle substrate to premature bald patches, which can be identified by bald spots and/or the exposed shingle substrate on roofs early in their lives.
  • Thermal splitting/cracking: When the thermal expansion of an asphalt shingle product is followed by a thermal contraction such as in cold weather, it will cause the asphalt to crack or tear.

Each of the defects listed above can be accelerated due to installation and storage errors, defective products, inadequate ventilation, or other causes.

Construction Defect Attorneys

Finding you or a loved one may have a construction defect on your hands can be a costly and demanding process. At Whitfield Bryson LLP, our construction defects lawyers have the skills and experience needed to represent plaintiffs in construction law claims throughout the country. Owners, architects, builders, and developers turn to us for their most complex litigation. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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I am very grateful to Whitfield Bryson for taking the initiative in filing suit against the manufacturers of defective CSST pipe. I am sure that this successful litigation will now help Maryland homeowners become aware of the danger of old style CSST pipe and to let them know what steps they may take to protect themselves against those dangers. Who knows how many lives and homes may be saved as a result of his efforts. Thank you for your important work in this litigation.

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Cambridge, Maryland
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