Five Causes Of Loose Roof Shingles

Posted on: 2 February 2021

Loose shingles can occur on both a newly installed roof or an old one. Knowing why the shingles are loose can help you prevent the problem in the future.

1. Failed Nails

Failed nails and hardware is the most likely cause of a loose shingle. If you have a loose shingle on a newer roof, then the issue was likely at installation and the nail wasn't properly installed. For an older roof, the nail may have worked loose over time due to moisture and temperature fluctuations. A prompt inspection can determine whether the nails need to be replaced or if it is time for a new roof.

2. Wind Damage

Wind is another common source of loose shingles. Strong winds can lift the shingles and tear them at the fasten point. The severity of the damage is variable. Sometimes the shingles look a little ruffled, but a roofer can smooth them because the nails and adhesive are still holding tight. In other cases, popped nails or torn shingles are an issue and more extensive repairs will be necessary.

3. Ice Dams

An ice dam is an issue in winter. Generally, water somehow flows up the roof, usually due to clogged gutters, and gets beneath the shingles. There the water refreezes and the expanding hump of ice lifts the shingle. The shingles typically lay flat again once the ice melts, but you should have them inspected. In some cases, the nails can be forced out and you will have loose shingles that need to be re-secured. It's also a good idea to make sure no permanent water damage occurred below the affected shingles.

4. Moss Lift

A mossy green roof may seem quaint, but moss spreads via spores that can get beneath the shingles. This leads to moss mounds growing up under the shingles and lifting them. Water can seep under the lifted shingles. Plus, over time the shingles loosen and may even fall off. Clean the roof regularly to prevent moss. If you already have moss-lifted shingles, have them inspected to see if they are loose or require repair.

5. Animal Incursion

Although not as common as other problems, animals can also lead to loose shingles on the roof. Squirrels and raccoons, in particular, may pull up shingles in an attempt to gain access to the attic. Other small rodents and even some birds may also damage or pull on shingles. Cut back trees to minimize roof access for animals and check for loose shingles often to minimize animal damage.

Contact a roofing contractor if you notice lifted or loose shingles on your roof.