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Do Your New Roof Shingles Look Wavy? Here’s What You Need to Know

Posted on January 24, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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new roof shingles look wavy

Over the years, numerous homeowners have come to our team with questions about why their new roof shingles look wavy rather than smooth and flat. This ripple effect seen on new roofs might not just be an aesthetic issue—it could signify serious underlying problems. But before you panic, it’s important to understand the underlying causes before you can focus on resolving them. It is critical to dissect this problem thoroughly because, if left unaddressed, these rippling waves can have significant consequences on your home’s structural integrity.

So, let’s delve deeper into the causes of wavy roof shingles and what you can do to address them. 

Causes of Wavy Roof Shingles

Wavy roof shingles

When you look up at your new roof and notice your shingles have a wavy pattern, figuring out what may have caused it is your first step. Here are some common reasons:

1. Improper Framing or Sheathing

Framing provides the skeletal structure for the roofing materials, including the shingles. On the other hand, sheathing is the flat surface underneath the underlayment and shingles. If this framework is faulty due to improper design or installation, it spells trouble for the overlying materials. 

For example, inaccurate spacing between the rafters or trusses could make your shingles appear wavy. This improper framing can create visible inconsistencies once the shingles are laid on top. Along the same lines, uneven sheathing may lead to a similarly wavy rooftop. Moreover, if builders use poor quality materials or there’s inadequate nailing, it can lead to irregularities in how the shingles lay.

2. Damaged Underlayment

Low-quality or damaged underlayment, or the layer of water-resistant materials beneath your roofing material, can also cause ripples across your roof. 

These weird bumps arise when the contractor fails to smooth out any wrinkles in the material during installation. If workers overlook straightening out any buckled sections of the underlayment, it can result in waves on the roof’s surface.

Plus, over time, underlayment tends to age and deteriorate, causing holes and tears that can make your otherwise well-laid shingles appear wavy and uneven.

3. Shoddy Craftsmanship

If you hire an unskilled contractor to install your roof, it may result in wavy roof shingles. Irregular nailing patterns, rushed shingle installation, or generally poor workmanship can all lead to inconsistent shingle placement. 

4. Shingle Over Shingles Installation Issues

When you install a new roof over an existing one, you may experience telegraphing. This occurs when imperfections from the underlying roof become visible through the new layer. As a result, it’s possible for wavy lines to appear on the roof, even if it’s brand new. 

5. Wind Damage

High-speed wind gusts can rip off shingles or loosen them, giving your roof a wavy appearance.  This can create uplift pockets and allow for future rainwater issues, such as roof leaks.

So there you have it – improper framing, poor craftsmanship, or wind damage might be the cause of your new shingle roof appearing wavy or uneven. 

Potential Consequences of Wavy Roof Shingles

Roof shingles serve as your home’s first line of defense against environmental challenges like rain, wind, snow, hail, and even temperature swings. When their integrity is compromised, it could lead to various consequences.

It’s important to note that any minor waves might not necessarily imply an issue, however any significant or expanding inconsistencies should be a major concern.

  • Water Damage: One consequence you may face when you have wavy roof shingles is water damage. Misshapen shingles create paths for water to seep through into the underlying structure. Over time, this moisture intrusion can degrade your sheathing material and eventually cause serious structural problems.
  • Mold Growth: With continuous exposure to damp conditions, there’s also a risk of mold growth within the roof system and in your attic, which is another health hazard on its own. Mold infestations can result in allergic reactions along with several respiratory issues.
  • Decreased Wind-Resistance: Windy days pose substantial threats, too. Wind-resistance is crucial for roof shingle performance, but wavy shingles fail to provide suitable resistance due to their irregular configuration. Under strong gusts or during threatening storms, these unevenly placed shingles may easily get blown off, leaving your home unprotected.
  • Pest Issues: Significantly uplifted shingles could allow pests to move into the structure of your home. This could cause unsafe and unsanitary living conditions.
  • Aesthetic Concerns: Lastly, don’t overlook aesthetic downfalls brought about by wavy roof shingles. Although cosmetic degradation doesn’t directly affect how well your roof does its job, it has potential impacts on curb appeal, followed by property value if you ever decide to sell. 

How to Fix a Wavy Roof

When it comes to fixing a wavy roof, there are several steps you can take. While some of the initial investigative work can be completed by homeowners, more complex solutions often necessitate professional help.

1. Inspection and Diagnosis

Just as with any other issue, the first step towards resolving it involves identifying its source. An experienced roofing professional will perform a thorough inspection of your roof, analyzing both its exterior and interior sides in order to determine the exact cause of the waviness. This may encompass checking factors like improper installation, inadequate ventilation, or any underlying damage.

2. Correcting the Cause

Upon confirming what’s causing your shingles to buckle or appear wavy, it’s crucial to correct underlying issues before proceeding with any repairs. This could involve reinforcing weak framing, improving ventilation in your attic, or addressing damaged sheathing.

3. Replacing or Repairing Shingles

After remedying any foundational flaws that contributed to your wavy roof, it’s time to deal with the affected shingles. Depending on their condition as well as the extent of warping or buckling involved, an expert roofer might decide either on repairing individual shingles or replacing them altogether. Bear in mind that high-quality shingles are usually less prone to this type of issue and can prolong the overall lifespan of your roof.

4. Proper Installation

Lastly, proper installation is key for preventing the recurrence of a wavy roof. Working with experienced and professional roofers can help ensure that your roof will be installed properly. Techniques such as careful alignment of shingles and using the correct nail patterns can make a noticeable difference in maintaining the aesthetic look and longevity of your new roof.

Can You Ask a Contractor to Redo a Roofing Job if It Looks Wavy?

This is a concern every homeowner might face at some point. Imagine investing your hard-earned money into a new roof just to find the outcome looking uneven, distorted, or wavy. The question then arises: is it appropriate to request a redo from the contractor? To put it simply, yes.

It’s always worth emphasizing the importance of hiring professionals who are recognized within the industry for their high-quality craftsmanship and excellent service. Working with these professionals reduces the chances of a subpar installation, lowering the risk of issues down the line. 

Conclusion

Choosing and installing roof shingles may seem like a relatively straightforward task. However, as we’ve seen throughout this article, it needs to be done with precision to prevent future problems. Wavy roof shingles could be pointing toward minor or serious issues that need to be addressed before they result in unwanted consequences.

The sight of wavy roof shingles might trigger some concern initially, however taking appropriate action can save you significant headaches and expenses down the line.

Professional Roofing Services In Tulsa, OK

A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing is one of the leading roofing companies in Tulsa and the surrounding areas. The professional roofers at the company are proficient at handling any roofing job, including roof repair, new roof installation, and complete roof replacement. Call us today at (918) 402-7167 to consult a professional roofer.

new roof shingles look wavy