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This article explains how to identify spliced asphalt roof shingle defects: an unusual asphalt shingle product defect. We provide photographs and we name four clues that can identify this potential roof leak, and we contrast this defect with other types of asphalt roof shingle wear or failures. Photos here can help identify shingle splice failures on roofs.
How to Identify & Repair Splice-Damaged Asphalt Shingle Splices
Splice Shingles used to keep material moving during the manufacturing process should be discarded but they almost
always end up installed on the roof.
Spliced asphalt shingles are a factory defect - and were not supposed to
have been installed.
The occurrence of spliced shingles on an asphalt shingle roof will be rare and
multiple spliced-shingles quite rare.
This defect is very unlikely to be a substantive roofing defect though
if the splice is left un repaired a local leak and related water damage could occur.
Repair for a Spliced Roof Shingle Failure
Because these shingle wear spots or potential leaks are almost always individual and limited roof defects, we recommend
simply replacing the damaged shingle with a new shingle.
Temporary roof repair to prevent roof leaks at a splice-shingle can be made by sliding a piece of
metal flashing under the damaged area.
4 Visual Clues Confirm Splice-Shingle Damage on Roofs
Spliced shingle substrate materials can show up on both organic asphalt shingle roofs (photo above) and fiberglass-based substrate asphalt shingle roofs (photo below).
An individual defective roof shingle such as a splice-shingle (shown above and at below left) is not a significant roof defect - though of course if left unattended and the roof leaks, significant water damage could occur.
Therefore, where a spliced roof shingle is observed, repair is needed, but it's unlikely that many "splice shingles" will appear on any individual building roof.
We find a common point of recognition for splice-shingle defects on roofs: they tend to be isolated - just one will appear in the field of most roofs, because not many of these shingles end up in an individual shingle shipment or pallet.
And if you look closely at the damaged shingle you'll see a combination of three visual clues and there may be a fourth hidden clue:
Granule loss from the shingle, usually extreme
Tearing or breaks in the shingle,
Twisting or distortion in the area of shingle tearing
Isolation: very often a splice shingle defect such as the ones illustrated here occur alone - that is on most (but not all) roofs, this defect occurs alone and the rest of the roof may be in normal condition and may be wearing normally. There are of course exceptions as we describe just below.
A fourth clue might be visible on the underside or "back" of this shingle: an actual visible material splice line.
Defective Individual Shingles are Independent of But May Accompany More Significant Defects on Shingle Roofs
Watch out: a minor individual defective shingle such as a splice unit (above) might also appear on a roof with more serious problems. Below, the picture of thermal splitting or tearing damage to a laminated asphalt shingle roof was provided by ASHI Home inspector Steve Mauer and photographed in 2009.
And at below right you can also see that this unfortunate roof, also suffered from granule loss (below-right) that in our OPINION looked like a defective product.
The same roof also included a damaged shingle that looked like a cracking and granule loss problem combined, but we think this was a shingle splice created at the factory during production - a bad individual shingle that is sometimes created when ends of shingle production substrate are spliced together. See CRACKS in FIBERGLASS SHINGLES for the shingle problem at left, and see GRANULE LOSS from SHINGLES for the shingle problem at right.
This asphalt shingle roof article series explains how to identify & explain the most-common asphalt roof shingle failures and
how to obtain asphalt roofing shingle failure claims assistance. By listing common causes of asphalt roof shingle failures and how to recognize them, building owners
and roofing contractors may also be able to reduce the occurrence of asphalt roof shingle storage, handling, and installation
errors that affect roof life.
Readers are also invited contribute roof failure information to the web author for research purposes. CONTACT us to contribute photos or ask questions about roof failures.
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The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
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Green Roof Plants: A Resource and Planting Guide, Edmund C. Snodgrass, Lucie L. Snodgrass, Timber Press, Incorporated, 2006, ISBN-10: 0881927872, ISBN-13: 978-0881927870. The text covers moisture needs, heat tolerance, hardiness, bloom color, foliage characteristics, and height of 350 species and cultivars.
Green Roof Construction and Maintenance, Kelley Luckett, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2009, ISBN-10: 007160880X, ISBN-13: 978-0071608800, quoting: Key questions to ask at each stage of the green building process Tested tips and techniques for successful structural design
Construction methods for new and existing buildings
Information on insulation, drainage, detailing, irrigation, and plant selection
Details on optimal soil formulation
Illustrations featuring various stages of construction
Best practices for green roof maintenance
A survey of environmental benefits, including evapo-transpiration, storm-water management, habitat restoration, and improvement of air quality
Tips on the LEED design and certification process
Considerations for assessing return on investment
Color photographs of successfully installed green roofs
Useful checklists, tables, and charts
Roofing The Right Way, Steven Bolt, McGraw-Hill Professional; 3rd Ed (1996), ISBN-10: 0070066507, ISBN-13: 978-0070066502
Slate Roofs, National Slate Association, 1926, reprinted 1977
by Vermont Structural Slate Co., Inc., Fair Haven, VT 05743, 802-265-4933/34. (We recommend this book if you can find it. It
has gone in and out of print on occasion.)
Roof Tiling & Slating, a Practical Guide, Kevin Taylor, Crowood Press (2008), ISBN 978-1847970237, If you have never fixed a roof tile or slate before but have wondered how to go about repairing or replacing them, then this is the book for you. Many of the technical books about roof tiling and slating are rather vague and conveniently ignore some of the trickier problems and how they can be resolved. In Roof Tiling and Slating, the author rejects this cautious approach. Kevin Taylor uses both his extensive knowledge of the trade and his ability to explain the subject in easily understandable terms, to demonstrate how to carry out the work safely to a high standard, using tried and tested methods.
This clay roof tile guide considers the various types of tiles, slates, and roofing materials on the market as well as their uses, how to estimate the required quantities, and where to buy them. It also discusses how to check and assess a roof and how to identify and rectify problems; describes how to efficiently "set out" roofs from small, simple jobs to larger and more complicated projects, thus making the work quicker, simpler, and neater; examines the correct and the incorrect ways of installing background materials such as underlay, battens, and valley liners; explains how to install interlocking tiles, plain tiles, and artificial and natural slates; covers both modern and traditional methods and skills, including cutting materials by hand without the assistance of power tools; and provides invaluable guidance on repairs and maintenance issues, and highlights common mistakes and how they can be avoided.
The author, Kevin Taylor, works for the National Federation of Roofing Contractors as a technical manager presenting technical advice and providing education and training for young roofers.
The Slate Roof Bible, Joseph Jenkins, www.jenkinsslate.com,
143 Forest Lane, PO Box 607, Grove City, PA 16127 - 866-641-7141 (We recommend this book).