Shingles stored outdoors (C) Daniel Friedman Roof Shingle Storage Conditions Affect Future Roof Life
Improper storage & handling at the building supplier or jobsite can shorten the life of roof materials

  • ROOF SHINGLE STORAGE - CONTENTS: how building supplier yard or job site storage conditions of roofing shingles may affect roof life or may contribute to early roof wear, leaks, or other failures.
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about the effects of storage conditions of roofing materials before installation on the later life of a roof
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Roof shingle storage guidelines:

Tthis article explains why asphalt roof shingle storage conditions and handling both at the building supplier and at the job site can have a marked effect on future roof life.

Absorption of water in shingles not protected from the weather, exposure to high temperatures, cold temperatures, and improper handling all can result in early failure of the roof and the need for costly repairs.

Often we can correlate a pattern of failed roof shingles with improper storage and damage to individual shingle bundles.

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Storage of Asphalt Shingles: supplier or jobsite storage concerns

Improperly stored asphalt shingle absorbs water (C) Daniel Friedman

Roofing material storage conditions before & during installation can cause early roof failure and leaks and may also violate the roofing manufacturer's warranty.

Our photo at left shows water absorbed and soaked shingles taken from the middle of a pallet of asphalt roof shingles. [Click to enlarge any image or photo]. Here are additional roof shingle storage conditions that affect the future life of the roof:

    • Sunlight and Heat Effects on Asphalt Shingles: Storing shingles in hot sun makes them stick together, making damage likely as they are pulled out of their bundle.

    • Cold and Freezing Effects on Asphalt Shingles: Storing shingles in freezing conditions increases the chances that a shingle will crack when being used if applied in cold weather, especially ridge cap shingles which break when bent. We used to cut those and then leave them inside on a radiator until needed.

    • Rain Effects on Asphalt Shingles: believe it or not, shingles are not quite waterproof and depend on roof slope to shed water effectively.

      Shingles that are left exposed to rain and then installed may violate the manufacturer's warranty and may fail early, possibly due to the effects of temporarily trapped moisture at the time of application.

      We have found sections of asphalt shingle roofs all showing early wear traceable to a specific bundles of asphalt shingles that were at the top of the stack and exposed to the weather. This photo shows the effects of rain on shingles when the bundles were left outside for some time before use.
Shingles stored outdoors (C) Daniel Friedman
    • Storing Roof Shingles on Site: Stacking Shingles & Failure to Protect from Weather while storing shingles: shingles should not be stored at the supplier nor at the job site stacked higher than two pallets. If shingles need to be stacked higher, separator boards or plywood are needed under each pallet to protect the shingles below from damage by the weight and edges of the pallet and shingles stacked above.

      Our photo at left illustrates poor storage of roof shingles outdoors, against a building, and for a protracted interval with no protection from the weather. You'll note that the shingle bundle wrapping is torn and open on a number of these bundles.

      We've seen shingle pallets eight-high with no inter-pallet protection at HG Page Lumber in Poughkeepsie and at an occasional Home Depot.

      But don't try giving the supplier your personal advice about how to stack their product, you'll just annoy them.
      Inspect and reject visibly damaged shingle bundles and hope that there are not more subtle damage effects not visible at first sight.

    • Bending Asphalt Shingle Bundles: roofers like the shingle bundles to get up on the roof by magic - by a special loader or carried up by an assistant. A smart assistant spreads the bundles out over the roof to avoid too much weight in one place (point-load structural failures). But especially on a steep pitch roof, some "experts" put all of the bundles of shingles across the ridge.

      Bending shingles over the ridge (RIDGE & HIP CAP SHINGLES), especially in cold weather, may violate the manufacturer's warranty and may damage the shingles, including subtle damage that appears after installation as early cracks, tears, or failures. Reference: from Owens Corning cites their requirements for handling and storing shingles.

    • Asphalt shingles should be stored: flat, in un-opened bundles with labels intact and legible, in cool, not freezing and not hot temperatures (under 110 degF.), under cover, protected from the weather, protected from damage by stacking more than two pallets high, and kept that way until they are ready for use.

    • Asphalt roof shingles should be delivered: in flat, un-damaged, un-opened bundles, protected at the job-site (as described above), and when moved to the rooftop, shingle bundles should be laid flat, not over the ridge, and should not be placed with too much weight in locations that may damage the building structure.


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ROOF SHINGLE STORAGE at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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