roofing failure at a spliced fiberglass-based asphalt roof shingles was particularly common for product manufactured in the early 1990's. Asphalt Roof Shingle Splices as a Roof Defect

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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.

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How to Identify & Repair Splice-Damaged Asphalt Shingle Splices

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

Splice shingle damage on a laminate shingle roof (C) D Friedman S Mauer

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:

  1. Granule loss from the shingle, usually extreme
  2. Tearing or breaks in the shingle,
  3. Twisting or distortion in the area of shingle tearing
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Thermal cracking laminated asphalt shingle (C) D Friedman S Mauer

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.

Thermal cracking laminated asphalt shingle (C) D Friedman S Mauer

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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