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Roof shingle storage guidelines:
Improper storage & handling at the building supplier or jobsite can shorten the life of roof materials. This 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.
Storage of Asphalt Shingles: supplier or jobsite storage concerns
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.
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: http://www.owenscorning.com/around/roofing/specs/Classic-C.pdf 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.
How to Distinguish Shingle Storage Defects from Manufacturing Defects
The home above, observed in Haddonfield New Jersey in the U.S., illustrates granule loss from asphalt roof shingles that were installed in a ladder pattern on the roof. If just about 100 sq.ft. of shingles were failing before the rest of the roof I'd suspect that the top of a pallet of shingles was left exposed to the weather and was damaged. When more of the roof shows this failure pattern but we still see such uneven wear, I suspect that more extensive or longer-duration storage problems may be at fault.
[Click to enlarge any image]
While granule loss has appeared on individual groups of these shingles - the darker ones - before their neighbours, a closer look at the roof shows that many more shingles are also losing their protective granules. You can see this in the photo below both at left-center and along the upper right side of my picture.
Because it is most likely that all of the shingles at an individual residential roofing job came from the same pallet and were produced in the same shingle manufacturing run, when I see un-even wear like this all on a single roof slope exposed to the same sun and weather conditions, I do not think this is a defective roofing product.
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