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Stress Cracking: What is it, and How Does it Develop?
Stress cracking in roofing shingles is caused by sudden climate shifts, which are quite common in Minnesota. In the summer, hot days and intense sunlight can scorch roofs, often raising rooftop temperatures 50–75 degrees (Fahrenheit) above the ambient temperature. Introduce a sudden thunderstorm to these conditions and, almost instantaneously, rooftop temperatures can drop 60–100 degrees. This rapid temperature change creates "thermal shocks" within the shingles. Thermal shocks cause the shingles to expand and contract, placing significant strain on the material. Combine this strain with high winds, as well as pounding rain or hail, and conditions are ripe for cracking.
Though common in summer, thermal shocks have a greater chance of occurring in winter. The sun can heat up the southern and western sides of a roof, causing it to expand. Once the sun sets a rapid cool down can occur, causing the shingles to contract which, again, puts a strain on the shingle material. Year after year this process is repeated, resulting in a cyclic fatigue that commonly leads to stress cracking. If the shingle is not thick enough or built strong enough to handle this movement, something inevitably gives. The result? Shingles that are riddled with stress cracks, greatly shortening the life of your roof.
How do you combat stress cracking? Buy products that are made from better materials and built thick enough to handle thermal shocks. For example, one of the main components of a shingle is asphalt. Low quality asphalt can be brittle and cause the shingle to have a shortened life. High quality asphalt keeps the shingles more flexible. The amount of asphalt used gives the shingle it thickness and much of its weight, and adds to its strength.
Recommended shingles built to survive Minnesota's harsh climate include:
All information on this page is provided by J. Robert Roofing.
A Minnesota Roofing Company and Contractor Serving the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul including the South Metro.