Why Your New Roof Shingles Aren’t Laying Flat

Posted on February 8, 2024

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new roof shingles not laying flat

New roof shingles not laying flat is a common concern among homeowners who recently had a roof installed. In fact, many homeowners may think this issue is because of improper installation. If you also notice wavy or bulging shingles, particularly near the roof ridge, there is no need to worry about it. Homeowners often call us asking why their new roof shingles aren’t laying flat, and we just ask them to be patient, as time and sunny days are the best remedies. 

In this blog post, we will explain the reasons behind the raised shingles on the roof and provide suitable solutions.  

The Reasons Behind New Roof Shingles Not Laying Flat 

Your brand-new shingles may not lay flat due to any of the following reasons. 

1. Shingles are Yet to be Sealed Properly

Shingles are yet to be sealed properly

After a new roof installation, homeowners often expect their roof shingles to lay perfectly flat. But upon a close roof inspection, they notice this is not the case. If you are facing this issue, it’s important to know that shingles take a couple of warm days to flatten completely. And, if you have installed a new roof in winter, this issue can persist for even longer. 

Though wavy or raised shingles on the roof may not look the best, our practical advice is you should wait for a couple of warmer days. New roof shingles lay flat after being in the sun, though they may take one or two weeks to take their correct form. However, if the shingles aren’t flat even after a month, it’s a good idea to inspect your roof for misshapen shingles. 

2. Misshapen Shingles

Misshapen shingles

Roofing shingles come in pre-packaged bundles from the manufacturer. However, if the shingles were poorly transported or packaged prior to installation, they could take on a misshapen or distorted shape.

After the roof installation, these shingles remain unflattened or creased, maintaining their distorted shape. This may also lead to the roof shingles curling or buckling due to the manufacturing defects. The inconsistency in the material composition, size, and shape can affect the shingle’s ability to conform to the roof. 

3. Warped Underlayment and Structural Problems

Wrinkling of the roof underlayment can produce a warping effect. The roof underlayment creates a protective barrier between the roofing shingles and the deck. However, if the roof underlayment becomes warped or uneven during the roof installation, it can cause shingles to lift in some areas and lay flat in others, creating an uneven roof surface. 

The underlayment can warp if the shingles are installed during the course of high winds or if there is a moisture-related issue on the roof deck. While this isn’t a common occurrence, as roofers should properly straighten the underlayment before the roof installation, if this issue persists you will need to correct the underlayment by removing the layer of shingles. 

4. If You Installed New Shingles Over Old Shingles 

At Kickapoo Roofing, we don’t recommend installing new roof shingles over old ones, as this practice gives rise to shingle buckling and other problems, such as shingles not laying flat. 

Apart from the many disadvantages of this practice, shingles not laying flat is a cosmetic concern that can harm your roof. The unflattened shingles can allow water to seep into the roofing deck and cause leaks in the future. 

5. Improperly Driven Nails 

New roof shingles not laying flat | kickapoo roofing

High nails can also cause shingles to look raised or wavy. Nails are recommended to be driven properly, not too tight or loose, so that they don’t cause harm to the roofing shingles. However, if installed so high, the underlying nails can raise the shingles, giving them a wavy or distorted appearance. This issue is caused by poor roof installation and may require professional repairs. While roofers address any issues with the shingles, ask them to inspect the other areas of the roof as well. 

How Long Does It Take For Asphalt Shingles To Seal?

The time it takes for asphalt shingles to seal, also known as the thermal sealing process, can vary depending on several factors. Generally, this sealing process takes a few days to a few weeks to complete fully.

During the sealing process, asphalt shingles gradually adhere to the roof substrate as they are exposed to temperature and sunlight. This allows them to form a tight, waterproof seal that helps protect your home from moisture infiltration and other environmental elements. 

What To Do If Your New Roof Shingles Aren’t Laying Flat

Identify the cause of your shingles not laying flat and use the following methods to fix the problem. 

1. Wait For The Sun To Fix Them

As said, the new shingles need time to flatten or soften on the roof. This time can stretch from one week to a month. Therefore, you must wait for the sun and heat to seal your shingles. However, if the shingles don’t lay flat even after a month or longer, you should call a professional roofer to inspect your roof. 

2. Replace The Misshapen Shingles

If you find the shingles aren’t laying flat due to distortion, replace the targeted shingles with new ones. Remove the affected shingles carefully, and install new shingles in place. However, we always advise against walking on a new roof, as the foot traffic can crack or damage the newly installed shingles. It’s advised to call professional roofers to fix your unsettled shingles. 

3. Properly Nail The Shingles

Nailing the shingles in place can fix any that are not laying flat. Many manufacturers issue guidelines regarding the proper nailing methods. If these are not followed, the nails can pop up or the wind can blow off the shingles. 

Final Thoughts

Several factors can cause new roof shingles to not lay flat. If you don’t address them early, you can welcome unwanted problems down the line. Therefore, it is essential to call in professional roofers ahead of any severe roofing problems. Contact your local area roofing contractor to address any issues immediately. 

Contact Kickapoo Roofing In La Crosse, WI, For Your Roofing Needs

Kickapoo Roofing is a leading roofing company in La Crosse, WI, and the surrounding areas. The company has gained an impeccable reputation by providing its dedicated roofing services to home and commercial business owners. Whether you are facing challenges with your newly installed roof or you want to install one, our roofing professionals have got you covered. The experienced roofers at the company will provide solutions tailored to your roofing needs. Call us today at (608) 352-8688 and consult a roofing professional. 

new roof shingles not laying flat
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