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Shingle Splitting vs. Cracking: What’s the Difference?

Shingle Splitting Vs. Cracking What’s The Difference

Cracks and splits are common issues in asphalt roofing. When ignored for a certain period, these can expose your roof’s sheathing and make it susceptible to water damage. However, there are differences between these two types of damage. It’s important to tell them apart so that you can have a more accurate picture of your roof’s condition. Two issues common on roofs are shingle splitting and cracking.

Shingle Splitting vs. Cracking What’s the Difference


Splitting typically occurs due to changes in temperature, which causes shingles to expand and contract. Warm temperatures tend to cause shingles to expand, which then causes the joints between the shingles to decrease in size. Cold temperatures, on the other hand, causes the joints to become bigger.

Furthermore, the shingles connecting the underlying joints also shrink, and the bridging shingles become stressed. This then affects the effectiveness of the adhesive strips, which basically causes the shingles to split. Splitting puts your roof at risk of leaks and wind damage. It can occur in a diagonal pattern or randomly throughout your roofing.


Roof repair experts associate cracking to aging or moisture. Craze-cracking due to aging typically occurs in organic or fiberglass shingles. However, excessive filler in the asphalt mix may also create the same problem. If your roof is relatively new, cracking is likely a sign of a weak mat or low-quality shingles.

Also, when shingles lose volatiles due to evaporation or moisture, they usually dry up, shrink and form cracks. These volatiles are chemicals that are added to the asphalt mix, and they help make the shingles become flexible and waterproof. With less volatiles in your shingles, the shingles become less flexible. That is why they can develop cracks.

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