If you have EPDM or modified bitumen roofing systems, roof shrinkage is one of the issues you need to watch. Here’s what you need to know. 

What is roof shrinkage?

Roof shrinkage (aka contraction, tenting, or bridging) happens when your roofing membrane reduces size. The roofing membrane protects your home from the elements. So when it shrinks, your roof’s ability to protect your house against extreme weather and temperature changes decreases. 

Is my roof at risk of shrinking?

Roof shrinkage is a relatively common problem in flat and low-pitched roofs that use EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Dien Monomer) or modified bitumen (BUR). So if you have one of these roofing systems, you’ll want to have a regular roof inspection to ensure you don’t have shrinkage.

What causes roof shrinkage?

The leading cause of roof shrinkage is improper roof installation. However, problems resulting in shrinkage could be caused by many factors. 

Common Causes of Roof Shrinking

Harsh Environments. EPDM membrane roofs contain oils added during the manufacturing process. The loss of oil or changes in the molecular structure because of long-term weather exposure and fluctuating temperatures can play a role in shrinkage. 

Poor Material Quality. Installing poor-quality roofing membranes can result in shrinkage and significantly decrease your roof’s performance and lifespan.  

Improper Installation. Installing low-sloped roofing systems requires patience and expertise from trusted roofing contractors. Inexperienced roofing contractors can overlook crucial steps in the process. If these steps aren’t followed during installation, your new roof will shrink quicker than expected.  

Substrate Deterioration. When fasteners that keep the roofing membrane in place pull out and the substrate shows signs of wear, the membrane will experience shrinkage. 

Lack of Maintenance. Modified bitumen and EPDM are flexible and durable roof options for residential and commercial applications. However, they still need regular inspection and maintenance to last their lifespan. 

What happens if I don’t fix roof shrinkage?

Failure to address the problem of roof shrinkage can lead to disastrous consequences. Exposed substrate along the seams and attachments can allow water to penetrate your home or building, leading to larger problems down the road, including 

  • Interior damage
  • Accidents
  • Wet Insulation
  • Mold Growth
  • Insect Infestation
  • Accelerated Aging

Can my roof be repaired?

Yes. You will need to contact a professional roofer to identify the cause of the problem and reinstall the membrane correctly. 

How can I prevent my roof from shrinking? 

Preventing roof shrinkage is easy. Start by choosing a quality roofing membrane, ensuring proper installation, routine roof inspections, and regular roof maintenance. 

Perry Roofing Company is dedicated to providing homeowners and commercial property owners with high-quality roof systems that last decades. 

Our professional team installs, repairs, and maintains roofs for Northwest Arkansas and surrounding areas. 

Let us be the team you trust to keep your roof functional and safe. Call today for a FREE estimate. 479.306.4327