What Is Roof Shrinkage?

Dec 30, 2022

Every homeowner knows their roof may need occasional maintenance and possible replacement due to damage, deterioration, and just plain old age. However, many might not have heard of the problem referred to as roof shrinkage.

What is roof shrinkage?

Roof shrinkage doesn’t mean your whole roof will shrink over time. Rather, roof shrinkage refers to the shrinking of a membrane that coats roofing materials. The membrane serves to protect your roofing materials from extreme weather and temperatures, as well as damage from objects that could cause punctures. However, the membrane can shrink over time, which leads to cracks, rips, tears, and ridges in the roofing materials, and can grow worse if left without repair.

Causes of Roof Shrinkage

What exactly causes roof shrinkage? While reasons can vary, the following are the most common reasons your roof may experience this problem.

Poor manufacture or application of the membrane

The ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is the membrane used on the roofing materials. There are several steps to the development and application of the membrane, and a lack of quality control or an incorrect application can affect the durability of the membrane.


Problems can occur as the membrane is applied to the roofing materials. If the oil added to the membrane wasn't mixed properly, it won't allow for adequate flexibility. Additionally, larger roofs may be more susceptible to roof shrinkage due to the types of materials and the size of the roof; large areas of that roof can be affected.


The design of the roof can also be a factor in roof shrinkage. When a roof is designed, it must be done in a way that compensates for possible roof shrinkage. The design must be strong enough to withstand shrinkage of the EPDM.


Venting allows moisture to escape the EPDM, preventing it from blowing up and causing damage. Not every roofer will utilize venting (which is typically not used on residential buildings).

Why you should hire a professional to help

Any roofing repair project should be conducted with the help of a professional roofing expert to ensure it is done properly. You or someone you know might have some roofing knowledge and would consider themselves handy; however, without the experience and expertise a professional roofer provides, there is a chance the repair might lead to more damage in time.

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Cloud Roofing offers free inspections and quotes on all of our roofing services. If you think your roof may require repair or replacement, reach out to us today!
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