How Long Does It Take For Asphalt Shingles To Seal?

Posted on April 24, 2024

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How Long Does It Take For Asphalt Shingles To Seal?

It can feel frustrating to homeowners if new roof shingles aren’t lying flat on the roof shortly after installation. They may wonder if there’s anything wrong with the shingles or if the roofers have installed the shingles properly in the first place.

Newly installed shingles take time to seal and lay flat, so don’t worry if you feel that your newly installed roof isn’t looking exactly how it should. In fact, the timeframe for shingles to seal on a roof varies based on a few factors that we will discuss later on. So if you want to get the whole picture on shingle sealing and installation, keep reading. 

Understanding Asphalt Shingle Sealing

Before we delve into the timeline and factors affecting the sealing process, it’s essential to understand what sealing actually means for asphalt shingles. These shingles, which are among the most popular roofing materials used for sloped residential and commercial buildings, are composed of a base mat typically made of fiberglass, coated with asphalt and mineral granules on the surface. The asphalt layer acts as a waterproof barrier, while the granules provide protection against UV rays and add aesthetic appeal.

Nails aren’t the only thing used to hold shingles in place, a strip of adhesive tar is used for reinforcement and to seal the shingles down. 

The sealing process occurs when the asphalt layer becomes warm enough to bond to the overlapping shingle edge, creating a continuous, waterproof barrier across the entire roof surface. This bond is critical for preventing wind uplift, water infiltration, and other potential forms of damage to your roof that could compromise its structural integrity and lead to expensive repairs or replacements down the line.

Asphalt Shingle Sealing

Factors Affecting The Asphalt Shingle Sealing Time

So, how long does it take for asphalt shingles to seal? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Several factors come into play, each contributing to the overall timeline and efficiency of the sealing process. Understanding these factors is key to managing your expectations and ensuring that your new roof is properly sealed and ready to withstand the elements.

1. Temperature

Temperature and heat play important roles in sealing asphalt shingles on your roof. The warmer the weather, the faster the asphalt will become pliable and bond with the other shingles on the roof. This is because asphalt is a thermoplastic material, meaning it becomes more malleable and easier to work with as temperatures rise. Conversely, cooler temperatures can significantly slow down or even halt the sealing process altogether.

2. Sun Exposure

Direct sunlight can significantly speed up the sealing process by providing the necessary warmth for the shingle surface. Shaded or north-facing roofs, on the other hand, may take longer to seal due to the lack of direct sunlight exposure. This is why it’s often recommended to install new roofs during warmer months when the sun is more intense and the days are longer.

3. Shingle Color

Darker shingles tend to have a faster sealing time compared to lighter-colored shingles. This is because darker colors absorb more heat from the sun’s rays, allowing the asphalt layer to warm up and bond more quickly. Lighter shingles, on the other hand, reflect more heat, resulting in a slower sealing process.

4. Ventilation

Proper attic ventilation can also impact sealing times by regulating the temperature underneath the shingles. Adequate ventilation helps dissipate heat buildup, preventing the shingles from becoming too hot and potentially damaging the asphalt layer. On the other hand, poor ventilation can trap heat, leading to uneven sealing or potential shingle damage.

5. Installation Technique

The way the shingles are installed, such as with proper nailing, overlapping, and alignment, can also affect how well and how quickly they seal. Improper installation techniques can lead to gaps or uneven surfaces, which can prevent the shingles from bonding properly and compromise the overall integrity of the roof.

The General Timeline For Asphalt Shingles To Seal

With all those factors in mind, let’s take a look at a general timeline for asphalt shingle sealing. Keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate, and the actual sealing time can vary depending on the specific conditions of your roof and location.

1. First Few Days

During the initial days after installation, the shingles will start to seal along the edges and around the nail heads. However, this initial sealing is often not enough to provide complete protection against the elements, and the roof may still be vulnerable to wind uplift or water infiltration.

2. First Month

Within the first month, most of the shingles should be well on their way to being fully sealed, especially if the weather conditions are warm and sunny. You may notice the shingles starting to bond together more tightly, creating a more cohesive and waterproof surface.

3. Three to Six Months

In ideal conditions with warm temperatures, direct sunlight, proper installation, and good ventilation, the sealing process should be completed within three to six months after installation. At this point, the shingles should form a solid, waterproof barrier, able to withstand the elements and protect your home from potential damage.

Final Thoughts 

As we’ve addressed, the sealing process for asphalt shingles is influenced by various factors such as temperature, sun exposure, and installation techniques. While the typical timeline ranges from a few days to several months, patience and understanding the conditions that affect sealing can go a long way in ensuring the longevity and performance of your new roof.

Contact Capital Roofing In Broken Arrow, OK

Asphalt shingles generally begin to develop a strong bond within a month, but if you still notice the shingles not laying flat, it’s time to consult a roofing professional. Get your roof inspected by professional roofers in Broken Arrow and determine the reason behind the shingles not laying flat. Contact us today at (918) 260-4075 and talk to a roofing professional to find out more.

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