What Is the Difference Between Cracking and Splitting?

Do you see damaged shingles on your roofing system? You may want to check your good contractors list so you can get help from a professional. However, you should also try to figure out just how your shingles are damaged. Are your shingles cracked or showing signs of splitting? Here’s a quick guide to help you out.  


Cracking is characterized by branching fissures on the surface of your shingles. Mild signs of cracking will show up as hairline cracks while regular cracks will appear larger. This type of damage shows up on most types of shingles, and can show up even early on.

According to roofers, cracking happens when volatiles – chemicals added to the asphalt to give the shingle flexibility – start to evaporate or deteriorate. This type of cracking happens to older shingles while cracking  on newer roofs can be caused by poor product quality. In any case, signs of cracking are usually warning signs that tell you to get a new roof.


Splitting is characterized by longer lines that run parallel to each other. While the fissures themselves go in one direction, they can run horizontally, vertically or even diagonally. Just like with cracking, splitting occurs more often in older roofing systems.

Roof replacement experts say that this type of damage is mainly caused by thermal expansion. Constant changes in temperature causes the shingles to expand and contract. This effect causes the shingles to expand or contract. Bridging shingles (shingles connecting underlying joints of other shingles) are more vulnerable to this type of damage.

Do you notice your shingles showing signs of cracking or splitting? Have them replaced with help from our team. Wortham Bros Inc. is the leading roofing contractor in Dallas and McKinney. You can call us at (972) 960-3135 or fill out this contact form to request a quote.