About Craze Cracking

The roofing and insurance industries do not consider craze cracking to be a manufacturing defect unless cracks propagate through the mat- called shingle “splitting”- before the warranty period has expired, so they don’t consider craze cracking alone to be a manufacturer’s defect, and here’s why…

Imagine this scenario starting maybe in the mid-1980s:
Lowball manufacturers introduce poor-quality, low-cost shingles to the housing market that look just fine when they’re new. Since they can’t tell about the quality by looking at them, consumers purchase on price alone.
Craze cracking may take 5 years or more to appear, so a market develops…

Craze cracking is connected with the use of excessive amounts of filler in blending the asphalt, and the evaporative loss of volatile compounds from the asphalt surface layer.
It is not an “unintended result of the manufacturing process”, it is low-quality asphalt shingles “performing as designed”.

It’s what happens when a manufacturer reduces the quality of asphalt in order to reduce the cost of producing shingles. Manufacturers do this in order to enter- retain- or increase their share- in the HUGE market for low-cost asphalt shingles.
“Low-cost” and “low-quality” mean the same thing.

If you are a major shingle manufacturer, you either participate in this market, or you surrender a lot of money to your competitors. And for most major shingle manufacturers, surrendering major market share is not part of their plan for success.

So… if you call craze cracking a manufacturing defect, you should be ready to defend your report if the client comes back complaining that their claim was refused because the manufacturer disagreed with the part of your report that identified craze cracking as a manufacturing defect.

Functional Damage either:

  1. Diminishes the ability of the shingles to shed water, or
  2. Shortens their long-term service life

Great info. Thanks Kenton

Yes, thanks Kenton. Good info.
Just curious how many inspectors, during a Home Inspection, (not a stand alone roof inspection), actually make the determination of a “manufacturers defect”? I do not. I note the defect, and possibly the potential for it being a manufacturers defect and to consult with a manufacturers Rep for that determination. Heck, I don’t even classify the type of cracking. I’ve never called it “crazed cracking”, simply ‘cracking’. Let the contractors and manufacturers figure it all out. That’s what they get paid for. I don’t.


Thanks Kenton, great info.

It’s true, you don’t have to identify it, but if you do see something that may be a manufacturing defect, the seller probably has a better chance than the buyer of filing a successful claim (depending on how the warranty is written- if there is one), so it’s worth mentioning. Excessive granule loss, excessive wear from foot traffic that exposes the mat, corrosion of the granule coating or asphalt from contamination with ferrous metal… these are all pretty easy to spot. That doesn’t mean a warranty is in effect, but it’s worth finding out.
If the house gets a new roof, the seller and the buyer are both going to be happy, albeit for different reasons.

Now, I agree with that statement, but it’s a far cry between adding a recommendation to your report to consult with the seller for any applicable warranty, and blatantly calling cracked shingles a manufacturers defect. JMHO.

Crazy man, Good to know! So much better than saying old shingles.

If you want to file a claim on a roof . Call your roofer. The shingle mfg will help the installer who they want to please because they want them to buy their shingles. long before they will bend to a demand of a homeowner who’s insurance is not covering a damaged roof.

True Bro.