Why Are My Shingles Not Laying Flat After Installation?

Why Are My Shingles Not Laying Flat After Installation

When most people have a new, shingled roof installed on their home, they expect a crisp, flat finish. Therefore, many people are surprised when they look at their new roof and see bumpy, bubbling shingles. The immediate reaction for people unfamiliar with shingles is to be concerned and angry at the idea of an improper installation. 

However, it’s important to take a breath and calm down because shingles not laying flat after installation is actually fairly normal. It may take some time for the shingles to settle into their position, especially if they’re on an uneven surface or it’s cold outside. Therefore, before freaking out, you should consult a roofing professional to find out whether your bumpy roof is normal or a reason for concern. 

Is It Normal For New Shingles Not to Lay Flat Right Away? 

Shingles not laying flat after installation is a phenomenon known as shingle bundle distortion. Although it looks problematic and unattractive on the surface, shingle bundle distortion happens quite often and usually isn’t something to concern yourself with. However, if you’re worried, there’s nothing wrong with talking to your roofer and asking them what’s going on. 

Reasons My Shingles Aren’t Laying Flat After Installation

To further address your concerns, let’s look at five of the possible reasons that your new shingles aren’t laying flat after installation. We’ll also look at what you can do to remedy the situation and whether or not you need professional assistance. Depending on the nature of the problem, there’s also a chance that your roofer is at fault, and they will fix the problem for you. 

Shingle Bundle Distortion 

The first and most common reason for shingles that appear bubbly or bumpy after installation is because of shingle bundle distortion. Shingle bundle distortion happens while shingles are in transit or in storage and results from improperly laid shingles. 


For storage purposes, shingles are usually stacked on top of each other. While this saves space and is efficient, it’s essential that the shingles get stacked flat and evenly on each other. Otherwise, they will become distorted and bumpy, resulting in an uneven finish once they’re installed. 


Luckily, shingle bundle distortion isn’t permanent, and the problem often corrects itself. Over time and as the weather gets warmer, the shingles will start to flatten out and return to their original shape. However, this process can take several days and weeks, so it’s important to be patient. In the meantime, your underlayment and leak barrier should prevent any leaks. 

Improper Installation 

While shingle bundle distortion is a common occurrence, it’s sometimes tough to distinguish between this phenomenon and improper installation. They look almost identical, which is why many people get concerned if their shingles aren’t laying flat after installation. 


The best way to tell if bumpy shingles are due to improper installation or distortion is to wait and see. If the shingles still haven’t flattened after several days and you notice gaps or voids at the bottom side of the shingles, improper installation is to blame. 


If installation problems are to blame, the company that installed your roof is responsible to fix it. They should do this free of charge and perform the job as quickly as possible to prevent serious leaks and problems. 

Shingles Over Shingles 

Because of how convenient, cost-effective, and fast it is, some people opt to install shingles over shingles rather than remove the old roof first. While it’s true that this can save time and money, it can also result in your new shingles not laying flat after installation. This happens because your old shingles are bumpy and rough on the surface. Therefore, the new shingles can’t lay completely flat and will appear slightly swollen. 


Unfortunately, the only way to remedy this problem is to not put shingles over shingles. It’s a risk you’ll incur if you go this route, and it happens more often than not. 

There’s Something Between the Shingles and the Roof 

It’s also possible that a tool or another material was accidentally left between the new shingles and the roof. Although rare, this happens from time to time, and the only way to fix it is to remove the shingles in question so that you can remove the object. Once again, this is an installation error that should get remedied by the installer. 

Your Roof Has Structural Damage

The final possible reason for shingles not laying flat after installation is that your roof has structural damage. Structural damage could mean a slight bowing or swelling of one part of the roof or splintered or warped wood. Regardless of the exact reason, structural damage should get repaired before installing new shingles. It will be impossible to fix the problem after the fact, and you’ll have a permanently imperfect roof. 

When Should I be Concerned About Shingles Not Laying Flat After Installation? 

In most cases, your shingles will flatten themselves out over time. However, if bumpy shingles are accompanied by voids and gaps, or they don’t flatten down within several weeks of installation, you should contact us at KangaRoof for advice.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long does it take for new shingles to lay flat? 

If your new shingles are not laying flat after installation because of shingle bundle distortion, it can take up to a month for them to flatten out. They will require heat, sunlight, and time. 

Is it normal for new shingle not to lay flat? 

While you always want your shingles to look perfect, it’s fairly common for new shingles not to lay flat after installation. 

What causes shingles to curl?

While it’s fairly normal for new shingles not to lay perfectly flat after installation, they shouldn’t curl. Curling is usually caused by moisture and is a sign that your shingles need to get replaced. 

Who to Consult If Your Shingles Are Not Laying Flat After Installation

If your shingles are not laying flat, even though they were just installed, you should contact us at KangaRoof. We can tell you why your shingles aren’t laying flat and whether or not you need to be concerned. We can also remedy the problem or help you hold the people accountable who installed the roof in the first place. 


  Shreiner’s Kanga Roof

  513 Ross St, 

  Amarillo, TX 79102

  (806) 414-6467

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Shreiner's Kanga Roof

513 Ross St
Amarillo, TX 79102

Residential Roofing Services

Commercial Roofing Services

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