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Missing Shingles? (What to Do Next)

Written by

Leroy Whitt

Your roof is crucial to the overall safety of your home. It shields you from rain, snow, wind, and harsh sunlight. However, even the sturdiest of roofs can experience issues over time, and one common problem homeowners face is missing shingles.

In today’s guide, we’ll teach you all about:

  • The reasons behind missing shingles
  • The potential dangers they pose
  • How to repair them
  • Crucial signs indicating whether you need a repair or a full roof replacement

Additionally, we’ll discuss the costs associated with replacing shingles, providing you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about your home’s roof.

Why You Might Be Missing Shingles

missing shingles

Missing shingles can occur due to various factors, both natural and man-made. Understanding these reasons can help you prevent future issues and address existing ones promptly. Here are some common causes:

  • Age and Wear: Over time, shingles can deteriorate due to exposure to sunlight, rain, snow, and fluctuating temperatures. As they age, they become brittle and more susceptible to damage, including lifting and ultimately detaching from the roof.
  • Severe Weather: Storms, hurricanes, strong winds, and hail can wreak havoc on your roof, causing shingles to become dislodged or torn off completely. Even if your roof initially withstands a storm, ongoing exposure to severe weather can weaken the shingles over time, leading to eventual loss.
  • Poor Installation: Improper installation techniques or the use of low-quality materials can contribute to premature shingle failure. If shingles are not secured correctly during installation, they are more likely to come loose and fall off.
  • Tree Damage: Overhanging branches or falling trees can damage your roof, knocking shingles loose or causing them to break. Regularly trimming trees near your home can help mitigate this risk.
  • Animal Activity: Birds, rodents, and other animals may attempt to nest under your roof’s shingles, causing them to loosen or detach in the process. Additionally, persistent animal activity can lead to further damage if left unaddressed.

The Dangers of Missing Shingles

While missing shingles may seem like a minor issue, they can have significant consequences if not addressed promptly. Some potential dangers include:

  • Water Damage: Missing shingles create openings in your roof, allowing water to penetrate into your home. This can lead to leaks, water stains, rotting wood, and mold growth. Over time, water damage can compromise the structural integrity of your roof and the entire building.
  • Reduced Energy Efficiency: Gaps in your roof caused by missing shingles can result in heat loss during the winter and heat gain during the summer. This can lead to increased energy bills as your heating and cooling systems work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
  • Pest Infestations: Openings in your roof provide easy access for pests such as insects, birds, and rodents. Once inside, these pests can cause further damage to your home and pose health risks to you and your family.
  • Decreased Property Value: A damaged or deteriorating roof can detract from your home’s curb appeal and overall value. Potential buyers may be hesitant to purchase a property with visible roof issues, leading to decreased resale value.

How to Repair Missing Shingles in 6 Steps

roof repair

Repairing missing shingles is essential for maintaining the integrity of your roof and preventing further damage. Here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing this common problem:

1) Assess the Damage:

Begin by carefully inspecting your roof to identify missing or damaged shingles. Look for any signs of water damage or underlying issues that may need attention.

2) Gather Materials:

To repair missing shingles, you’ll need replacement shingles that match the style and color of your existing ones, as well as roofing nails, a hammer, a pry bar, roofing adhesive, and a caulking gun.

3) Remove Damaged Shingles:

Use a pry bar to carefully lift the shingles surrounding the damaged area. Once you’ve exposed the damaged shingle, use a hammer to remove any remaining nails and gently lift the shingle away from the roof.

4) Install Replacement Shingles:

Slide the new shingle into place, aligning it with the surrounding shingles. Secure the shingle in place with roofing nails, making sure to drive the nails just below the adhesive strip to prevent water infiltration.

5) Seal the Edges:

Apply roofing adhesive to the edges of the replacement shingle to ensure a watertight seal. Use a caulking gun to apply a bead of adhesive along the edges of the shingle, smoothing it out with a putty knife.

6) Check for Leaks:

Once you’ve completed the repairs, inspect the area for any signs of leaks or water damage. If you notice any issues, address them promptly to prevent further damage to your roof and home.

Signs That You Need Roof Repair vs. Roof Replacement

Determining whether you need a roof repair or a full replacement depends on the extent of the damage and the overall condition of your roof. Here are some signs to help you make that decision:

  • Age of the Roof: As a general rule of thumb, if your roof is nearing the end of its expected lifespan (typically 20-30 years for asphalt shingles), it may be more cost-effective to opt for a full replacement rather than investing in repairs that may only provide a temporary solution.
  • Extent of Damage: If the damage is isolated to a small area of your roof and the rest of the shingles are in good condition, a repair may suffice. However, if a large portion of your roof is damaged or showing signs of wear, a replacement may be necessary to ensure long-term durability and protection.
  • Frequency of Repairs: If you find yourself repeatedly repairing the same issues or experiencing frequent leaks and water damage, it may be a sign that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan and in need of replacement.
  • Energy Efficiency: If you’ve noticed a significant increase in your energy bills or difficulty maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature, it could indicate that your roof’s insulation and ventilation systems are compromised, necessitating a replacement to improve energy efficiency.

Cost for Replacing Shingles

The cost of replacing shingles can vary depending on various factors, including the size and pitch of your roof, the type of shingles used, and the extent of the damage. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $3,000 and $12,000 for a complete shingle replacement, with costs potentially higher for larger or more complex roofs.

It’s essential to obtain quotes from reputable roofing contractors and thoroughly research your options before making a decision. While cost is undoubtedly a factor, prioritizing quality materials and skilled craftsmanship can help ensure a long-lasting and durable roof that provides optimal protection for your home.

Replace Missing Shingles with the Pros

Missing shingles are a common issue that can compromise the integrity of your roof and the safety of your home. By understanding the causes, dangers, and solutions associated with missing shingles, you can take proactive steps to maintain your roof’s health and longevity. Whether you opt for repairs or a full replacement, investing in your roof’s upkeep is an investment in the comfort, safety, and value of your home for years to come.

Contact Whitt’s Roofing today to replace anything from just one missing shingle to a full roof!

Leroy Whitt

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