Missing roof shingles are relatively common, especially here in Arizona with the amount of severe weather we see each year. While one or two may not seem like a big deal, it’s actually a sign that your roof needs an inspection ASAP. What happens if you ignore missing shingles on your roof? It leads to expensive roof problems like:
- Roof leaks
- Water damage to your attic and ceiling
- Mold and bacteria growth
- Full roof replacement
If you have noticed your roof is missing shingles, read on to learn what steps to take now to avoid these expensive repairs!
Is One Missing Shingle Really A Big Deal?
When it comes to a fully functioning roof, every shingle counts! Even one missing shingle can lead to roof leaks and expensive repairs.
Roof shingles are installed in a particular way using an overlapping, layered pattern. That means each row of shingles overlaps on the other rows. This pattern helps reduce water’s ability to enter the roof system because no part of the underlying roof deck is exposed.
However, if one shingle goes missing, it can destroy the entire pattern of shingles. Over time, the area of damage gets bigger and bigger. That is why it is essential to get a roof inspection ASAP if you see signs of roof damage, including missing shingles.
Will A Missing Shingle Lead To A Roof Leak?
When it comes to missing roof shingles, it is not a question of if it will leak, but when.
If one goes missing, more usually follow. Once water can enter your roof it spreads, often damaging an area 6-8 feet from the original location. The damage will continue to get worse over time and double or triple the cost of repairs.
What Causes Missing Roof Shingles?
A leading cause of shingle damage is wind – and it doesn’t have to be as strong as you might think. In fact, wind speeds as low as 45 mph can cause shingles to lift and fly off.
High winds do not hit the roof’s surface evenly. Usually, damage starts at a corner or edge of a shingle. High winds can get under the shingle and lift it. When this happens, the sealant underneath the shingle breaks and opens your roof up to leaks. High winds also create a vacuum effect and loosen the nails. Over time, it can cause the shingle to curl, split, or even crack.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Missing Shingles?
A common question we get from homeowners is, “will homeowners insurance cover missing shingles to my roof.” The answer is that it depends on what initially caused the damage.
Most (but not all) insurance policies cover the cost of damage when the cause was an unforeseen or unplanned event. Severe weather is an excellent example because people cannot control when and where storms hit. If a storm damages your home, your insurance company will likely cover the cost to repair/replace anything damaged.
What is usually not covered is neglect or lack of maintenance. For example, let’s say your roof is missing shingles due to a wind storm that occurred a year ago. Since that time, multiple leaks have developed that lead to interior water damage. The cost to replace the shingles might be covered but the interior damage may not. Homeowners insurance policies typically require routine maintenance to be performed. Had the missing shingles been replaced after the damage occurred, the interior water damage would have never happened.
That’s one reason why getting a professional roof inspection early is so important!
What Can You Do To Protect Your Home?
The single best way to ensure your roof and home are protected is to get a professional roof inspection at least once a year or after every major storm. Homeowners should also routinely check their roof and look for missing roof shingles, discoloration, unevenness, and other signs of damage. You can do this by simply looking up at your roof and walking the perimeter of your home.
If you think you have a roof problem, get in touch with our expert team today. Our inspections are always free, and we pride ourselves on fast, friendly service. We can usually schedule inspections within 24 hours of your request, so don’t hesitate to call us at (602) 610-4315 or use our online contact form to get in touch with us!