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Can Missing Shingles Cause a Leak on My Roof?

No homeowner wants to see those black patches or breaks in the roof uniform color that signify missing shingles. In any location, you’re more likely to discover some loose or wayward shingles after a storm but can missing shingles cause a leak? 

If you find yourself worrying about what the missing shingles might mean for your roof’s structural integrity, don’t wait to get some professional eyes on the problem. Adams & Sons Roofing, the leading roof replacement contractor in Sugar Hill, GA, shares more below.

The Probability of Roof Shingles Causing a Leak

Can missing shingles cause a roof leak? Almost certainly, but just a few missing shingles shouldn’t have you losing sleep over the weather forecast. 

In most cases, it will take some time before missing shingles can cause leaky roofs. Still, there are exceptions. How quickly missing shingles can become a problem for your roof’s waterproofing and structural integrity depends on the following factors:

The Number of Missing Shingles

If you only have one or two missing roof shingles, it will take a long while before water finds its way through the various roofing layers and underlayment. 

If you have multiple groups of shingles missing, which is more likely if you have three-tab style shingles, the risks increase. 

The Location of the Missing Shingles

Where are the missing shingles located? Your roof will leak a lot faster if the shingles you’re missing are those near valleys, roof edges, or other vulnerable areas to water runoff. 

Your roof may also leak faster if you have missing shingles around areas where dead leaves and other debris accumulate on your roof, as there’s a much higher chance of water pooling. It’s still one of the biggest causes of ponding water on a flat roof as missing shingles make it easier for water to flow into cracks or gaps instead of off of your roof and into your gutters.

How Long the Shingles Have Been Missing

Can missing shingles cause a leak if they’ve only been gone for about a week? This is often a case of buying yourself some time. There’s a much higher chance of leaks if the shingles have been missing for weeks or months unchecked, as that’s far too much time for the roof’s underlayment to endure exposure.

It’s often hard for the untrained eye to estimate how long a section of roofing has been without shingles. Did those gaps in your roofing appear during or long before the last storm? Prolonged exposure to the elements will damage the underlayment, so regular checks by a trained professional are important.

The Intensity of the Rainfall Your Roof Is Exposed To

Finally, the amount and intensity of rainfall your roof experiences with missing shingles will determine if it springs a leak or not. 

Heavy downpours will quickly overwhelm even the smallest sections of compromised roofing. Mild rainfall may do the opposite, making you believe your roofing is fine when it needs urgent attention.

How Do Missing Shingles Affect Your Roofing?

Missing shingles can cause roof damage in diverse ways and combine to cause leaks. Here are some roof issues you’ll want to avoid by repairing the shingles fast:

Rotten Sheathing

Missing shingles increase the risk of rot in sheathing. Mold and mildew spread quickly within the sheathing when it’s exposed to moisture for too long. If the organic growth spreads, so does the roof rot.

Dry Rot

The unprotected parts of your roof may suffer dry rot during the hottest days of the year. This happens when blazing sunlight dries out the protective oils between your roof’s layers, increasing the risk of cracks and worsening leaks.

More Missing Shingles

A single missing shingle makes your roofing weaker overall. If you ignore it, other sections will likely fly off in moderate to heavy storms, further increasing the probability of severe leaks.

Damaged Weatherproofing

If your roof has missing shingles, sunlight will weaken the weatherproofing and stretch out the adhesive layers underneath. This will hasten the roof’s deterioration and the expensive early replacement that follows it.

How Do Missing Shingles Affect Your Property?

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Once it leaks, your property will be at risk. You might experience the following issues:

Interior Damage

Water leaks can cause various types of damage inside your home, including mold in the attic, wood rot, paint peeling, and floor warping. Your indoor air quality may also worsen due to the higher levels of humidity and mold growth.

Ruined Curb Appeal

Your property loses a significant chunk of its allure when you have multiple sections of missing shingles on the roof. Even if you don’t intend to put your home on the market, you surely don’t want your home standing out for the wrong reasons in the neighborhood.

What To Do If You Have Missing Shingles on Your Roof

If you spot missing shingles on your roofing, you need to move quickly to cover up the affected area. The roof exposure problem won’t go away by ignoring it; it will only get worse as you leave it month after month.

The first thing you should do when you spot the signs of missing shingles is to call a professional roofer and order an inspection. They have the tools, expertise, and experience to safely evaluate your roofing, identify the affected areas, determine the severity of the damage, and highlight the repairs you need.

In minor cases of missing shingles, repairs will largely involve installing replacement shingles that match the texture and color of the original. In more severe cases of widespread shingle loss, repairs may also include working on the roof’s underlayment.

Get Professional Roof Repairs From Your Local Experts

Can missing shingles cause a leak? Absolutely! It’s only a matter of time. Can you see the signs of missing shingles on your asphalt shingle roofing? Get an experienced roofing contractor in Sugar Hill, GA, for comprehensive, bullet-proof roofing repairs–call Adams & Sons Roofing!

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