tile shingles
tile shingles

6 Common Causes for Lost Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material known for their durability and affordability. However, even the best shingles can become damaged or dislodged over time due to various factors.

Missing shingles on your roof can compromise its integrity, leading to potential leaks and further damage if left unaddressed. In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of lost shingles and provide insights into preventing and addressing this issue.

Should I Be Concerned About Lost Shingles?

The absence of even a single shingle can expose your home to a variety of risks. Initially, the most immediate threat is water infiltration. Whenever it rains or snows, water can seep through the gaps left by missing shingles, eventually finding its way into the underlying layers of the roof and potentially into your home’s interior. This water intrusion can lead to several problems including but not limited to:

  • Structural Damage – Continuous exposure to water can weaken the roof’s structural integrity, causing wood rot and deterioration of the roof decking. Over time, this can lead to sagging roofs or, in worst-case scenarios, a complete roof collapse.
  • Mold and Mildew Growth – The damp conditions created by water intrusion provide a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. These can spread rapidly, affecting air quality inside the home and posing health risks to its inhabitants, especially those with respiratory issues.
  • Insulation Damage – Water infiltration can also compromise the effectiveness of your attic’s insulation. Wet insulation clumps together, losing its ability to retain heat, which can lead to increased heating costs and energy inefficiency.
  • Interior Damage – Leaks that penetrate through the ceiling can cause visible damage to the interior of your home. This includes stains on ceilings and walls, peeling paint or wallpaper, and damage to flooring and possessions.

Addressing missing shingles promptly can help mitigate these risks and preserve the lifespan of your roof.

6 Common Causes for Missing Shingles

The main reasons that shingles go missing are:

1. Severe Weather Conditions

One of the primary culprits behind lost shingles is severe weather, particularly high winds, hail, and heavy rain. Strong winds can lift and tear shingles off the roof, especially if they are already weakened or improperly installed. Hailstorms can also cause significant damage, with hailstones striking the shingles and dislodging them or creating cracks and bruises that eventually lead to their detachment.

2. Age and Wear

Asphalt shingles have a limited lifespan, typically ranging from 15 to 30 years, depending on the quality and environmental conditions. As shingles age, they become more brittle and susceptible to cracking, curling, and losing their granules. This natural wear and tear can cause shingles to loosen and eventually fall off the roof.

3. Improper Installation

Proper installation is crucial for the longevity and performance of asphalt shingles. If shingles are not correctly nailed or secured, they are more likely to become dislodged over time, especially during windy conditions. Inadequate overlapping or improper alignment can also contribute to shingle loss.

4. Moisture and Humidity

Excessive moisture and humidity can cause shingles to deteriorate prematurely. Water can seep under the shingles, causing them to swell, buckle, or crack, eventually leading to their detachment. Additionally, moisture can promote the growth of algae, moss, or fungi, which can further weaken the shingles and accelerate their degradation.

5. Attic Ventilation Issues

Proper attic ventilation is essential for maintaining a stable temperature and preventing excessive heat buildup in the attic space. If the attic is poorly ventilated, the trapped heat can cause shingles to become brittle and crack, increasing the likelihood of them being blown off or dislodged.

6. Foot Traffic and Debris

Walking on the roof, whether for maintenance or repairs, can potentially damage or dislodge shingles, especially if proper precautions are not taken. Additionally, fallen branches, leaves, or other debris accumulating on the roof can create moisture pockets and put additional stress on the shingles, leading to their eventual detachment.

What Do I Do If I Have Lost Shingles?

The only way to know for sure if you have lost shingles is by conducting a thorough inspection of your roof. If you are not comfortable or experienced with this, it’s best to contact a reputable roofing company to conduct the inspection and make any necessary repairs.

If missing shingles are identified, it’s essential to address them promptly to avoid further damage. The temporary fix for missing shingles is to cover the exposed area with a tarp or plastic sheeting until a professional can permanently repair or replace the missing shingles.

Preventing Lost Shingles

Construction worker preventing lost shingles by securing them with his belt

To minimize the risk of lost shingles and protect your roof, consider the following preventive measures:

  • Regular Inspections – Conduct periodic roof inspections, especially after severe weather events, to identify any missing, damaged, or loose shingles. Early detection can prevent further damage and allow for timely repairs.
  • Proper Installation and Maintenance – Ensure that your shingles are installed correctly by a professional roofing contractor. Follow recommended maintenance practices, such as cleaning gutters and removing debris from the roof.
  • Attic Ventilation – Ensure proper attic ventilation by installing adequate vents or ridge vents to allow for air circulation and prevent excessive heat buildup.
  • Tree Trimming – Regularly trim overhanging branches or remove trees that could potentially drop debris or cause damage to your roof during storms.
  • Roof Replacement – If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan or has sustained significant damage, consider a full roof replacement to prevent further issues and ensure the protection of your home.
  • Professional Inspections – After severe weather events like tropical storms or hail storms, it is suggested that you have an inspection completed by a professional roofing company. Some damage may be hard to spot to the untrained eye, but they have the knowledge and experience to identify potential problems.

If you notice missing or loose shingles, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage and potential leaks. Depending on the extent of the damage, the missing shingles repair cost will likely be minimal compared to the damage that could occur if you don’t address the issue.

Your Lakeland Roofers

When you need roofing services in Lakeland or Sarasota, contact the professional team at Stronghold Roofing & Solar. We offer a full range of roofing services and are committed to your satisfaction.

Contact us today for a free roof estimate!

FAQ’s – Missing Shingles

Should I be concerned about missing shingles?

Yes, missing shingles should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage and potential leaks.

How long do asphalt shingles typically last?

Asphalt shingles have a lifespan of 15-30 years, depending on the quality and environmental conditions.

Can I replace only the missing shingles?

In most cases, it is recommended to replace the entire section or area of shingles rather than just the missing ones to ensure proper alignment and prevent future issues.

What can cause shingles to become dislodged or damaged?

Some common causes of shingles becoming dislodged or damaged include severe weather, age and wear, improper installation, excessive moisture and humidity, attic ventilation issues, foot traffic and debris. Overall proper maintenance and regular inspections can help prevent these issues.

Should I have my roof inspected after a severe storm?

Yes, it’s always a good idea to have your roof inspected after severe storms, as they can cause damage that may not be immediately visible. A professional roofing company can identify any potential issues and address them before they escalate.

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