A shingle roof lasts for about 20 years with regular upkeep. However, irrespective of investing in its periodic maintenance, it is not uncommon for shingle roofs to develop problems at some point. Missing shingles is a common roofing issue people face, especially those living in areas experiencing frequent strong winds, heavy rains, and hail storms. Shingles of unprofessionally installed or aging roofs can also dislodge, exposing it to various issues. 

Every shingle installed on the roof is responsible for maintaining its structural integrity. Missing shingles look aesthetically unpleasing and increase the possibility of roof damage. However, when you notice a whole or a part of a shingle missing from the roof, the situation is not always alarming.

Should missing a whole or part of a shingle worry you?

It is natural to be bothered about a missing shingle on the roof. Whether the whole or a portion of it is missing is irrelevant as even a broken part can expose the seam to elements, increasing the chances of leaks and damage. Also, repairing a portion of a damaged shingle is not an option, and it requires replacing the whole shingle to fix the roof.

If a missing shingle requires time-sensitive repairs or not depends on its location. Roofers arrange shingles in a staggered pattern that allows the top shingles to cover the seams between the shingles located below. If the missing shingle exposes the seams to elements, it will most likely develop leaks and needs immediate attention.  

The point where the two roof slopes meet is called a valley. A shingle missing from the low points leads to water and debris accumulation, exposing the roof to leaks.

Possible dangers of a damaged or missing shingle

Let’s look at a few issues a missing shingle can cause for the roof and the home:

Increased risk of leaks

The first thing that a homeowner worries about when he notices a missing shingle is leak development. Shingles act as a protective covering between the home and the elements. A damaged or missing shingle increases the possibility of water seeping into the roofing materials, causing leaks. The leaks may develop slowly and may go unnoticed for a long time. Regular roof inspections help prevent leaks.

Decreased property value

A well-maintained and structurally strong roof boosts a property’s value. A missing shingle looks unsightly and may discourage potential buyers as it is a sign of a neglected roof. You may find it tough to finalize the deal or get the desired value for the house.

Damaged walls and ceilings

A missing shingle increases the possibility of moisture in the sub-roofing and the attic. Excessive moisture in the attic for a long duration leads to water spots on the ceiling and walls, mold and mildew growth, and other severe issues.

Pest infestation

Apart from increasing the risk of water damage, missing shingles also expose the home to pest infestation.

Expensive future repairs

Leaving a missing shingle unrepaired for long will cause damage to the other roof parts. Replacing a missing shingle is more affordable than paying for repairing an extensively damaged roof.

Higher utility bills, damaged insulation, permanent roof damage, water pooling around the foundation, and interior water damage are the threats posed by a missing shingle.

Why replace a missing shingle?

As we see, a missing shingle is always dangerous for the roof. Depending on the location, if not immediately, it will most likely cause issues over time. Hire a professional roofing contractor to replace the missing shingle as soon as you notice it to protect the roof and the home from further damage. Roofers can install a new shingle that looks just like the missing shingle without causing any damage to the adjacent shingles.

Importance of regular roof inspections

Inspecting the roof, especially after a violent storm, can help locate a missing shingle on time. Contact a roofing contractor immediately to examine and quickly fix the issue. Being proactive and scheduling regular comprehensive roof inspection and maintenance by professionals keep the roof protected and ensure that it lasts longer.