A close-up picture of a missing roof shingle due to ice and snow

Will Your Roof Leak With One Shingle Missing

Have you ever stepped outside after a wind storm and seen a single shingle laying in your yard? Finding missing shingles in your yard can be disturbing, especially if you believe that a missing shingle could cause a leak in your attic. Knowing the truth, including the role of your shingles on your roof and what needs to be done when a shingle is ripped from your roof, can help you take care of your home. Ultimately, getting roof shingles repair when it’s needed can help you extend the life of your roof.

Why Are Shingles Important?

A standard residential roof is designed in layers. Rafters and insulation are covered by layers of plywood we called “decking,” which is then covered by an ice and water barrier, underlayment, and then shingles. Shingles are themselves layered, with one layer of shingles covering another in a staggered pattern. This means that when one shingle is removed, another is usually visible.

Shingles are the outermost barrier on your roof, protecting the structure from ice, rain, snow and the other elements. Without shingles, the under-layers of the roof would be regularly exposed to water and ice, which would cause rot, constant leaks and structural damage. Shingles are layered to prevent penetration from the elements. A single layer of shingles may not be enough to protect the underlayment and what lies beneath, but multiple layers of shingles can.

Will One Missing Shingle Cause a Leak?

When one shingle is ripped from your roof, what is revealed should be another shingle. When rain and snowfall on that thin layer of shingle, the result could be a slow leak, especially if the seams between two shingles have been revealed. If the area where the shingle was torn away lies in a valley or a low point on your roof, this unevenness on your roof could catch on debris, causing a buildup of twigs and organic material on your roof, trapping moisture over the weak point.

In other words, one missing shingle may cause a leak, but not because the shingle reveals a bare roof deck underneath. Instead, it causes a leak by slow degrees, with small drips penetrating your roof gradually over time.

When Do You Need Roof Shingles Repair?

If your roof is missing shingles, one or more of them, this could be a sign that your roofing material is starting to deteriorate. Newly installed shingles, and shingles in the prime of their service life, should not be ripped from your roof. Older shingles, and shingles that have been improperly installed, are at greater risk for this kind of damage.

If your roof is missing shingles, this could be a sign that your roof needs repair. Contact a roofing contractor for an evaluation. If the problem is not too severe, your roofing contractor may recommend replacing the missing shingles. If the problem is severe, your contractor may recommend roof replacement. To find out whether your roof needs to be replaced, contact Ainger Roofing for a consultation and evaluation of your roof.