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How Do You Replace A Missing Shingle?

Posted on January 23, 2024

missing shingles

The wind is one of the reasons why shingles blow off the roof, but improper installation, loosened nails, roof age, and uncured adhesive are all equally to blame. If your roof is missing shingles, any of these may be the cause.

In this blog post, we will address the reasons behind missing shingles on your roof and provide a complete guide to replacing them. The good news is that you can restore your roof without replacing it completely. Let’s start by discussing how to fix those gaps on your roof caused by missing shingles. 

The Step-By-Step Process To Replace Missing Shingles

While it is possible for homeowners to take on roofing tasks, it is always recommended to hire a professional if you are unsure about any part of the project. The following step-by-step procedure will equip you with all the knowledge you need to replace missing shingles. 

1. Assess Your Roof & Determine The Number of Missing Shingles

Your shingle replacement journey starts with assessing your roof and determining how many shingles are missing. Begin by looking at your roof and pinpointing where any gaps are. From there, you should be able to estimate how many shingles are missing based on the number and size of the missing sections. 

But don’t just jump into replacing the shingles. It can be hard to determine when the shingles became loose, so there is a chance water has made its way into the roofing system. Therefore, it’s crucial to check for moisture penetration on your roof deck and inside the attic. If you notice any water damage, you must call in a roofing professional for a more thorough assessment. 

Also, don’t forget to check for loose and unsecured shingles during the roof inspection. They may be waiting for the wind to blow them off and will also need to be replaced. 

2. Buy The Matching Shingles 

Do you know the type of roofing shingles you have installed? If yes, you are ready to go and you can order the necessary materials. And if not, you need to find out so you can buy the correct replacement shingles. Check any paperwork from your roof installation or any leftover roofing shingles to see the type of shingles you have installed. Are they 3-tab, architectural, or luxury shingles? 

Refer to this guide to if you are unsure about the difference between the types: Asphalt Shingles 101: Types, Benefits, Cost, And More 

However, apart from the type of shingles, there are many things to consider before replacing a handful of roofing shingles. For an aged roof that is starting to fade, it will be hard to find the exact match of the existing shingles. And for homeowners concerned about the aesthetic appeal of their roof, going for this quick fix might not be ideal. In that case, you can think of the other side of the picture – a roof replacement. Although for a recently installed roof, replacing a shingle is a comparatively straightforward task. 

3. Insert The New Shingles In Place

The next task is replacing your shingles. A shingle can be replaced by inserting a new shingle underneath the upper layer of existing shingles and nailing it in place. Follow the correct fastening process issued by your manufacturer. Since manufacturers have their proper guidelines for how the shingles should be installed to prevent wind damage, it’s important to stick to them. 

Generally, manufacturers instruct for at least four nails to be fastened to each shingle, with two below the self-sealing strip and two above the overlap point. Moreover, many manufacturers go beyond, suggesting six nails for each roofing shingle in regions with severe storms or high winds. 

However, be mindful when nailing the shingles into place, as loose fastening is one of the most common reasons behind missing shingles. 

Do Missing Shingles Cause Roof Leaks?

If one or two shingles go missing, it doesn’t necessarily mean your roof will start leaking right away. Roofing shingles are installed in a way that the upper shingle overlaps the underlying ones. This pattern of installation is known as shingle staggering or shingle offset

During installation, creating this shingle offset is essential to prevent your roof deck from being exposed completely. However, if that area remains exposed to the wind, storms, snow, or hail for a long time, the chances are your roof may start to leak. 

As a homeowner, it’s important to understand the reasons behind missing shingles to prevent unnecessary risks.

The Reasons Why Roofing Shingles Blow off

If you live in areas with high winds or intense storms, your roof shingles are more at risk for becoming loose or flying off. But weather is not the only reason shingles blow off. Here are a few other reasons why your roof shingles are missing. 

1. Poorly Attached Starter Shingles

poorly attached shingles

If you recently installed a roof and the shingles are blowing off, the chances are the strip shingles have not properly settled. The temperature in your area is partially responsible for how long it takes for the shingles to be secure. If the weather is colder, the starter shingles may take longer to adhere to the roof deck. Shingles blowing off a new roof means that strip shingles need to be secured, which generally happens within four to six weeks. But don’t worry in this situation, just ask your roofing professional to replace the new shingles. 

2. An Aging Roof

Roof Aging

When roofs reach the end of their lifespan, they start showing signs of deterioration, and missing shingles are one of those. Due to the long exposure to the sun and the extreme temperatures, it is very likely for roofing shingles to lose their fastening or sealing properties. 

Once your roof starts to show its age, you must not delay replacing the shingles, as they can cause leaks and other problems down the line. For a complete roof replacement, it’s necessary to work with a professional roofing company. They can assess the condition of your roof and the underlying structure and will ensure that your new roof is installed properly. 

Also Read: 7 Signs You Need Shingle Roof Repair (& How Much It Will Cost)

3. Improper Installation

Improper Installation of Shingles

Improper installation may not always mean a misalignment of shingles, it can also mean hidden issues that aren’t easily seen. Improper installation often results in missing shingles and leaks. If the shingles are nailed too high rather than across the nailing strips, they are more likely to become loose during high winds and storms. 

Also, the correct placement of the fasteners is essential for shingles to resist wind uplift. If the contractor did not follow the manufacturer guidelines when installing the roofing shingles, there might be issues with the fasteners. Properly nailed shingles will be free of cracks, rips, and will not come free in strong wind gusts. 

If you need a few shingles replaced or a complete roof renovation, our team can help

Consult Professional Roofers In Hattiesburg, MS

If you notice wind-damaged shingles on your roof, you must not delay replacing them. Wind-damaged shingles not only lower the aesthetic appeal of your roof but also decrease its functionality. Also, it can lead to more roofing problems down the road. Call the professional roofers at B&A Roofing in Hattiesburg, MS, for your shingle roof replacement.
The roofers at the company make sure your shingles are properly secured so they can withstand any wrath of nature, be it high winds, intense storms, snow, or frequent rain. Give us a call today at (601) 520-3183 and consult a professional for your roofing needs.

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