What it means when shingles blow off your roof depends on the age of your roof. If your roof is under 10 years old, it could be a sign of a bad installation job or a very powerful storm. 120 MPH winds are pretty strong, after all.
But if your roof is 15 years old or older, shingles ripped off by wind means that you should already have had your roof replaced.
So, act fast, and don’t put off calling a contractor because blown-off shingles might be the least of your worries.
Will a roof leak if the shingles blew off? A missing shingle is like a hole at the bottom of a boat: water will get into your attic.
If your roof is young, contact the contractors who installed it to see if your workman’s warranty still applies. That’s a warranty your contractors provide to ensure their labor is top-notch.
If the warranty is expired, check with your homeowner’s insurance to ensure your roof is covered. The sooner you call, the more likely you are to be compensated.
If neither warranty nor insurance is an option, don’t let that stop you from doing a roof repair. The more proactive you are, the more money you save.
Water in your attic could damage your drywall, insulation, paint, plywood, electrical system, etc.
All that damage will add up quickly.
Also, you won’t necessarily be able to tell when your shingles blew off, so get a professional to inspect your roof ASAP. When your roof gets inspected, they can tell you about any other signs that your roof needs to be replaced.
Missing shingles make your roof more susceptible to various forms of damage. But unless the weather is to blame, it’s most likely the case that those shingles wouldn’t be flying off if your roof didn’t need replacing in the first place.
So, how do you tell if roof shingles are bad?
Here are the signs that you and your contractor should look for to see if you need to get your roof replaced.
These symptoms both contribute to and can be caused by missing shingles.
Disclaimer: Don’t head to your roof if you can’t spot these signs from the ground. A roof is a dangerous place to be. And most accidents don’t even happen on the roof; they happen on the way to the roof due to ladder misapplication.
The older your shingles are, the more brittle they become. Shingles are likely to crack, fracture, or get blown off your roof when they get brittle.
If you’re standing on your lawn, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to spot peeling or curling shingles, which are also a sign that your shingles are on the verge of taking flight. Especially if you get heavy enough wind or rain.
Asphalt and fiberglass are what shingles are made of. Once your shingles are over 15 years old, the fiberglass will start falling off the asphalt.
When this happens, it’s the same as a car with bald tires: they’re barely doing their job.
You’ll be able to spot granules collecting around your house and likely find that the shingles that get blown off have less fiberglass on them. Once the fiberglass starts to go, the shingles are also more susceptible to water damage, making them more likely to fly off.
Shingles are kept in place by both nails and adhesive strips, and water damage eats away at both.
The shingles on your lawn might have mold and/or algae on them. How’d that green stuff get there?
When the fiberglass sloughs off and the shingles become brittle, the shingles are more like sponges than umbrellas. Meaning that they soak up water rather than keep water at bay. Soak up enough water and spend enough time in the darkness, and mold and algae will grow.
This further undermines the integrity of your roof. If you stand on your lawn and see black streaks on your roof, then you see mold and algae.
The places where shingles meet the wall are more susceptible to water damage, so metal flashing or roof cement is put into these spots to keep your roof secure.
If you see cracks in your cement or flashing, or if the flashing begins to rust or peel away, your roof needs repair.
This goes for plumbing vent boots on your roof as well.
By the time your roof is old enough to replace, you should replace it.
Because repairing your roof will only further undermine the integrity of your roof.
The shingles on a roof that’s old enough to repair are brittle; lacking in waterproof fiberglass; less secure due to worn-out adhesive and nails; cracked, peeling, and in some places, even blown off entirely. Just the very act of moving around a roof or putting in new shingles will mean further damaging already damaged shingles.
If you’re wondering, “Can I put a 2nd layer of shingles on my roof?” then the answer is, “Not really.”
A second layer of shingles is known as a layover. It’s like putting a bandaid on a bandaid. It’s not going to look right, and it’s only going to make things worse. It won’t look right because the shingles won’t lay flat, and they won’t be able to take the shape of the roof, especially if it is complex.
Additionally, because your second layer of shingles sits on top of an already damaged shingle, you’re only heightening the possibility of mold growth. What else do you expect when you have a sponge-like first layer of shingles hiding in the darkness caused by a second layer of shingles?
Also, your roof isn’t designed to have a second layer of shingles. You’ll put your frame and roof rafter system under more pressure and stress, raising the risk of harm. The shingles themselves also weren’t designed to have a layer of shingles on them.
Leak barriers and a synthetic underlay provide all the extra waterproofing you need, and a second layer will keep you from installing those.
Ironically, because your second layer of shingles is less secure, you’ll be more likely to experience roof blow-offs, which is the very thing that prompted you to do a roof replacement in the first place.
By having a contractor look at your roof, you’ll know how long you can hold off repairing shingles blown off roof. It’s important to note that you might be unable to identify the damage yourself.
Yes, black streaks on your roof indicate mold growth, but not all mold growth leaves such easy-to-read signs. In particular, if you have trees over your roof, the debris may facilitate and obscure mold growth.
Leaves and branches will provide moisture and darkness while covering up signs of mold or algae.
If you see an active leak dripping, put a bucket under it to collect water until a professional, qualified roofing contractor comes out to investigate.
Remember, however, there’s more to a leak than water stains on your ceiling.
There’s a lot that can absorb water before it ever even leaves a mark. For this reason, many people mistakenly think there are no active leaks just because they see no evidence after roof tiles are blow off. Meanwhile, wood can rot, and insulation can collect mold.
Another factor to consider is that if you have areas of the attic with no ventilation, the heat can accelerate the aging of your roof. This and missing shingles make your roof more susceptible to leaks and roof damage. As does how much sun and shade your roof gets.
You need to replace your roof, even if you ask, “How do I pay for a roof with no money?”
You may be able to pay for it with a credit card. You’ll get into debt, but it’s better than damaging your home. Remember, water damage adds up quickly. Plus, the money you’d spend on spot repairs you can always contribute toward replacing your roof.
Otherwise, you’ll be throwing your money away since you’ll delay the inevitable. If your credit is good enough, you can get a card with zero interest and pay off all or a lot of your roof before the interest even kicks in.
Other options include cash-out refinancing when you get a new mortgage on your home for money than your home is worth so that you can use that money to pay for your roof.
If you extend the life of your mortgage, then your monthly payment will be less, which should also give you more wiggle room. As should paying off any high-interest credit card debt.
You can get a low-interest loan if you have enough equity in your home. You can also consider a payment plan. Proven Contracting is approved to set up a payment plan for you, so we can develop something that’ll work for you.
Lastly, you can look into local charities, crowdfunding, or county grants. It may be that you meet the economic threshold for your county or municipality to pay for your roof to be replaced without having to pay anything back.
If shingles are blown off a roof due to a storm or high winds, a homeowner’s insurance policy may cover the cost of repair or replacement.
The criteria used to evaluate coverage may include:
Common exclusions related to shingle damage may include damage caused by wear and tear or damage caused by a lack of proper maintenance. Homeowners must review their policy and speak with their insurance provider to fully understand the coverage available and any requirements for filing a claim.
When filing a claim for shingle storm damage, homeowners should prepare documentation such as:
The insurance provider will use this documentation to assess the extent of the damage and determine the appropriate course of action.
It is worth noting that each insurance provider may have different policies and criteria for evaluating coverage for shingle damage caused by storms or high winds. Homeowners should review their policy and speak with their insurance provider for specific details about coverage and any steps they can take to minimize the risk of shingle damage during severe weather.
Shingles getting blown off your roof during a storm isn’t something you should blow off.
Take those shingles as a sign that it’s time to call a qualified roofing professional. That way, you’ll be able to know how much damage, if any, your roof has sustained and how long you can wait to get your roof replaced.
Given your roof’s importance, acting fast can save you a lot of headaches.