What it means when shingles blow off your roof depends on the age of your roof. If your roof is under 10-years-old then it could be the 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 more, then shingles being blown off means that you already ought to 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!
A missing shingle is like a hole at the bottom of a boat: water will get into our attic! If your roof is young, then reach out to the contractors who installed it to see if your workman’s warranty still applies. That’s a warranty provided by your contractors to ensure that their labor is top-notch. If the warranty is expired, check with your homeowner’s insurance to make sure that your roof is covered. The sooner you call the more likely you are to be compensated! If neither warranty nor insurance are options, then don’t let that stop you from getting your roof repaired. The more proactive you are the more money you save!
Water in your attic could damage your drywall, installation, 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’ll be able to 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, 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.
Don’t head to your roof, though, 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.
Worn/Damaged Shingles: The older your shingles are the more brittle they become. When shingles get brittle they are likely to crack, fracture, or get blown off your roof. 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!
Granules: Asphalt and fiberglass are what shingles are made of. Once your shingles are more than 15-years-old, then the fiber glass will start to fall 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 will likely find that the shingles that get blown off are ones that have less fiberglass on them. Once the fiberglass starts to go, the shingles are also more susceptible to water damage, which makes them more likely to fly off as well. Shingles are kept in place by both nails and adhesive strips, and water damage eats away at both!
Mold/Algae: The shingles you find on your lawn might have mold and/or algae on them. How’d that green stuff get there? Well, when the fiberglass sloughs off and the shingles become brittle, then the shingles are more like sponges than the are like 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 are going to grow. This further undermines the integrity of your roof. If you stand on your lawn and see black streaks on your roof, then you’re seeing mold and algae!
Flashing or Cement Damage: 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, then your roof is in need of 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. Why? 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; and 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, and 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. The reason it won’t look right is because the shingles won’t lay flat and they won’t be able to take the shape of the roof, especially if the roof is complex.
Additionally, because your second layer of shingles is sitting on top of already damaged shingles, then 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 darkness caused by a second layer of shingles.
Also, your roof isn’t designed to have a second layer of shingles on it! You’ll be putting 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!
The only type of roof that even could have a second layer of shingles on it is a new roof, but a second layer of shingles is only going to lower the lifespan of your new roof! And that second layer isn’t going to make your new roof more waterproof! 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 blow-offs, which is the very thing that prompted you to replace your roof in the first place!
By having a contractor look at your roof you’ll be able to know how long you can hold off on getting a repair. It’s important to note that you might not necessarily be able to identify the damage yourself. Yes, black streaks on your roof are a sign of 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 both facilitate and obscure the growth of mold. Leaves and branches will provide moisture and darkness, while also covering up signs of mold or algae.
If you happen to see an active leak that’s actually dripping, put a bucket under it to collect water until a professional, qualified roofing contractor comes out to investigate. Keep in mind, however, that 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’s no active leaks just because they see no evidence. Meanwhile, wood can be rotting and insulation can be collecting mold!
Another factor to consider is that if you have areas of the attic where there’s no ventilation, then the heat can accelerate the aging of your roof. This, coupled with missing shingles, make your roof more susceptible to leaks and various forms of damage. As does how much sun and shade your roof gets.
You need to get your roof replaced, even if you’re asking, “How do I pay for a roof with no money?” You may be able to pay for it with a credit card. Yes, you’ll get into debt, but it’s better than damaging your home! Remember, water damage adds up quick. Plus, the money you’d spend on spot repairs you can always contribute toward the cost of replacing your roof. Otherwise, you’ll basically be throwing your money away since you’ll be delaying 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, which is when you get a new mortgage on your home for money than your home is worth so that you can use that money however to pay for your roof. If you extend the life of your mortgage then your monthly payment will be less, which should give you more wiggle room as well. As should paying off any high interest credit card debt!
If you have enough equity in your home, you can get a low-interest loan. You can also consider a payment plan. Proven Contracting is actually approved to set up a payment plan for you, so we can come up with something that’ll work for you! Lastly, you can look into local charities, crowdfunding, or even county grants. It may be the case 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!
Shingles getting blown off your roof aren’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 how important your roof is, acting fast can save you a lot of headache!