How Missing Shingles Can Lead To A Roof Leak If They're Not Replaced Promptly

If you happen to glance at your roof and notice a shingle or two missing, you may wonder if you need emergency roof repairs or if a missing shingle is just a minor problem. It's always good to have roof repairs done promptly because damage has a way of escalating over time. However, a missing shingle may not be an emergency. Here are a few things to know.

The Location Of The Shingle Matters

Shingles in areas where rain drains, such as the roof valley, are exposed to more water and are at a higher risk of leaking. When a shingle is missing in the valley area, you probably want to have it replaced as soon as possible. When shingles are put on your roof, they are staggered so seams don't line up. If the missing shingle covered a seam, then the risk of leaking is greater since water might seep in the seam.

Have your roof checked when you notice a missing shingle just in case the shingle is critical in preventing a roof leak. Replacing a shingle is a quick and easy roof repair, but if you delay and water leaks under or between other shingles, then the roofer may need to repair the underlayment and deck too.

The Underlayment Protects Against Rain

Your roof has a layer of roofing felt or underlayment between the shingles and the roof deck. This layer is water resistant, and it protects your roof from water damage and leaks. However, the underlayment can deteriorate with age, so if your roof is old, the underlayment may not do a good job of blocking rain.

If your roof is new, the layer might keep rain off the deck for a time, but exposure to rain and UV rays takes a toll and eventually rain can make its way through the underlayment and get the roof deck wet and cause a roof leak.

Missing Shingles Can Be Covered Temporarily

You might have a single missing shingle, or a single shingle might be ripped in half so part of the shingle is still attached. Your roof might also have several missing shingles scattered around the roof or grouped together after a storm. Missing shingles make your house look neglected, and the more shingles that are missing, the greater the risk of a roof leak.

If you can't arrange for roof repairs to be done promptly, you can cover the missing shingles with a roof tarp to keep the rain off until the shingles can be replaced. A tarp keeps your roof dry so you don't have to worry about your roof leaking until roof repairs can be completed.