At some point down the line a house with a shingled roof will lose a few pieces here and there, whether because of a storm or old age. While you can’t stop bad weather, you can change how you treat missing shingles. Here’s how.
Understanding Shingles: What Are They?
Shingles are a specific type of roof covering. They consist of many overlapping pieces that are often rectangular and flat. Shingles can be made of many different materials, but the most common options are asphalt or composite shingles.
Asphalt or Composite Shingles
These are the most common shingles used in the United States. A fiberglass or felt under layer is coated with waterproof asphalt and ceramic granules, creating a lightweight shingle that is easily applied to most roofs. When these shingles come loose and fall off, they often break and cannot be re-used.
What Are Underneath Shingles?
While shingles might be the only part of a roof we see, roofs have many different layers underneath their shingle covering. These layers need to be protected by shingles, which is why it is so important to replace any missing pieces.
The first layer underneath a shingled roof is felt or fiberglass, depending on the environment a house is built in. Both felt and fiberglass are water resistant and thus work to prevent any water that gets underneath the shingles from damaging the wooden framework below. Felt is better suited to cold, windy climates whereas fiberglass is better suited for warmer environments where moisture and fire resistance are necessary. In certain houses, there is also a layer of insulation between the felt/ fiberglass and the framework.
Leaks – The Main Consequence of Missing Shingles
If missing shingles are not replaced, the most common result is a water leak. The felt or fiberglass layer underneath shingles is study enough to prevent water damage for a certain amount of time, but it is not an indefinite solution. Eventually felt paper or fiberglass weathers and deteriorates until there is a hole in your roof allowing water through and creating a damp patch.
Although certain websites advocate nailing a tarp over the area with a missing shingle, this is not necessary if a roofing contractor is contacted within a few days of the shingle falling off. Climbing onto a roof can be very dangerous.
Other Consequences of Missing Shingles
Loss of more shingles
When one shingle goes missing it can cause the shingles immediately surrounding it to become loose, which in turn means a bigger, more expensive roofing job when you eventually have to call someone to fix a large number of missing shingles.
Mold and Mildew
Even if you can’t see a constant drip of water flowing into your home from the missing shingle, it will eventually cause water damage. This damage can be in the form of mold or mildew, which starts to grow in areas that are damp. Mold can be incredibly dangerous to inhabitants of any house and needs to be addressed immediately.
Remember, don’t sweat your missing shingles. Aabco Roofing can solve the problem in less than no time.