Will a Roof Leak With One Shingle Missing?

Will a Roof Leak With One Shingle Missing? (Blog Cover)

You may have asked, will a roof leak with one shingle missing? Roofer’s Guild is here to answer with clarity and facts-based evidence to support our claims. But first, let’s imagine the following scenario:

You’re pulling out of your garage in the morning on your way to work. You’re still a little groggy from sleep, and as you back out of your driveway, you see something dark and out of place out of the corner of your eye. You stop your car, scan the area in front of you and see nothing out of the ordinary.

Then you pan upwards and see something dark on your roof that wasn’t there before. At least, I don’t remember you noticing it the other ten thousand times you’ve pulled out of your driveway on the way to work. It’s a small, dark spot on your roofline. 

Your eyes finally focus on it, and you realize; it’s a missing shingle. You almost didn’t notice it, but it’s just one missing shingle, so you drive off to work as usual. But as you go through your day, that single missing shingle is nagging you from the back of your mind, and you ask yourself: “will a roof leak with one missing shingle?”

No one wants to find themselves in the above scenario, but the hypothetical homeowner/commuter/worker who serves as its main character asks a fundamental question. You may be able to relate to this fictional character and have asked yourself the same problem. 

The fact is that you shouldn’t ignore a missing shingle because one, humble wayward shingle, could spell big trouble for your roof. In the following post, we will answer the question: will a roof leak with one shingle missing? To do so, we must go over two more scenarios.

The Shingle Was Sitting Above a Seam

If you are seeing a single shingle missing from your roof, chances are you are dealing with what’s called a 3-tab asphalt shingle. Contractors install 3-tab shingles side-by-side, starting from the edge of the roof, while the subsequent upper layers are installed side-by-side but staggered above the lower level to cover up the seams.

Maybe you can already see where we are going with this. The answer to the question, “will my roof leak with one shingle missing?” will depend on the placement of that missing shingle. If the shingle were sitting above one of these seams, you would most likely experience a leak. 

While these seams may be minute, water will find its way into any gap on your roofline. You should still understand that the initial days after you notice that there’s a shingle missing from your roof could be deceptive. 

That’s because, in this situation, a roof will not begin to leak immediately. With asphalt roofing shingles, there will be a layer of roofing felt underneath the shingles. Roofing felt is installed as a backup if any leakage occurs in the first layer of defense (your shingles) for your roof. 

But it’s essential also to know that roofing felt is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a sheet of felt paper. If you think this layer of felt will protect your home for very long, you may be in for a rude awakening. 

An exposed felt paper might be able to hold up for a couple of months in dry conditions. But a couple of days of rain will make short work of it. That’s why just because you don’t see any leaks a few days after a shingle tab has blown off doesn’t mean that a leak isn’t coming.

The Shingle was NOT Sitting Above a Seam

Sometimes you get lucky in life. Maybe your tab was not sitting atop a seam. In this case, your roof is still fairly shored up, and you won’t experience a roof leak at all. But that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels.

It would help if you still got the shingle replaces as soon as possible because the lower shingle’s exposed portion won’t survive extended exposure to the elements. 3-tab shingles are coated with asphalt to help make them waterproof.

But the lower portions of the tab contain more protective granules than the upper part. That means the upper part has a shorter shelf life if it has suddenly become exposed. The seam maintains coverage, but soon the shingle’s upper tab’s integrity will be compromised and fail. 

The upper shingle portion’s granules will wash away quicker in the rain and become more brittle under UV radiation. 

How Much Does it Cost to Replace Missing Shingles?

Like any roofing project, shingle replacement will depend on the materials you opt for and the contractor you choose. But in the previous scenarios, we talked about standard 3-tab asphalt shingles – which are less expensive than architectural shingles – so we will stick with this example. 

The average cost of replacing a 10 x 10 square foot area of standard asphalt shingles is between $100 and $350. That may sound high but compare that to the average price to repair a leaking roof – which runs between $300 and $1,100 – and there will be a clear-cut winner. 

In either scenario, it is always best to replace the shingle as soon as possible. It’s the only way you can protect your roof from leaks and other forms of property damage. Besides, replacing a few missing shingles is much less expensive than repairing a leaking roof. 

Don’t Wait Around for Roof Leaks

As soon as you notice one, or two, or three or more missing shingles from your roof, it’s time to take action. Roofer’s Guild is considered the top residential roofing company in the United States. There is not a roofer alive who is even in the stratosphere of Roofer’s Guild’s excellence. We are the absolute best roofers, and nobody beats us. We can provide services that will wow you and also remain affordable. We are the best.


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