How to Replace Missing Roof Shingles
Missing shingles aren’t something you see every day, but when you notice some, you should replace them immediately. Bald spots on the roof make your home more vulnerable to pests and water damage. Learn how to replace missing roof shingles and keep your property safe year-round with these tips from Nelson Contracting.
Causes of Missing Shingles
If you lose shingles, strong winds are the likely culprit. A gust of wind can tear a shingle away from its nails and expose your roof’s frame. Note that some roofing materials, like asphalt or architectural shingles, are more likely to blow away than are terracotta or metal shingles because they’re significantly smaller and lighter.
While wind is the most common culprit, it’s not the only one. You may lose protection because of subpar installation from your previous housing contractor. Your roof also may be at the end of its functional lifespan.
If you have asphalt shingles, you should replace your roof every 15 to 20 years. This cycle maximizes your roof’s performance and minimizes the change for significant repairs. You can use a roof replacement as an opportunity to upgrade your roofing material to a more durable option that lasts longer, such as:
- Three-tab shingles: 18 to 25 years
- Shake shingles: 30 to 40 years
- Metal roofs: 40 to 80 years
- Terracotta tiles: 50 to 100 years
- Copper shingles: 50 to 100 years
- Composite roof tile: 50 to 100 years+
How to Replace Shingles
Remember that you should replace your roof shingles as quickly as possible if you notice damage. If your insurance covers storm damage, you may have a need to file a claim. The longer you wait, the more time water will have to seep through your roof and into your attic, insulation, ceiling, and walls. If you follow these eight steps, your roof will look like new again:
- Check the weather. The last thing you want is to fix your roof during a torrential downpour.
- Gather the proper tool. You will want a ladder, new shingles, asphalt roofing cement, a flat bar, and roofing nails.
- Locate the damage. Don’t settle for finding the bare spots on your roof. Look for shingles with excessive wear, missing granules, blisters, cracks, or other forms of damage.
- Remove the roofing nails. Use the flat bar to cut through the glue that holds the shingle together. You can also use it to pry the nails out like you would with the claw of a hammer. If the nails do not come out, remove the shingle above it for more leverage.
- Lay down the new shingles. Pull out the old shingle and put the new one in its place. If the shingles don’t readily slide out, don’t force them. Contact the roofing professionals at Nelson Contracting for assistance.
- Nail the new shingles into place. Make sure you buy waterproof nails. These nails hold up longer to rain and snow than their non-waterproof counterparts. Use four of them to secure the new shingle. If you removed the upper row, make sure to replace those shingles, too.
- Seal the new shingle. After securing the shingle to the roof, apply asphalt roofing cement. The sealant acts as a waterproof seal to reduce the chances of water damage.
- Glue the bottom of the shingle. Add a layer of roofing cement to the bottom and press down firmly.
When Nebraska homeowners need to replace their roof, they contact the experts at Nelson Contracting. We have proudly served homeowners across the metro area for more than 25 years, making sure their roofs can endure whatever Mother Nature or Father Time has in store. Give us a call at (402) 464-2418 or fill out our online form to get a free inspection today.