The roof on your Needham, MA home is critically important. It serves as a barrier between the interior of your home and the elements, keeping you and everything in your home warm, dry, and safe. However, residential roofing materials don’t last forever. That means over time your roof might suffer damage related to regular wear-and-tear and the effects of the weather. One of the most common types of damage that residential roofs sustain is the loss of one or more shingles. When that happens, it’s natural to wonder how long your home’s roof can last without addressing the problem. Here’s a thorough explanation of how long it’s safe to leave your roof without shingles.

Will the Loss of a Single Shingle Cause a Leak?

There is no simple answer to the question of whether the loss of a single shingle will cause your roof to leak. It’s fair to say that the loss of a single shingle will eventually cause your roof to leak, but it’s impossible to say how long it will take to happen. That’s because the different sections of your roof aren’t equally vulnerable to water permeation.

To start with, roofing shingles get installed in a staggered pattern. That’s so each line of shingles will cover the seams of those that came before them. So, if you happen to lose a shingle that’s covering a seam, you’re more likely to develop a leak in the near term. Also, if you lose a shingle that’s in a valley or at any other low point where water can gather, it’s more likely to lead to a leak right away.

However, none of this is to say that you should ever ignore a missing shingle simply because you think it’s in a safe part of your roof. That’s because your roof could begin suffering water damage long before the situation escalates into a full-blown leak. So, by the time you notice a problem, it may already be too late to avert the worst outcomes for your roof.

Why Are Under-construction Roofs Left Exposed?

When we tell homeowners that they should have missing shingles replaced as soon as possible, many respond with the same question. They ask us why they see under-construction roofs left exposed to the elements for days at a time while crews install shingles. There are two simple answers to that question. The first is that roofing crews keep track of weather reports as they work and won’t leave a roof exposed if they know severe weather is on the way. They’ll either call in reinforcements to get the job done faster or cover the exposed roofing to help it weather the storm.

The second answer is that modern roofing materials, especially the felt underlayment that sits beneath the shingles, are far more water-resistant than they used to be. That means they can survive a few days without shingles installed and without suffering any ill effects in most cases. And if those materials get wet, roofing crews will allow them to dry in the sun before proceeding with their work. In other words, they have the expertise to know how long it’s safe to leave a roof exposed and can act before there are any problems.

Are Roof Leaks the Only Problem That Missing Shingles Cause?

It’s also worth pointing out here that missing shingles on your roof, regardless of their location, can cause problems beyond a leaking roof. For example, if you have a shingle that suffers damage and doesn’t come off your roof intact, the debris created can clog up your home’s gutter system. Then, rainwater can’t drain away from your home, which jeopardizes its’ walls, foundation, and even other parts of your roof that aren’t yet damaged.

Never Ignore Damaged or Missing Shingles

The takeaway here is that although a missing shingle or shingles may not translate into a leaky roof immediately, they’re not something you should ignore. Every minute that you leave your roof exposed brings your home one moment closer to suffering damage that could be much harder to fix than a simple shingle replacement. It’s a much better idea to turn to the roofing experts here at Loyalty Exterior Solutions for help the moment you notice something wrong with your home’s roof. We’ve served the Needham, MA area since 2012, and offer comprehensive roofing installation, maintenance, and repair services. We can also handle metal roofs, gutters, solar panel installations, and more. If your roof has shingles missing, don’t wait another moment. Call Loyalty Exterior Solutions for help today!

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