Causes of Shingle Blow-Off and How to Fix It

by | Oct 13, 2021 | Roofing | 0 comments

After discovering that rough, stormy weather has caused shingles to blow off a roof, most homeowners are quick to call “roofers near me” to patch up the damage. While this action helps prevent any irreversible impairment or prolonged exposure to the roof deck, it fails to determine the main reason the shingles blew off in the first place. Tracking down the root cause will shed light on the bigger picture, including the underlying problems that may be affecting the roofing system.

Can Shingles Withstand High Winds?

On the roofing market, most traditional shingles come with a wind rating of 110 to 130 miles per hour. This means these shingles are expected to showcase apt performance and endure severe gusts without getting lifted up off the roof. According to the National Hurricane Center, this range is in the category two to three of the hurricane wind scale. These are sustained winds that often go along with moderate to major storms. In a nutshell, shingles are, at most, expected to blow off in the event of a hurricane or tornado. If this is not the case, then there is a suspected defect in the materials used or the roofing structure itself.

How Are Shingles Attached to the Roof?

In general, shingles are attached to the roof in two methods. First off, roofing nails clasp individual shingles firmly and securely to the deck. There are a plethora of construction nails of various sizes and materials, however, roofing nails are well-known for their unique attributes, such as wide, flat heads and short shanks with razor-sharp points. These features, according to commercial roofing experts, allow the nail to fasten the shingle without tearing the shingle or defiling the wood.

The other technique for attaching shingles is through the use of adhesive strips placed on the bottom surface. This gummed strip adheres to the shingle below it, connecting all the shingles together and therefore forming a strong, watertight seal.

What Causes Shingles to Blow Off?

There are a number of reasons for shingles to blow off and most culprits require a thorough visual inspection by a professional roof technician to diagnose. Unfortunately, this issue is not exclusive to older roofs — even newly-installed asphalt shingle roofs can encounter blow-offs. Take a closer look at some of the leading causes of shingle blow-off and what can be done to prevent this from occurring in the first place.

  • Shingles will eventually fail if installed incorrectly. A common dilemma that takes place with asphalt shingle roofs is nails being placed too high up on the shingle instead of across the nailing strip. The shingle on the residential or commercial roofing will end up with inadequate holding capacity as the shingle can be easily ripped from the nails.
  • On average, the service life of asphalt shingle roofs is between 10 to 15 years. This depends on numerous factors, such as the quality of materials used and exposure to the damaging elements. If a roof is approaching the end of its lifespan, there will be several telltale signs that indicate a need for replacement. One glaring example is when adhesive seals fail to join shingles firmly, leading to diminished effectiveness of the seal that often results in blow-offs during intense weather events.
  • Another clue that points to alarming underlying damage is loose shingles. Most times, the roof deck consists of plywood sheathing, corrugated metal, OSB board, or another durable building material. The chief purpose of this roofing component is to provide a base strong enough to attach roof coverings as well as membrane layers to. If curling, loose or missing shingles are letting moisture inside the roof, the deck will be compromised. If it warps or develops rot, there is a good chance that shingles will pop, causing them to be blown off the roof as quickly as a flash.
  • If the roof is relatively new and the shingles are blowing off in the wind, it is possible that the seal strips have not had the chance to set properly. Normally, this setting period can take four to six weeks, depending on the quality of the shingles, temperature and amount of sun exposure. The good thing is that a reputable roofing contractor will opt to replace shingles that have blown off a newly installed roof at no additional cost. However, this does not come without its challenges. The homeowner first needs to figure out whether the damage is due to the sealing or the improper installation of the shingles.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Roof?

It should be clear now that missing or blown-off shingles are often a symptom of more serious problems with the roofing system. You have two options when it comes to dealing with problematic roofs: to repair or replace.

  • Repairing the roof comes with its own advantages and drawbacks. For one, repairing individual shingles or a portion of the roof is evidently the more affordable approach. It also wards off the proverbial mess and inconvenience associated with a full tear-off, making it the easier and quicker course of action to take. However, while repairing a storm-damaged roof is less expensive than replacing it, there is a notable cosmetic cost. Remember that shingles fade over time, no thanks to changing temperatures and weather conditions, making the process of matching the colors of new shingles to old shingles pretty difficult and even nearly impossible at times. Of course, this affects the overall architectural appearance of your home, reducing its curb appeal and resale value down the line. This is particularly true when segments of the roof deck must be replaced due to moisture- or water-related damage, prompting expansive sections of shingles to be replaced by a roofing contractor as well.
  • Getting rid of all existing shingles and replacing them with shiny, new ones is another option to consider. However — if parts of the roof are starting to act up and fail, it is a clear indication that other areas in the system will not hold up and remain secure much longer either. In essence, choosing to repair the roof is simply delaying the inevitable. Meanwhile, a complete roof replacement provides homeowners with peace of mind that their homes are protected and well taken care of. Besides, a new roof installation will allow you to take advantage of a broad range of exciting colors, from bold and loud to classic and neutral, stronger building materials and other roofing options that can dramatically alter the look and feel of your home for the better. An important thing to note is that the upfront cost of roof replacement is a lot bigger than a simple fix and, if you happen to have multiple layers of old shingles on your roof, the replacement job will require a complete tear-off, adding more cost and time to the project.

Let Atrium Roofing Help You Achieve Your Dream Exterior

If you are searching for reliable “roofers near me,” look no further than Atrium Roofing. We offer top-rated residential and commercial exterior improvement solutions, including metal roof replacement, storm-damaged roof repair and roof maintenance, in San Antonio, TX and the surrounding communities. Our experienced and certified team is committed to providing the comfort and efficiency every client needs through industry-leading products and outstanding customer service. Call us today at (210) 806-7171 or fill out our contact form to request a free, no-obligation estimate. We look forward to working with you!

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