The phrase “shingle blow-off” conjures images of bald, stripped-off roofing. But in reality, it’s a lot less subtle, at least, visually: in either case, shingle blow-off is something that shouldn’t be ignored. In this blog, the roofing and siding contractors at Silver Leaf Contracting discuss what causes shingle blow-offs, and how to best address it.
Causes of Shingle Blow-Off
Shingle blow-offs happens when high winds tear shingles off the roof. Since asphalt shingles are installed with overlapping pieces, they can be torn off from the edges. There’s a misconception that blow-offs only happen to old roofs; but the truth is, this can happen to any shingle roof. The following are some of the reasons why even moderate winds can cause shingle blow-offs:
- Incorrect Fastener Patterns — Asphalt shingles need to have properly-installed fasteners. Place them too high and they catch the shingle underneath; place them too low and the fasteners would be exposed to water infiltration, as well as tear-offs. Today’s asphalt shingles are marked with narrow strips that indicate where the fasteners should be, and only inexperienced, untrained installers wouldn’t know how to use these markers.
- Too Much Overhang — The roof’s edge is especially susceptible to high winds, which means a roofing installer needs to make sure the overhang is exactly what the manufacturer requires. Too much overhang gives wind a stronger grip that could tear this part off. Most metal roof companies avoid blow-offs by crimping the drip edge with the sheet metal roofing.
- Old Roofing — As the roof gets older, the fasteners and adhesive gradually lose their grip, to the point where the shingles can easily get blown off by moderate winds.
How to Address Shingle Blow-Off
As with most other roofing problems, the best way to avoid them is to invest in a quality roofing system. Roofing systems with high wind ratings, some of which are warranted to resist up to Category 4 hurricanes. These roofs typically feature shingle with adhesive backing at the edges, as well as one-piece starter strips. Also, don’t count out other roofing systems: metal roofing, along with slate and tile, are rated for exceptional wind resistance, either by design or by natural weight.
But what if your roof isn’t up for replacement yet? Fortunately, torn-off asphalt shingles can be repaired, the success of which depends on a few conditions. Ideally, your roofing contractor would be able to source replacement shingles that match. Many homeowners anticipate this by ordering excess shingles during installation. Barring that, there may be similar styles that will easily slot in, but the difference in color may be too obvious.
The roofer should also have the proper training to repair and replace the particular roofing system installed on your home. If your roof is a manufacturer-designed roofing system, the best way to go about with repairs is to hire a roofer that’s certified by the same manufacturer.