Roof damage doesn't have to look extreme in order to be problematic. Even a single missing shingle can lead to major home repair issues later. The following are a few reasons why you should have any damage, no matter how minor, repaired immediately.
1. Mold and Leaks
The most obvious issue with delaying a shingle repair is leaks. Water can seep in so slowly that you aren't even aware there is a leak—until you go up into the attic to find dampness and mold. Leaks can damage everything from the wooden rafters and insulation to the wallboard and ceilings below. Water from leaks can also get into other systems, like the electrical system, and cause shorts and other issues.
2. Decking Decay
Even one missing shingle compromises the watertight seal of the roof, so some moisture will seep in. The decking, which is the plywood sheathing beneath your shingles, will take the first hit of water damage. Once water soaks into the decking, rot can begin. Instead of a simple shingle repair, you will now need to tear off the whole roof to replace the damaged decking. You can avoid decking damage by not delaying shingle replacement.
3. Shingle Loss
The overlapping nature of shingles creates a waterproof membrane but it also means that the shingles help hold each other in place. If a single shingle is damaged or torn off, the shingles around it will be more prone to being torn off during storms and wind events. More lost shingles open your home up to further water damage and more expensive repairs.
4. Energy Loss
Holes and gaps in the roof shingles let more heat escape through the roof in winter, which can lead to much higher energy bills. The more shingles that are missing, the more likely that the energy loss will be noticeable on your heating and cooling bills. Keeping the shingles in good shape and making repairs as soon as damage occurs can help maintain the energy efficiency of your home.
5. Pest Problems
Animal pests, like raccoons and squirrels, will sometimes tear up roofing in order to get into the dry, warm attic below. Animals are more likely to cause this type of damage when there is a missing shingle since the damage provides them a way to rip into the roof. This is especially true because the decking below softens and becomes easier to tear or chew through. Repairing the shingle can minimize the chances of pest problems.
Contact a roofing company to learn more.