What do I do if my Roof has a Missing Shingle?

june 1, 2020 updated 1:00PM CT
McAllen Valley Roofing Co. crew member replacing a residential shingle roof in San Antonio, TX.

Pop quiz: What’s the number one most common repair problem when it comes to San Antonio roofing. The answer? Missing shingles. If you are missing roof shingles, you are far from alone. This is an extremely common problem, especially in areas that are prone to harsh weather conditions like San Antonio. High winds, heavy rains, hailstorms – these are all things that can lead shingles to blow off of our roof. But what do we do when our shingles go missing?

San Antonio roofing crew member performing regular maintenance repairs on a residential home.

Fix it – Now!

If you’re like most people, you probably think, “it’s just one missing shingle, what harm could come?” But the truth is, one missing shingle can lead to a lot of damage if it’s not fixed right away. Why?

Most residential roof systems use 3-tab shingles. This means that when one tab flies off, the shingles underneath are more exposed to rainfall and other weather conditions. It also means that when rain does hit, it can enter into the seems.

Here’s the good news – rain leaks due to missing shingles are unlikely to happen right away because there is a layer of felt paper below each shingle. This paper is designed to protect your roof and repel water away. But if a missing shingle isn’t dealt with quickly, this paper can begin to disintegrate – and then you are looking at larger problems like leaks.

In addition to the problem of roof leaks, missing shingles can drastically change the aesthetic of your home. If a full shingle goes missing, it will be extremely evident when looking at your roof. If only a piece of a shingle goes missing, it won’t take long for that shingle to become discolored and look different from the shingles surrounding it.

So when it comes to your residential roof, it’s always best to have missing shingles replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If your roof is leaking, this is something that needs to be tended to immediately by roofing companies San Antonio.

Why do leaks need to be dealt with promptly?

If your roof is missing a shingle and that loss has led to a leak, you need to have it repaired immediately. A leaky roof can lead to a wide range of concerns including:

Damage and deterioration of structural materials.

This includes rafters, wall framing, and ceiling joints. When wood is exposed to water, moisture starts to build and the wood begins to soften. Eventually, this will weaken the frame of the roof and can even lead to a collapse. 


When a wood roof becomes wet it starts to rot. When you add moisture into the equation, mold and bacterial growth is the result. Many times, leaks are the cause of mold growth inside of homes. Not only does this speed up the deterioration of the wood, but it can also lead to health concerns, especially for those who already suffer from breathing problems like asthma. 

Energy loss.

When a roof starts to leak it can lead to damage to the insulation in your attic. When this happens, the result is heat loss. And as we all know, as you turn up the heat in your home to accommodate, the heating bill goes up drastically. 

Expensive repairs. 

When it comes to roofing, small repairs like a shingle replacement don’t cost a lot of money. But if you leave the shingle without repair, other damages can incur which can be much more costly. 

It becomes a fire hazard. 

When your roof leaks, it can affect both the insulation in your home as well as the electrical wiring in your ceiling. The result of this is an extreme fire hazard. 

As a result, missing shingles should be dealt with promptly. The longer you leave them, the more risk you run of developing a more serious roofing concern. 

Aerial view of a weathered and damaged shingle residential roof in San Antonio, TX.

Can I replace missing shingles myself?

Anytime it comes to shingle replacement, you have the option of doing it yourself. Replacing your own roof shingles is a more cost-effective option than hiring a company to come in and do it for you. Very quickly, we’ll teach you how to do the three most common shingle repairs on your own:

How to Replace Missing Asphalt Shingles:

Materials Needed:

-A hammer

-A flat pry bar

-A utility knife

-11/4 inch roofing nails

Step 1: Head to your local home center and purchase your shingles.

Step 2: Locate the damaged shingle. Carefully and gently use the pry bar to remove the nails from the shingle above the damaged shingle. Be careful when lifting the shingle free from the sealer strip not to do any extra damage.

Step 3: Locate the damaged roof shingle and pry it upward using the pry bar. Once the nail is released, remove the bar, press the shingle down, and remove the nail. There will be three remaining nails – repeat this process for all three.

Step 4: Use the pry bar to remove the second row of nails from the shingle above the damaged one in the same manner as you did in step 3.

Step 5: Pull off the damaged shingle and replace with a new shingle using your roofing nails. 

Close view of residential roof shingles that need to be replaced to avoid further roofing damage.

How to Fix Curled Corners

Missing shingles aren’t the only thing that can go wrong with residential roofs. Sometimes roof shingles can also start to curl. This is a problem that can also lead to water damage. Luckily, it’s an easy fix. Here’s how to do it:

You will need:

-A Caulking gun

-Roofing sealant

-A Brick

Step 1: Use your caulking gun to apply a small amount of roofing sealant under the corner of your shingle.

Step 2: Press down on the shingle to attach it to the roof. 

Step 3: Place a brick on top of the shingle for 24 hours to wait for sealant to dry.

How to Repair Cracked Shingles

When it comes to metal roofing and residential roofing, shingles don’t always go missing – sometimes they simply crack. A cracked shingle is just as much a cause for concern as a missing shingle because it can let water and moisture in. Luckily, you don’t have to replace a cracked shingle, you’ll just need to repair it. Here’s how:

Materials Needed:

-Roofing sealant
-A Putty knife

Step 1: Apply a thick bead of roofing sealant under the crack and press down on the shingle
Step 2: Apply another bead on top of the crack
Step 3: Use a putty knife to spread the sealant.

Two McAllen Valley Roofing Co. crew members replacing a damaged multi-family shingle roof system.

Replace cracked or missing shingles – DIY or hire a professional?

If you consider yourself to be a handyman, replacing a roofing shingle on your own can be an easy fix. With that being said, roofing is a dangerous job that requires you to walk on your roof. For this reason, if you aren’t aware of proper safety measures, you shouldn’t attempt to fix a shingle on your own. San Antonio roofing shingle repair is an easy fix that won’t cost a lot of money, so it’s worth it to hire a professional contractor for repairs simply for your own safety. A roofing contractor will also be able to inspect your roof for any further damage that you may not have picked up on at first glance.

Schedule a Roof Inspection with the Experts at

McAllen Valley Roofing Co.

Contact Information


5828 Sebastian Pl, Suite 102 San Antonio, TX 78249

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