Will Missing Roof Shingles Cause Roof Leaks?

Finding that you’re missing roof shingles can be a stressful time for any homeowner. Whether it’s due to a severe weather event in your area, or improper roof installation, it’s never a pleasant surprise. In fact, this creates fear for many who are left wondering if this will allow water to get into the home and cause damage. 


In order to help alleviate this fear and educate homeowners when it comes to their roof, we’re here to answer the question, “will missing shingles cause your roof to leak?” This article will break down exactly what missing roof shingles means for you. Keep reading and discover if missing shingles will cause a leak, what to do about it, and how to potentially get a full roof replacement out of it.

Table of Contents

– Will Missing Roof Shingles Cause a Roof Leak?

– What Should I Do About Missing Roof Shingles?

  – Replace the Missing Shingles

  – File an Insurance Claim

– How to Get a Full Roof Replacement

– Insurance Claims for Missing Shingles

Will Missing Roof Shingles Cause a Roof Leak?


roofer repairs area with missing shingles
Reputable roofing contractor repairs area with missing roof shingles

Will missing roof shingles cause a roof leak? Short answer, not immediately, but it does depend on how many are missing, how long they’ve been missing, and the amount of rain in your area. Leaks do not happen immediately, simply because of the way the shingles are installed. Rain water also has to get through underlayment and roof decking before it gets into your home. 


However, if exposed long enough, a leak will happen and the roof decking will rot. On another note, your roof could leak rather quickly if there happens to be a nail pushing up from below the shingle. In this situation, water will follow the nail down into the inside of your home. Either way, as soon as you notice missing roof shingles, you will want to contact your contractor to come out for a roof inspection.


What Should I Do About Missing Roof Shingles?


So, now we know that missing shingles can result in a roof leak, but not always right away. With that being said, it’s something you should address immediately. Below we discuss what to do should you discover missing shingles on your home.


Replace the Missing Shingles


roof shingles missing
Area of roof with missing shingles that need to be replaced

When you notice missing shingles, the first option is to contact your roofing contractor to replace the missing shingles. If your workmanship warranty is still active, the shingles should be replaced at no cost to you. If your workmanship warranty is expired, however, you will have to pay out of pocket to replace the missing shingles.


We’d like to mention here that many times missing shingles are caused by improper roof installation. This means that the roofer didn’t install the shingles correctly during the initial installation. If this is the case, your roofer should take care of the problem with no questions asked.


File an Insurance Claim


insurance claim form
Filing an insurance claim is the first step to replacing missing shingles caused by storm damage

In many situations, missing shingles are caused by a severe weather event. Straight-line winds often cause missing roof shingles, and this opens up more options for you to resolve this issue. If wind is the source of your missing roof shingles, then your roof is protected by your homeowners insurance. 


This leads us to our second option when it comes to taking care of missing shingles; filing an insurance claim. In order to do this, you will first need to contact your insurance company to start the claims process. After your chat, they will send out an adjuster, or have you contact a roofing company for a roof inspection. 


If there is evidence of wind damage, there should be absolutely no problem getting your claim approved. Just know that the insurance adjuster is completely in charge of whether or not you get approved. Even if a roofing contractor says wind is the cause of the missing shingles, the adjuster always has the final say. 


It’s also important to mention here that if your roof wasn’t installed properly, your insurance company won’t cover the damages. This is why it’s crucial to work with a vetted and reputable roofing contractor you trust from the beginning. But if this happens to you, you will have to go back to the first option listed above.


How to Get a Full Roof Replacement


roof replacement
Contractors hard at work on a full roof replacement

When going the insurance route, there are times when the insurance company only pays to replace the area with missing shingles. When this happens, depending on your state of residency, you can utilize the shingle matching law to turn missing shingles into a full roof replacement. This insurance law is in place to ensure that your home still looks great after the damage is taken care of.


While this will vary from state to state, in most cases, your insurance company must pay for everything to match in appearance on your insurance claim. For missing roof shingles, this works to ensure that there are no unattractive patches on your roof, due to the new shingles not matching the existing ones. This means that, in many instances, the insurance company will replace the entire roof if your existing shingles are discontinued, out of production or not available. 


And even if the shingles are available, the color might not match because of the age of your roof and fading over time. Either way, if there are no shingles that perfectly match your current roof, the insurance company will have to pay to replace your roof. Again, shingle matching laws vary per state, with some insurance policies excluding it completely. It’s important to look at your policy, and make sure your state has a matching law, before taking this any further.


Insurance Claims for Missing Shingles


adjuster inspects roof
Adjuster inspects roof with missing shingles

Now you know what to do about missing shingles, if they cause leaks, and how your contractor and insurance company can help you with this. If your roofer’s workmanship warranty is still active and you haven’t experienced any strong storms, contact your contractor to handle the situation. If missing roof shingles were caused by strong winds, file an insurance claim. 


And if insurance only approves replacing the missing shingles, you are aware as to how shingle matching laws can help you to get a full roof replacement. With that being said, the insurance process is a lengthy one, and a lot has to happen before getting approved for a replacement. The insurance process can also be stressful and confusing, which is why we created this article titled, “Top 7 Insurance Questions: ANSWERED,” to help with the process. 



Elite Exteriors is proud to be insurance claims specialists, and works hard on the homeowners behalf, guiding them through the insurance claims process, and taking the stress out of making a claim. We are happy to answer any insurance questions you may have, and to bring your roof back to its pre-storm condition. 


Elite Exteriors is the Southeast’s premier residential and commercial resource for unparalleled service, superior craftsmanship, and incomparable quality. And it’s all backed by an unprecedented lifetime labor and materials warranty! Give us a call today at 470-350-3024 for a NO-COST initial consultation and inspection, or fill out our online form for more information!



Elite Exteriors is the Southeast’s premier residential and commercial roofing resource for unparalleled service, superior craftsmanship and incomparable quality. And it’s all backed by an unprecedented lifetime labor and materials warranty!

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