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There doesn’t need to be a tornado for your shingles to get blown off! In fact, even a typical thunderstorm can have gusts strong enough to lift your shingles, loosen your roofing nails or tear your shingles off completely. If this happens, you must know how to spot it and act fast to remedy the situation.

Blown-off shingles leave your roof and home susceptible to immediate water leaks. So today, we’ll teach you how to replace blown-off shingles and the tools you should keep on hand to do it. 

What Causes Shingles to Blow Off?

Short answer: Strong winds.

Long answer: Wear and tear, the age of your roof, poor installation, and other factors.

Most shingles are rated to stand up against even the strongest winds, but the older they are, the more they lose their integrity. If you live in an area with severe weather conditions, it’s essential to have your roof inspected by a professional every few years.

Even if your shingles are in good condition, they can still be at risk of blowing off if they weren’t installed correctly or have reached the end of their lifespan. It’s also important to note that blown off shingles can also just be bent or flipped where they crack in the center but don’t blow off entirely. These still need to be replaced as soon as possible as they’ve been completely compromised.

How to Spot Blown Off Shingles

Knowing what to look for is the best thing you can do, as a homeowner, for your damaged roof. After a powerful storm that brought with it strong winds or gusts, take a walk around your property and look for the following on your roof:

  • Missing shingles
  • Loose or bent shingles
  • Discolored shingles
  • Cracked shingles
  • Shingles in the yard
  • Nails sticking up or laying on your roof

The above signs indicate that your shingles have sustained some wind damage and need to be replaced ASAP. It’s essential to act quickly to mitigate any further water damage should it rain or storm again. Without your shingles, your roof and attic are at a considerable risk of leaks.

repairing blown off shingles on a steep pitch roof

Replacing Shingles Step by Step

Replacing a few missing shingles is definitely something even the most amateur homeowner could tackle. While we recommend always hiring a professional to fix your blown-off shingles, you can also take care to fix the issue quickly, at least temporarily.

Tools You’ll Need to Replace Your Shingles:

  • Pry bar or roof shovel
  • Nail puller
  • Roofing nailer or hammer
  • Roofing nails
  • Extension ladder
  • Replacement (matching) shingles

Step 1: Remove Damaged Shingles

The first step is always to remove the existing, damaged shingles. For this, you will need a pry bar or roof shovel and a nail puller. You can also use a utility knife if you don’t have either of those tools.

Start at the bottom of your damaged area and work your way up, being careful not to damage healthy shingles. Carefully pry up the shingles so that the nails come loose (if they haven’t already) and remove every damaged shingle. Keep in mind that if one shingle in a row of three is damaged, you’ll have to remove and replace that entire section.

Step 2: Inspect Roof Decking Underneath (Repair if Necessary)

Before you move on to the shingle replacement, you’ll want to ensure no cracks or water damage to the roof decking underneath. If your shingles are completely blown off, it’s possible that part of your roof was exposed to rain and thus needs to be dried out or replaced to avoid mold growth.

When shingles are lifted or blown off by a strong gust of wind, that quick and forceful pulling of the nails can make it so the nail hole is now too big or is damaged, and you can’t just place a new one. You may have to fill those nail holes and then make a new one when replacing your new shingles.

Step 3: Slide a New Shingle or Shingles in Place

Now it’s time to install your new shingle. If you’re only replacing one or two, simply slide the new shingle up underneath the current row and nail it into place with four nails (two on each side).

But if you’re replacing an entire section of three like we discussed in step one, you’ll need to place the first new shingle at the bottom of that section, making sure it overlaps the shingle below it by about an inch. Nail in place with four nails, then do the same for the middle and top shingles in that section.

Step 4: Repeat Steps 1-2 As Needed

Your roof repair is only complete once you’ve replaced all damaged shingles, even if they are only minorly damaged. It’s vital you repair roof shingles as soon as possible, and as accurately as possible. Repeat these steps making sure the healthy shingles overlap your new replacement shingles. And remove the entire strip of damaged shingles carefully using your pry bar.

Step 5: Final Inspections

Before you hop off that ladder, it’s a good idea to check for other signs of wind damage on the roof. High winds can also pull up flashing around chimneys, dormers, vents, and pipe boots. Even the valleys and peaks of your roof are susceptible to such damage. Make sure everything is in place, sturdy, and there are no signs of damage.

If you notice any flashing that’s been blown loose, check your attic for signs for water leaks, and then replace the flashing as you would your shingles or other roofing elements.

How to Prevent Shingles From Blowing Off Your Roof

While you can’t control the weather (though we wish we could), you can invest in highly wind-resistant shingles that can withstand even higher wind gusts. At Impact Roofing, we work with Certainteed Shingles and they come with a 15-year warranty for wind damage of up to 110 MPH.

Here are the ratings for shingles that have been tested against the standard test methods ASTM D3161 (fan-induced wind) for wind resistance.

  • Class A for shingles that passed testing at 60 mph
  • Class D for shingles that passed testing at 90 mph
  • Class F for shingles that passed testing at 110 mph

And ASTM D7158 (uplift resistance) for wind resistance.

  • Class D resist uplift at wind speeds up to 90 mph
  • Class G resist uplift at wind speeds up to 120 mph
  • Class H resist uplift at wind speeds up to 150 mph

As you can see, Certainteed shingles stand up at the highest level of fan-induced wind resistance testing that there is. If you’re interested in upgrading your home to withstand high winds and the elements, reach out to the expert team at Impact Roofing. We are well-equipped to handle any roof issues or storm damage you may face. Let us take the worry out of getting your roof replaced! Get your FREE estimate here.