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Roofing/Replace Missing Shingles in Single Area or Entire Roof


A freak wind storm recently passed through our town and damaged many properties over a several square mile area.  Due to the number of claims, my insurance company used a Field Catastrophe Team from another state rather than the local adjuster.  We had shingles blow off our roof in an area about 10’ by 10’.  These are 25-year, three-tab, asphalt shingles, about 18 years old.

The adjuster visited our home with their ‘preferred local provider’ of roof repairs.  The roofer went on the roof with me while the adjuster stayed on the ground.  

According to the insurance adjuster, our state law (Montana) allows the insurance to replace only the missing shingles as long as they can match the color and size of the existing shingles, otherwise they are required to replace the shingles on the entire roof.  They claim that they can match the original color and don’t have to match the weathered color.  They further claim that the weathering is a result of missing pebbles (I don’t know the actual name for the gritty stuff on the shingles) and that in two or three years enough of the pebbles will wear off the new shingles so that they match the old ones.  

Is it true that weathering is due to loss of these pebbles?  It seems to me more of a general fading from wind, rain, snow, and sun.

Is it true that fading in two to three years will catch up to the 18 years of weathering already taking place so that we don’t have a roof with two different colors?

I asked another roofer to look at the situation because the ‘preferred provider’ has a terrible reputation locally.  This second roofer told me that the wind storm lifted up several other sections of shingles to the point where the shingle pulled through the nails, but did not blow off.  He suggests that these areas must also be repaired and, as a result, that entire side of the roof should be reshingled.  The insurance is claiming that this was due to over-nailing in the original installation and that they do not recognize damage unless there is a crease in the shingle.  

I saw where the nails that pulled through the shingles and areas of shingle can be easily lifted up by my fingers.  Is it true that unless shingles are creased the insurance has no responsibility?

It boils down to this: I don’t want mismatched shingles and I want the “lifted up” shingles also repaired.  Insurance wants to do as little as possible.

There is also some dispute whether the proposed replacement shingles are matching because they are from a different manufacturer of “Weatherwood” shingles.  Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

The point of insurance is to put you back where you were before the incident. Different insurance companies have different ways of thinking about this. Some will say that they need to keep a roof over your head and the way it looks is not that important. Others might say that they will put it back to exactly the way it was before - even color. Some might say that a slight change in color is not that important. Other might say it has to go back to exactly the way it was before so you can’t tell the difference. The steeper the slope the more visible the difference will be.

18 year old shingles take 18 years to get to that look. Putting new shingles on will not look like that in 3 years. Otherwise you’d have to say that they weather to that point in 3 years and then they don’t weather anymore for the next 15 years.

The manufacturer insures shingles on a pro-rated basis so if you have a 25 year shingle and you get 15 years out of it and something goes wrong then you got 15/25 years (3/5 of its lifespan) and you have to pay 2/5 of the cost of replacing the roof. If they didn’t do that what would happen if your roof went bad in year 24? You would wind up with a brand new roof good for another 25 years just because it didn’t make it that last year. Theoretically you could do this forever and never have to pay for a roof for hundreds of years or many generations.

If other shingles are loose they are not loose because someone nailed the nails in too deep. If that’s the case you should see that on the entire roof. A roofer doesn’t change his patterns and habits every few rows. He might miss a nail here or there but not in bulk in just areas that a storm was going to rip it off.
No, it is not true that only shingles with creases are damaged shingles. You can lift up whole areas without ripping or creasing them. When a high wind comes along it does not have to get under the shingles to lift them up. When a high wind comes along the air pressure above the roof is less than below the roof. This causes a suction that can suck up the shingles in sheets.

As far as the other roofer saying you need a lot more, the insurance company knows that the roofer is biased and wants more work. Sometimes after storms roofers go through the neighborhoods telling all homeowners they have hail damage and can get them a new roof from their insurance company. It’s mostly scams but on one side you have roofers trying make money while on the other hand you have insurance companies trying to save money. You have to balance the two and come up with a fair middle. If you think you have evidence that more of your roof was damaged by wind then go back to the insurance company. It is all negotiable.



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Brad Zacharia


All aspects of residential Roofing. This includes shingles and flat (low slope) roofs. I have knowledge in the installation as well as the design of roofs from an engineering standpoint.


I have been doing roofing for 40 years. This was my father's business and I took it over in 1980.

I have written responses to artcles that I felt needed a response to and those responses have been published in roofing trade magazines.

BSEE Drexel University

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