There are many parts that make up your roof, and granules are just one of them. They have an important part to play in protecting your roof, and ensuring it lasts for as long as possible. If you start losing roof granules, what does that mean? Is it a problem? Here’s everything you need to know about your roofing granules, and what to do if you are losing them.
What Are Roofing Granules?
Roofing granules are one of the three layers of roof shingles, and are important in protecting them. They sit on top of the fiberglass and asphalt layers. They’re usually made from crushed stone and minerals. They can be almost any size, shape, and color as different manufacturers can offer different styles to you.
Granules are used for several different reasons. Firstly, they protect the roof against UV light. That helps the roof avoid heating up, and so making it more energy efficient. They also contribute to the overall color of the roof.
What’s interesting is that roofing granules can also include copper as part of their make up. This helps reduce the growth of algae for a while after installation. This helps the roof keep its color, and stops water from getting trapped against the shingles.
Should You Worry About Granule Loss?
You may see some granules washing off the roof, especially after a rain shower. Some loss is normal, as the layer won’t last forever and will come away over time. However, if you’re seeing more granules coming away than normal, then you’ll need to look into the cause of it. There are several reasons why you may be losing granules, so look out for the following.
Reasons You’re Losing Roofing Granules
The roof is aging: This is the most common reason why you’re losing granules. For most of your roof’s lifespan, the granules will stay on the roof. There’s a bond that’s holding those granules onto the roof shingles. Over time, that bond will wear out, and the granules will become loose and fall off the roof.
This is usually a good sign that your roof is getting old. An asphalt shingle roof will last around 15 – 30 years, so if you see this happening, it could be nearly time to have the roof replaced. It’s a good idea to inspect the roof, and see if you can find any other signs of wear and age.
The shingles are defective: This doesn’t commonly happen, but it’s something to look out for. Your shingles could experience blistering, where moisture forms in the asphalt layer and expands, forming the blister. As this happens, the roofing granules will become loose and begin coming off the roof.
Again, you’ll need to inspect the roof and see if there are any instances of defective shingles. If it’s only a few of them, then you can easily replace those shingles yourself. If there are large patches that are blistering, then it’s time to call in a roofing professional.
You’ve had storms recently: Storm damage is a common cause of roof granule loss. If you’ve had heavy storms recently, look out for granule loss. If you’re seeing more than usual, that’s a sign that the shingles have been damaged by the storm. This is is especially true if you experienced hail. With that damage, water can start getting into your roof and causing all sorts of problems.
The roof wasn’t cleaned correctly: When cleaning your roof, there are some rules that you must follow. If you don’t clean it correctly, then you run the risk of damaging the roof and leaving yourself open to further problems.
If you’ve cleaned your roof with a pressure washer, you’ll start to see the granules coming away. This happens even if you use the washer on low power. Instead, look into gentler ways of washing the algae and moss off your roof.
Physical damage in a specific location: Your roof isn’t designed to be touched or walked on often, otherwise those granules will start coming away. If you’re seeing roof granule loss, take a look at the shingles as there may be a physical cause.
For example, there may be a tree branch rubbing against the roof, pests may be getting into the roof, or you may have gone up to the roof one too many times to fix the satellite dish. You’ll need to correct these problems so you won’t see that loss.
Bad ventilation: Another cause of roof granule loss is poor ventilation in your roof. You may see that your attic gets hot, especially in the summer. If the roof wasn’t installed correctly to the right calculations, then it creates a ‘convection oven.’ This overheats the shingles, leading to granule loss.
How To Avoid Roof Granule Loss
Are there any ways you can avoid losing the granules on your roof? While some loss is to be expected, there are some ways you can slow it down.
Cut back trees: Keep all tree limbs at least five feet away from the roof of the house. This stops from them getting blown into them during storms, causing damage.
Remove debris: After a storm, look for any debris that has been left on the roof. Remove it as soon as possible, so it can’t cause any damage.
Perform regular inspections: Regularly check your roof for any issues, including granule loss. The quicker you catch a problem, the easier it will be to fix.
Call the experts: If you’re ever unsure what’s causing the problem, make sure you’re talking to a professional about it. They will be able to come and diagnose the issue for you.
The roofing granules on your roof are more important than you know. While some loss is normal, extra loss is a sign of damage or of age. Keep an eye out for this, and get help if you see it.