What Does It Mean If My House Is Missing Some Roof Granules?

For homeowners and property owners, even small details can cause major headaches. If you have an asphalt shingle roof, you may have noticed loose granules in your gutters, or “bald spots” where granules have fallen off. Loose or missing roof granules may or may not indicate the need for a roof replacement or repair, depending on each unique roof.

So What Are Roof Granules For?

Due to their attractiveness, durability, and wallet-friendly price tag, asphalt shingle roofs are one of the most popular roofing options for homeowners. When properly installed, shingles are fitted tightly and overlap with one another, which provide additional stability and protection from the elements. Over the years, manufacturers have perfected the design of these shingles by adding granules. A 2006 report by the California Energy Commission found that exposure to UV rays can lead directly to material degradation in organic roofing materials such as asphalt. One important function of roof granules, therefore, is to help keep UV rays off the shingles’ asphalt coating. With granules, shingles are also more fire resistant and easier for manufacturers to package.

What’s Normal?

Since granules serve so many purposes for your roof, you may be concerned about loose or missing granules. But, it’s actually perfectly normal to lose some. No roof is designed to last forever, and some normal wear and tear is to be expected. After a storm or heavy rain, you are more likely to find loose granules in your gutters or on the ground. This is no reason to panic. If your roof is relatively new, more loose granules can be reasonably expected.

What Should I Be Worried About?

Without granules, your shingles are overexposed to the elements. Old roofs where most, if not all, granules have been stripped away are almost certainly leaking. If you notice that the edges of your shingles are curled or cracked, your roof is at the end of its life.

Being unable to see the bottom of your gutters due to excessive loose granules is a red flag. The same goes for visibly noticeable “bald” spots on your roof. If you have recently experienced a hail storm in your area, your shingles and granules may also have been compromised. Heavy hail can be strong enough to knock granules off of your shingles. Over time, these seemingly small damages can lead to water leakage. Among other possible reasons, defective roofing products can also be the culprit behind a large amount of loose granules.

Because there are many possible causes behind roof granule loss, it can be hard to identify and distinguish the real reason. Truth is, most homeowners are not roofing experts. When it comes to your roof, it is best to let a professional appraise the situation. This will prevent small issues from snowballing into more serious complications. For questions or concerns about your roof or its shingles, we recommend contacting a reputable and professional roofing company in your area, like Bill’s Roofing, to speak to an expert as soon as possible.