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close up look at shingle granule loss and shingle erosion
close up look at shingle granule loss and shingle erosion

Shingle Granule Loss: Common Causes & How To Fix

If you’ve noticed small pellets falling from your roof or discolorations on your shingles, your home might suffer from shingle granule loss. 

Shingle granules represent the outermost layer of your shingle. They are typically made with minerals and ingrained into the shingle substrate during manufacturing. 

Shingles are essential because they lend your roof its distinctive color. They also offer the following:

  • Durability, allowing you to protect your home from moisture
  • UV Protection, preventing sun damage from melting or damaging your shingles.
  • Aesthetics, providing the color of your roof
  • And more.

When shingle granules come off, your roof is exposed to any of these challenges. 

Shingle granules can be damaged due to severe weather conditions, power washing, etc. If this happens to you, you might not know where to begin. 

Thankfully, you can use this guide to prevent shingle granule loss—and learn how to fix it. Consider the following causes—and fixes—for shingle granule loss.

1. Inclement Weather 

close up of roof after severe weather

Severe weather is among the leading causes of shingle granule loss. 

During a severe storm, your roof can incur significant storm damage. Older roofs are particularly prone to roof damage during severe weather, as an old roof has already incurred normal wear. 

Additionally, a storm can cause large trees to fall on your home, which will strip granules from your architectural shingles. 

Hail damage, for example, often causes rivets and pits in your asphalt shingle roof, allowing a roofer to notice roof granule loss and address the problem. 

You can prevent loss due to severe weather by implementing specific crucial considerations.

  1. Remove debris from your gutters frequently.
  2. Cut down large trees.
  3. Remove objects outside.
  4. Ensure proper ventilation for your roof. 
  5. Hire a qualified roofing contractor to implement repairs or install a new roof.

2. Power Washing 

Pressure washing is a popular means of cleaning moss and debris from roofs. 

However, this process is extremely harsh on asphalt shingle roofs, and it can cause loose granules to slip from the shingle surface and damage your entire roof.

The sheer pressure of the water causes mineral granule loss, which you can prevent by neglecting to wash it with a pressure washer.

However, if you need a pressure washer, you can implement specific strategies to protect your roof from shingle damage. 

First, ensure you use detergent when using a power washer, and prioritize using a soft or gentle detergent.

Then, use low pressure to spray your roof shingles clean. Aim the pressure washer downward to prevent water from pushing up between your shingles. Because asphalt shingle roofs are more fragile, you’ll need to use even lower water pressure. 

Lastly, consider seeking help or requesting a roof replacement to prevent granular loss.

3. Manufacturing Defects 

During the manufacturing process, shingles can quickly become deformed.

On the production run, they might grind against one another, for example, or lose more granules in the process of packaging. 

To prevent manufacturing defects in your roof shingles, consider hiring a qualified roofing company to replace your current roof shingles with more sustainable materials.

If the granule loss reaches a high volume, clean your gutters often and implement regular maintenance on your roof.

5. Older Roof 

older roof experiencing shingle granule loss

Older roofs are subject to the wear and tear of wind, hail, and rain. 

Additionally, over time, the protective coating on your asphalt shingles can show signs of deterioration, causing granule loss.

If this happens, you might need a roof replacement. Unfortunately, it is challenging to keep the same roof if the roofing materials are damaged, and as the roof ages, the damages are only exacerbated.

For this reason, it’s best to replace asphalt with architectural shingles using a qualified company. An architectural shingle is composed of heavy fiberglass and ceramic granules and works to protect your roof from harm. Your new roof will prevent further damage and allow you to detect granular loss more efficiently.

6. Improper Installation 

One of the most common causes of granular loss is improper shingle installation. 

If your contractors install your asphalt shingles improperly, they risk rubbing up against one another, causing the mineral granules to shed. If your roof starts to shed granules, consider whether your shingles were installed side-by-side, as they should be.

To prevent this issue from recurring, consider requesting a roof inspection and having regular maintenance carried out on your roof. If your roof shows signs of bald spots, you might contact a new company to help you prevent further deterioration. 

Also, learn which questions to ask a roofer before hiring them. For example, ask about prior experience and credentials to ensure you obtain the best service possible.

7. UV Damage 

Sun exposure is one of the most surefire ways of losing granules. 

The sun can damage the UV protection on your shingles, causing your roof to have bald patches in places where the sun is strongest. Alternatively, the sun can damage your whole roof and diminish the fire resistance of your damaged shingles, causing potential hazards in the future.

You can limit sun exposure to your shingles by working to detect the granular loss and replacing your roof before a significant loss occurs. 

8. New Roof 

foot traffic during installation causes minimal shingle granule loss

Many customers with new roofs report a significant loss of granules upon completion of new construction.

There are many reasons you might notice granule loss with a new roof, but most are entirely normal. 

First, the foot traffic on your roof likely contributed to lost mineral granules. You can prevent this problem by requesting that contractors walk on your roof as little as possible. You can also have contractors use tarps or other protective mechanisms to guard your roof against damage.

If you suspect something more serious, examine the wear points on your roof and bring the issue to your roofing company’s attention. Your roofing company should work with you to resolve the problem, preventing granules from accumulating in your gutters and the ground. 

So, How To Address the Loss of Mineral Granules? 

With so many potential issues in roofing, it can be hard to know when it’s time to request a repair or replacement from your roofing companies.

While some wear and tear are perfectly normal, you should not notice granules on the ground or your roof. 

To spot granule loss, look for loose granules on the ground. Additionally, prepare for wind, hail, and rain ahead of time by sweeping up loose granules from the roof to prevent them from causing further damage.

If you suspect you already have granule loss, consider contacting a professional roofing company. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prevent and resolve shingle granule loss.

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