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Asphalt Shingle Granule Loss: Should I Be Worried?

Granule loss happens when the outer layer of granules come loose and expose the underlying backing material. While it is a fairly common occurrence, there are conditions that may point to it being a sign of a roofing problem. In today’s post Advantage Seamless Gutters takes a look at what causes asphalt shingle granule loss.

Asphalt Shingle Granule Loss: Should I Be Worried?

What Causes Asphalt Shingle Granule Loss?

Before we discuss the causes, let us first take a look at what granules do. Asphalt shingles are made of two layers: a asphalt-soaked backing material made of recycled paper (“organic” shingles) or fiberglass, and the outer layer of granules adhered to the asphalt. The granules are made from crushed colored rock — this is why asphalt shingles are available in various colors.

Granule loss can occur at any time. In fact, granules come off newly-installed asphalt shingle roofs because they didn’t adhere to the hot asphalt during manufacture. Small amounts of granules also come loose over time as the shingles age. Outside forces can cause granule loss, such as impact caused by hailstones or unusually high amounts of rainfall. Manufacturing defects that result in trapped moisture in asphalt shingles also may also cause granule loss, but this is not as common and is covered by warranty.

Signs of Asphalt Shingle Granule Loss

The primary indicator of granule loss is sediment found in the gutters or with the runoffs at the downspouts. Sediment that’s about an inch deep should be a cause for worry, as it indicates significant granule loss — premature, even, if your roof is still relatively new. Other visual indicators include “bald” spots, which are actually the exposed asphalt layer, and are more noticeable on light-colored roofs.

Should You Be Worried?

Small amounts of granules in the gutters is normal and shouldn’t be a problem. As described above, you should take notice if there is a significant amount of granules in the gutters, and if the other signs are also visible. The main cause for concern here is the asphalt layer being exposed to UV rays. The granules on the shingles are not just for appearances; they protect the asphalt layer from UV damage.

If your roof is still within its warranty coverage, your roofer may be able to replace the affected shingles. More often than not, granule loss on new roofs are caused by a manufacturing defect, as described above. On an out-of-warranty roof, most would resort to a partial or full replacement, but here at Advantage Seamless Gutters, we have another solution: Roof Maxx, a roof treatment that restores shingle flexibility and improves granule adhesion. One application is guaranteed to add five years to its service life.

To learn more about Roof Maxx or our other services, give Advantage Seamless Gutters a call at (218) 270-2663. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve Alexandria, MN, and the surrounding communities.