What Is Granular Loss on a Roof and How to Repair It

Most homeowners and business owners are aware of the dangers of roof damage. When the structure of a roof is breached, the building becomes susceptible to leaks, drafts, and UV damage. However, while some forms of roof damage are obvious, others can be more challenging to detect. Granular loss on a roof is among the most common forms of nearly invisible roof damage, and it can lead to severe consequences if left unaddressed.

Understanding what granule loss is, how to recognize it, and how to repair it can help you protect your roof system for many years to come. The team at Integrity Roofing, LLC has put together this helpful guide to give you everything you need to know about roof granule loss.

What Is Granular Loss on a Roof?

If you have ever looked closely at asphalt shingles, you might have noticed that they have tiny particles on their surface. The reason roof shingles have granules is to give them color and texture. Granules also serve as the first layer of protection against the elements. However, over time, these granules can begin to shed. Losing granules causes shingles to look dull and worn. While this might seem like a relatively harmless if unfortunate consequence, shingle granule loss can cause far more severe problems over time.

What Causes Granule Loss on Shingles?

The shedding of roof granules generally begins due to the effects of weathering. As months and years pass, precipitation and wind can begin to break down the shingle granules. Temperature extremes and UV exposure can often accelerate this process.

In some cases, granular loss can also occur due to physical damage. This can happen for many reasons, including:

  • Hail and sleet storms
  • Debris from tropical storms and hurricanes
  • Fallen trees
  • Foot traffic on the roof due to other repairs, satellite dish installation, etc.

These factors can cause roof granules to loosen and shed, speeding up the aging and weathering processes.

Is It Normal for a New Roof to Lose Granules?

It is common for new roofs to lose some granules early on. This is sometimes referred to as "initial shedding." However, excessive loss of granules on a new roof could indicate an issue with installation or material defects. Slight granule loss is normal on a new roof, but you should contact a roofer immediately if you notice significant shedding.

What Are the Potential Consequences of Granular Loss?

Since roof granule loss usually begins as an almost imperceptible issue, it can be difficult to believe that it could eventually cause significant problems for your home. However, the situation can eventually progress to a point where significant repairs or even a total roof replacement is necessary.

As granules are lost, the shingle's protective UV coating diminishes, leading to premature aging and roof deterioration. Shingles are also more prone to cracking, curling, and splitting without the granular surface layer. Excessive granular loss can eventually result in leaks, moisture damage, mold growth, and even roof failure if left unaddressed.

Can You Prevent Granule Loss on Your Roof?

While a certain degree of granular loss is to be expected, you can take a few steps to prevent excessive shingle granule shedding. One of the chief lines of defense is to have your roof inspected regularly by a qualified professional who can assess potential areas of wear and recommend strategies to protect against further loss of roof granules.

Another step you can take is to keep your gutters clean. Blocked gutters can mean that rainwater spends more time on the surface of your shingles, increasing the risk of granule loss. Keeping your gutters free from debris can allow the water to run off more efficiently.

You can also take steps to prevent physical damage to your shingle granules by refraining from walking on your roof and staying on the lookout for any potential trees or branches that might fall during a powerful storm.

How to Repair Granular Loss on a Roof

a roof installer in hickory north carolina repairing granular loss damage on the roof of a home

Minor granule loss can sometimes be remedied with elastomeric roof coatings. These sealants provide a protective barrier and reflect UV rays. For more extensive granular loss, sections of the roof may need to be replaced. However, you should not attempt DIY repairs for granule loss issues. Hire a licensed roofing contractor for proper diagnosis and fixes. Your roofer can advise you on the best repair method based on an inspection. They can also recommend steps to prevent further granule loss after repairs are complete.

How Much Granule Loss Is Too Much?

If you can see large bald patches where granules are missing, it likely means the shingles are too far gone to be repaired. As a general rule, if you notice granular loss affecting more than 20% of your roof's surface, it's time to consider full replacement. Your roofer can evaluate the extent of granule loss during an inspection. Even small sections of excessive loss warrant repairs to prevent further damage.

Signs It's Time for a New Roof Due to Granule Loss

Extensive granule loss is often a sign your roof has reached the end of its useful life. Indicators it may be time for full roof replacement include:

  • Multiple large bald spots where granules are missing
  • Curled, cracked, or brittle shingles
  • Leaks after rainstorms
  • Excessive roof granules in your gutters

If your roof is over 15-20 years old and you notice these issues, scheduling a replacement may be your best option. Attempting patchwork repairs on an old roof with pervasive granule loss is generally not advisable.

Contact Integrity Roofing, LLC, Today

If you have noticed signs of granular loss from your roof, such as roof granules in your gutters or around the perimeter of your house, early intervention is critical. The seasoned North Carolina roofing professionals at Integrity Roofing, LLC, can help you diagnose your issue, help prevent further shedding, and advise you about whether you need to repair or replace your roof.

Call us today at (828) 448-0855 or contact us online to book a free roof inspection.

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