Have you recently cleaned your home’s exterior and noticed shingle granules in your gutters or on your lawn? If so, you’re likely wondering why these granules are scattered around your property and aren’t where they’re supposed to be—on your roof.
Asphalt roof shingles play a critical role in protecting your home from the elements, and if they’re missing from your roofing system, your home may be vulnerable to damage from storms, water, or heavy impacts.
Here’s why you might find loose roof shingle granules around your property and how to know when you should contact a roofing company to perform an inspection.
What Are Roof Shingle Granules and What Purpose Do They Have?
Shingle granules are the exterior coating on asphalt roofing shingles and provide your home with an extra layer of protection. These granules prevent the two underlying layers of your roofing shingles, the asphalt and fiberglass mat, from being exposed to the elements.
Shingle granules help keep rain, snow, and ice from collecting on your roof and in your gutters. They also protect your roofing system from the sun’s harmful rays and offer an added layer of fire protection to your house.
How Can I Identify Roof Shingle Granule Loss?
It’s relatively easy to spot shingle granule deterioration. Usually, you’ll notice loose granules in your downspouts and gutters or sprinkled throughout your lawn or backyard.
You may also notice roofing shingle granules missing when you look at your roof. If you can identify patchy, discolored, or balding portions of your roof, you can be confident the deterioration is due to granule loss.
What Happens When My Roof Shingle Granules Deteriorate?
Your roof becomes more vulnerable to the elements in the areas where your shingle granules disappear. Powerful wind, rain, or snowstorms may create leaks inside your home, and gutters backed up with shingle granules can cause dangerous (and expensive!) damage to your home’s roofing system, siding, and foundation.
Additionally, when your granules disappear, your roofing shingles are more likely to crack, bend, or break, drastically shortening the lifespan of the entire roofing system.
Common Causes of Roof Shingle Granule Loss
It’s easy to see why shingle granule loss can be a severe cause for concern. However, if you notice a few shingle granules in your gutters, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions about the state of your roof. Some granule loss, especially when your roof is first installed, is totally normal!
Here’s a look at the most common causes of granule loss—and how you should respond to each scenario.
1. Aging Roof
The most common cause of shingle granule loss is old age. As your roofing system gets older, your shingles will start to erode from wind, water, mold, or harsh impacts, and as a result, the granules will begin to fall off your roof.
If you’ve had your asphalt roof for over 20 years and you’re starting to notice frequent shingle granule loss, you’ll need to invest in a new roof as soon as possible to protect your home.
2. Improper Roof Installation
If your previous roofer didn’t install your roof correctly or cut corners to complete the job quickly, your exterior might suffer from premature granule loss.
If your roof is losing shingle granules from shoddy installation techniques, you should replace your roofing system as soon as possible. You may have other underlying issues, like leaks, that can worsen if you leave your poorly installed system untouched.
3. Manufacturing Defects
Unfortunately, poor-quality materials can also be a common cause of shingle granule loss. Typically, you’ll notice small bubbles or blisters on your roofing shingles accompanying the granule loss if manufacturing defects are the primary culprit of the damage.
If your granule loss is due to low-grade materials, it’s wise to invest in a replacement with a reputable roofer and trusted products immediately to protect your home from further damage.
4. New Roofing Shingles
It’s completely normal to lose some granules after installing a brand-new roof, even if you’ve invested in top-quality products and installation techniques.
During your replacement, the roofers loosen the granules when they’re handling, cutting, and nailing your asphalt roofing shingles to your home, which is why you’ll usually notice a few granules in your gutters right after your installation.
5. Storm Damage
If your home just endured a storm and you notice a few shingles granules in your gutters with no further damage to your roof—the granule loss is not always a cause for concern. Shingle granules exist to protect your home from storm damage, so naturally, harsh weather, like wind-driven rain or falling hailstones, may cause a few granules to loosen.
However, if your roof suffered further damage from the storm, like missing shingles or interior leaks, you should contact a roofing company immediately. You should also consider a roof replacement if you notice hundreds of shingle granules in your gutters after a storm or patchy, discolored, or vulnerable spots on your roof.
Replace Your Deteriorating Roof with New Asphalt Shingles
If your roof isn’t brand-new and you continue to notice excessive shingle granule loss, you should call a roofer to complete an inspection immediately. Since granules provide weatherproof protection for your roofing system, your home is more vulnerable to the elements without them.
Whether you need a few roofing shingles repaired or an entire roof replacement, our team at Christian Brother Roofing can help. We offer durable, long-lasting asphalt roofing shingles from GAF—North America’s top-selling roofing brand!
Learn more about our roofing services to discover how our experienced team of roofers can help you restore your home’s exterior to a functional state and rid your gutters of granules—for good!