There are a few kinds of damage that can occur on a given roof, but most of them can also be prevented or very easily remedied if they do take place. One of the best and most common examples here, which takes place on roofs that use asphalt shingles as their primary material, is known as granule loss, or granular loss.
At Becker’s, we’re happy to help with a wide range of roofing services, including all your shingle roofing needs throughout the year. What exactly is being referred to when you hear conversations about granule loss, how is this issue caused, and how can you prevent it from becoming an issue on your shingle roof? Here are some basics to keep in mind.
Basics on Granules and Granule Loss
Firstly, you might be wondering what granules even are. This term refers to the small, black or dark gray pieces of material that cover the exterior face of a shingle. This protective layer serves several important purposes – it makes your shingles much more weather resistant, as well as sturdy and durable; it also helps with reflecting sunlight and helping to keep heat out of your home in the summertime. Granules play an important role in keeping your roof safe from the elements, and losing any granules can therefore be a cause for concern.
In addition to helping keep heat out of your home, these granules also serve another important purpose: they prevent moisture from entering the interior of your house. In other words, they help to form an effective seal that keeps water, rain and snow out of your home as well as off of your roof.
Granule loss, then, is anytime when granules begin to fall off of your roof. You’ll often begin to find small pieces of granules on the ground near your house, or maybe even right at the base of your roof. But what causes this loss?
Why is Granule Loss a Problem?
Some readers may be wondering why granule loss is in fact a problem, and why you should care if some of the material comes off. And while it’s true that a very small amount of granule loss is somewhat common and not necessarily cause for concern, any kind of significant loss can be a sign of trouble.
This is because with a larger loss of granules, your shingles become more vulnerable to the elements. Water can seep in, and freeze during the wintertime – and of course, this water could then result in damage or even leaks inside your home. Granule loss can also be a sign of aging or wear on your roof; as time goes on and the granules are lost, your roof becomes more vulnerable to the weather and to damage.
Causes of Granule Loss
There are a few different potential causes of granule loss, and simple reactions to weather conditions are some of the most common. For instance, during the summer months, your roof is likely to become quite hot. During this time, it’s common for asphalt shingles to expand in these warm temperatures. That expansion may cause slight granule loss over a period of time – this shouldn’t really be cause for alarm, but if you notice that this issue seems more extreme or frequent than usual, it might be time to give us a call at Becker’s. This is commonly known as “alligatoring” by roofers, and it’s usually looked on as a sign that your roof needs some attention soon, before the heat can cause any real damage to the rest of your shingles.
But there are other causes of granule loss, as well. Extreme temperatures on either end of the spectrum will often cause it, as will direct physical contact from someone walking on your roof or strong winds.
Finally, in other cases, granule loss will be caused by simple aging. Asphalt shingles are made to last, but they do have an expiration date – and in some cases, the granules that keep your house safe and protected can wear down over time due to use.
Prevention of Granule Loss
Thankfully, though, this is also one of the easiest roof issues to prevent. Keeping up with general roof maintenance is one of the top ways to avoid granule loss, but there are a few other steps you can take.
First, if you notice your roof becoming hot during the summertime, make sure that it’s properly ventilated. This will help prevent any expansion of shingles and the subsequent granule loss that often results from such expansion. If you’re unsure of how to do this, or need assistance with ensuring that your roof is properly ventilated, contact a professional – our team at Becker’s will be glad to help you out.
You can also keep an eye on the condition of your shingles themselves and make sure they’re in good shape. If there are broken or missing shingles, or any signs of damage, contact us right away.
And finally, keep an eye on your roof as well. If you notice any large chunks of granules that have fallen off, or even just a few small pieces here and there, it’s time to give us a call at Becker’s to schedule your roof inspection. Our team of roofing experts will be able to spot any problems and ensure that your roof is in safe condition.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our roofing, siding or other exterior home services, our team at Becker’s can’t wait to assist you. Contact us at your nearest convenience to learn more or set up an appointment!