Repairing My Roof

How Granule Loss Affects Your Asphalt Shingle Roof

Granule loss is an all-too-common phenomenon on asphalt roofs. Granule loss often offers as a natural consequence of strong winds, heavy rainfall, and constant sun exposure. Even the foot traffic caused by your roofers during routine maintenance and inspection can dislodge granules.

While granule loss is a natural part of your asphalt roof's aging process, the impact it has on your roof's longevity, appearance and protection against severe weather can't be ignored. The following takes a closer look at the various effects that granule loss can have on your asphalt roof.

Lost Curb Appeal

Imagine coming home from a long day at work, only to notice your asphalt roof looking rather worn-out when compared to your neighbor's roofs. A gradual loss of asphalt granules can weather the overall appearance of your roof over the course of several years, making it appear much older and more worn-out than it actually is. Bald spots caused by severe granule loss in concentrated areas can make the problem much worse.

The end result is an asphalt roof that makes the rest of your home look older and less well-kept. This loss in curb appeal can have a negative impact on your home's resale value, especially if you're in the process of selling it.

Increased UV Damage

Ever notice how severe granule loss often causes your asphalt roof to appear lighter and washed-out? That's because the granules provide much of the rich, deep color that asphalt shingles are commonly known for. Asphalt shingle granules don't exist just for looks, however. They also play an important role in protecting asphalt shingles from harsh ultraviolet rays given off by the sun.

Granules help protect the underlying shingle from direct UV exposure by blocking and absorbing most of the UV radiation, preventing it from damaging the shingle itself. As your asphalt roof sheds its shingles, however, it also sheds this crucial protection.

Once the asphalt shingles are directly exposed to UV radiation, it's only a matter of time before the shingles begin to fade, curl, and eventually disintegrate. This also leaves your asphalt shingles more vulnerable to algae growth and damage from severe weather.

Potential Water Damage

Granule loss can also impact how your roof handles rainfall. A normal asphalt roof prevents water from seeping into the underlayment, instead directing the water flow away into nearby gutters. Significant granule loss strips away your asphalt shingles' waterproofing capabilities, making them less effective at channeling water where it needs to go.

Instead of being repelled and channeled, significant granule loss may allow water to seep between the asphalt shingles and infiltrate the underlayment. This often results in water being absorbed in places where it shouldn't be, including nearby wooden beams, attic and wall insulation, and drywall. Water damage not only has the potential to structurally weaken your roof, but it can also allow mold and mildew to flourish within your home.

Reduced Lifespan

Another side effect of ongoing granule loss is a shorter lifespan for your asphalt shingles. Most varieties of asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years, depending on shingle quality, manufacturing processes, and the amount of care and upkeep your roof gets throughout its life. Physical damage caused by severe storms and foot traffic can have a tremendous impact on your asphalt shingle's longevity.

Granules provide your asphalt shingles with a measure of protection against the elements. The more granules your shingles lose, the more vulnerable they'll become to strong winds, heavy rains, and other natural forces. Significant granule loss can easily take years off of your asphalt shingles' projected lifespan. Contact a company that offers roofing services if you notice your asphalt shingles are losing granules.