Whether they are installed on a residential roof or a flat commercial roof, an asphalt shingle is usually composed of three layers: the backing material, asphalt and an outer layer of granules. These granules give asphalt shingles several distinct properties, such as their color and their energy-efficient, reflective properties. Your trusted, local roofing contractor, Infinite Roofing takes a look at this essential roofing component, and whether or not loose granules are something you should be concerned about.
Shingle roofing granules are usually made from crushed stone and minerals. In today’s world the manufacturing techniques for shingles have been constantly advancing. The granules that are used now allow roofing manufacturers to create asphalt shingles of virtually any color, size and shape. As your roof ages, some of the granules start to come loose from the asphalt layer. In fact, it’s not as uncommon to find some loose granules in your gutter weeks after the roof is installed.
It is important to note that shingle granule loss is a normal part of roofing wear and tear. Your granules stay on your roof for most of your roof’s lifespan. If you do find a few loose granules in the gutter runoff, it’s no reason to panic. In fact, the only time that you should call a local roofing company like Infinite Roofing is when the runoff looks like someone dumped a morning’s worth of coffee grounds into gutters. Then it could really be a sign of premature wear and tear.
Causes of Granule Loss
Wear and tear was mentioned above but there are some other causes for granules to come loose. What you don’t want is to end up with asphalt shingles that expose that asphalt layer, or what is commonly referred to as bald shingles. Your roof can also sustain damage that could be caused by hail or airborne debris. Therefore, that could be the cause if you notice any loose granules on the ground or in the runoff right after a storm. Another cause of loose granules is if someone was walking on the roof. However, there is no need to panic in most of these situations, most roofs are built to endure a lot. However, notifying your local roofing contractor about a high amount of loose granules is important.
What causes shingle granule loss?
Asphalt shingles are well known for their durability, protection and longevity. Asphalt shingle roofs continue to be among the most popular types of roofing system. Asphalt shingles have been perfected over the years because of advancements made in granule technology and improvements in other surface materials. Shingle granules shield the roof from UV rays and increase its fire resistance. If your shingle roof does not have granules, your shingles would be left exposed to sunlight, which would end up causing it to deteriorate much faster.
The age of your roof can cause it to lose granules at an exponential rate. As roofs age, the bond between the granules and the asphalt shingle becomes weaker, allowing the granules to fall off. If your granules are falling off due to roof age, then you should consider replacing your roof. However, if you just purchased a new roof, then you may be experiencing slight granule loss. When the shingles are manufactured the granules are embedded into the asphalt but some excess granules that are not embedded into asphalt may fall off during packaging, shipping or installation or after a rainfall. If there are any granules that are loose on your roof, inspect the shingles to ensure that the embedded granules are still intact. If any of your shingles seem to be losing the granules prematurely, contacting your nearest roofing company would be a good idea because the product might be defective.
Your shingles are blistering
Blistering shingles can also be a cause of loss of granules. Aging, wear and tear, or storm events can cause moisture to get stuck inside the shingles which can cause them to blister. If your shingles are blistering and losing their shingles, your roof is in definite need of repair.
- With older roofs, foot traffic can be a cause of shingle wear and granule loss.
- Continuous weathering can, over time, cause your granules to become loose and eventually fall off.
- Major storm events, such as hail storms, can loosen and/or displace the granules.
Shingles granule loss does not always mean you need a full roof replacement, contact an experienced and certified roofing technician to inspect your roof and perform the appropriate repairs.
Uniform Granule Loss
Long-term, uniform granule loss is not considered functional damage by insurance companies. It’s generally considered part of the natural aging process, unless your shingles are failing prematurely. The rate at which shingles lose granules depends on the quality of the shingles and the weather/climate zone of the home on which they are installed. Granule loss which is uniform across the roof is usually a result of normal weathering. Over time, the bond between the granules and asphalt deteriorates, and granules will be loosened and carried away by runoff. Prolonged exposure to hail can also loosen granules. With older roofs, even marble-size hail may loosen granules. If you suspect hail damage it is best to contact your local roofing contractor as they will give you the best advice. You may even be entitled to a new roof, provided by your insurance company. Premature failure of the granular bond to the asphalt surface can also be caused by poor-quality asphalt. It can also be caused by other conditions.
What are roofing granules made of?
Many flat commercial roofs have asphalt shingles that contain roofing granules. These are tiny particles that consist of graded crushed rock, porcelain, slag, slate or tile. Roofing granules are used on flat commercial roofs for several reasons. Here are a few of their benefits, along with some conditions that can affect them. Roofing granules are constructed with a ceramic coating. The granules that are most commonly used consist of ground-up molten rock particles, such as solid volcanic lava, basalt or granite. To obtain the proper granule size these particles are processed and then covered with a silicate mixture. Once this has been done, the next step is adding color to the mixture. After coating the granules, rotary calciners treat the coating so that it turns into a ceramic. This is done to make the shingles more durable and seals in the color. It also gives the final product an additional aesthetic appeal.
Advantages of Roofing Granules on Flat Commercial Roofs
One of the main advantages of roofing granules is that they provide aesthetic beauty. This is the result of colors that have been blended together, giving a roof depth and a rich appearance. Besides cosmetic appeal, roofing granules also serve practical purposes. For instance, they’re designed to protect the asphalt coating of shingles from harsh UV sunlight. Because roofing granules can make a roof cooler, this can mean having lower utility bills for your business. As a result, you’ll have more money for other expenses. What’s more, roofing granules provide fire resistance for shingles.
Essential Characteristics Needed For Stones
The type of natural stones that’s selected in making roofing granules is just as critical as the coloring process and the distribution of the particle size. The main qualities that are required are hardness, opaque and rust-resistant. The stone has to be exceptionally durable and hard. In order to be suitable, the stones must be hard enough so that they can withstand foot traffic from building owners or contractors who have to walk on the roof surface. They must also be opaque enough, so harsh solar rays won’t be able to pass light through the granules. The best stones are darker ones, such as trap rock or gabbro, which is a dark, coarse igneous rock. These are better than quartz or granite stones, which are more likely to allow light to penetrate through them. The degree of iron content in a stone is just as crucial. To be suitable, a stone should have only a small amount of iron in its composition. This is to prevent iron from leaking out from granules, which can lead to rust stains on a roof.
What are the granules on shingles made of?
No doubt you have noticed the rough surface of asphalt shingles, very different from the relatively smooth surface of asphalt roads. There’s a reason for this, during the shingle manufacturing process, before the asphalt has fully set, granules are adhered to the surface of the shingle, giving it this motley, rough appearance.These granules are typically made from minerals or mineral fibers, but some are also made from metals like copper. Traditionally, these granules are applied to shingles to protect the asphalt because prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to damage. Also, the granule layer on the shingles looks much better on a roof than streaks of black asphalt. Metal granules are added to help prevent algae growth.
While the granules on your shingle roof should be securely adhered to the asphalt layer, a brand new roof may have excess granules from the manufacturing process that will fall off soon after the initial roof installation. This is nothing to worry about. A small number of loose granules here and there are also no great cause for concern. In time however, an older or more weathered roof may start to lose its shingle granules in larger amounts and this is when you know you have a problem. This makes it more difficult for your shingles to protect the underlying roofing materials and prevent sun or water damage. Missing granules are also associated with damaged or broken shingles. If you are losing granules, you will probably know about it when you find loose shingle granules around your house, especially in the gutters or where water runoff from your roof spills to the ground. These piles of granules come from somewhere, and it usually means your shingles are losing them. The second and most critical sign is being able to spot bare shingle spots just by looking at your roof. Your local roofing contractor would tell you that this is a sure sign that granule loss has been going on for some time.
If you are concerned about granule loss on your roof, please reach out to us at Infinite Roofing and we would be happy to advise you and give you a free, no obligation estimate to get your roof back in shape! Call 518-444-ROOF or email us at email@example.com.