It’s an understatement to say that there are a ton of roofing materials on the market. You could even find a wide variety of asphalt shingle products for your future residential roofing project. Despite everything that they offer, from unique features, exceptional durability, or impeccable style, they all have one thing in common – a protective layer of granules. These granules protect your asphalt shingles from the elements, but primarily against the searing summer heat. As time goes by, some homeowners might grow worried when they see their asphalt shingle granules accumulating on the gutters, or on the ground. As such, they are confused about their plan of action moving forward.

Roof Replacement

In today’s post, De Palma Construction, the top residential and commercial roofing company, shares when asphalt shingle granule loss warrants a roof replacement.

How Are Asphalt Shingles Manufactured?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty details of asphalt shingle granules, it’s important to understand how these roofing materials are made. The manufacturing process begins when rolls of backing material measuring several feet wide are inserted into rollers. Some of them are set in place to adjust the slack, which allows the linemen to ensure a steady flow of backing materials fed into the machine.

According to roof repair and replacement experts, most asphalt shingles today are made with backing material consisting of fiberglass. They are commonly known as “composite” shingles. On the other end, traditional, or organic backing materials are made from pulped, recycled fabric, and paper. Asphalt shingles manufactured using organic backing materials aren’t as flexible as fiberglass shingles, but some homeowners install them to add more stiffness to their new roof.

The backing material sheets pass through poured hot liquid asphalt, which soaks into the material to make it more durable, and water-resistant. The sheets coated in asphalt are then cooled by fans before undergoing another layer of asphalt. However, the hot asphalt is now mixed with powdered limestone, which is a substance that’s similar to the tar that’s applied on flat roofs.

The following step involves the application of asphalt granules. Residential roofing experts state that these asphalt shingle granules are made of crushed rock and ceramic. The color of the granules depend on the batch being manufactured. This is why you can encounter granules following a uniform color, while others feature different shades or colors. Other specialty granules feature copper granules that protect the shingles from algae, or possess reflective properties for enhanced energy efficiency. This helps reduce the heat absorbed by your roofing system, keeps it clean, and cool during hot summer days.

Finally, the last step involves pressing the granules on the wet side of the backing material using rollers, before being dusted by powdered stone and layered with polyurethane. Afterwards, a heat-sensitive adhesive is attached on the opposite side before being inserted into the trimming machines. They can come in three-tab shingles which feature a single layer of material, which is ready for shipping after a single trim. Architectural shingles have two layers cut differently to mimic a layered and hand-cut look. Once done, they are counted for good measure, and shipped to roofing companies.

Why Do Asphalt Shingle Granules Fall Off and When Should I Replace My Roof?

During the manufacturing process, residential roofing experts state that the granules are pressed onto the backing material, and stick as they are cooled. As such, some granules come off shortly after installation. It’s normal for a few granules to drop off after installation since most of the granules will stay on under normal circumstances. 

However, there are some cases where a lot of granules fall off due to different causes. Here are some of them:

Hail or Impact Damage

Damage caused by wind-borne hail or debris can cause severe damage to your roof. You’ll need to call on your roof repair expert immediately to treat this problem and to assess the extent of the damage. Fortunately, you can get asphalt shingles that have high impact resistance that adds to your peace of mind. 

Shingle Blisters

Shingle blisters can be caused by manufacturing defects, or excessive moisture buildup in your attic. Keep in mind that poor attic ventilation allows hot, humid air to stay in your attic, escaping into the shingles that form bubbles. As these bubbles form, they will begin to pop, leaving behind crater-like blisters that will damage your shingles. Once they pop, shingle granules start to drop off, accumulating in your gutters. 

Faulty Installation

Asphalt shingles are supposed to be installed with specific nail patterns. If roofing nails are installed on the wrong spot, your shingles won’t be secure, leaving it vulnerable to the elements. As such, granules can fall off as it is continuously exposed to the elements.

Mechanical Forces

Your shingles can be damaged by simply walking on them. When your roofing contractors move around your roof, it loosens some of the granules that are coating the shingle. This is especially concerning if you have a big team up on your roof. If you have an area of your roof with high foot traffic, it will eventually leave behind bald spots that leave your roof vulnerable to the elements. As such, it’s important to keep the number of contractors up your roof to as little as necessary with proper sanitation and social distancing practices in place.

Remember that your roofing granules protect your home against the elements. When they run out and are completely bald with severe signs of damage and aging, then roof repairs will only cost you more and more from this point onward. During this moment, your ideal choice would be to have a complete roof replacement to ensure that your home is completely functional, beautiful, and safe as well. 

De Palma Construction is a trusted company established in 1999. We offer a range of residential and commercial roofing services as well as siding and gutter installation. Our team is composed of trained and experienced professionals who work hard to deliver excellent results and customer satisfaction. Additionally, we only use quality materials that can last for several years and provide you with the best bang for your buck. To learn more about our services, call us at (717) 638-1131 or fill out our contact form.