A widespread loss of granules could indicate your roof is old and needs to be replaced. When granules are gone in an isolated area, it may be due to roof damage instead. Here's a look at what causes granule loss, why it's bad for your roof, and what you can do about the problem.
Storms and Swaying Trees Cause Granule Loss
Gradual granule loss is normal as a roof ages, and you may notice a lot of granules in your gutters for a year or so after a new roof is installed. This normal loss is nothing to be concerned about, but when small areas have missing granules, it might cause your roofer some concern. Types of damage that might cause granule loss include storm damage, damage from tree branches sweeping against the roof, and damage from walking on the roof.
Granule Loss Could Lead to a Roof Leak
An asphalt shingle roof has granules on the surface to protect the shingles from UV rays. These ceramic granules form a protective coating on your roof that helps the shingles have a longer life. When the granules are missing, the sun can wear down the asphalt shingles and that could lead to a roof leak.
Granule Loss Looks Like Dark Bald Spots
You may wonder how you know if your roof has lost its granules. One way to tell is by looking in your gutters for piles of granules. Also, you can compare your roof to your neighbor's roof. If your roof has what looks like dark bald spots, it might have missing granules. If you notice the appearance of your roofing looks different in an area under a tree where the branches can reach the roof, that's a good sign the branches are sweeping away granules when the wind blows.
A Roofer Might Replace the Granules
When granule loss is widespread as might happen when the roof is old or when there is hail damage all over the roof, the roofer may recommend replacing all of the shingles. In some cases, when the damage is in an isolated area, the roofer might want to replace just a few shingles. However, when the shingles are still in good shape and able to last several more years, the roofer might add new granules to the old shingles. This type of roof repair is fairly easy to do since it involves choosing granules of the right color and then sticking them to the shingles with a clear adhesive.
If the granules have collected in your gutters and they're not too dirty or moldy, the roofer might even collect the original granules and stick them back on. Replacing the lost granules seems simple, but it could help your roof have a longer life.