Asphalt shingles contain a top layer of special granules. These granules help the shingles do an effective job on your roof; however, they also help you spot signs of damage as your roof ages. They can tell you when you need a roof repair.
What do these granules do? How do they show you that your roof has a problem?
What Are Asphalt Shingle Granules?
Asphalt shingles aren't completely flat or smooth. Their upper layers contain crushed stone granules. These granules make a shingle's surface rough.
This roughness is important. If a shingle is completely flat and smooth, then water might be able to collect on parts of your roof. This water might seep between shingles or between gaps in other areas where it can cause some damage to your roof structure and home.
Granules help direct water off your shingles and off your roof. They ensure that it can't pool. So, your roof is better able to protect your home.
Granules also help protect your roof from sun damage. If roofs in your area have algae problems, then you can also buy shingles with algae-resistant granules.
How Do Granules Reveal Roof Problems?
The granules on shingles last a long time. However, they can get damaged or break down over time. They sit on the top of shingles, so they take the brunt of weather conditions and damage.
At some point, wear or damage can make granules start to fall off their shingle surfaces. This is a sign that your shingles are compromised. If they lose granular protection, then your roof can't deal with water as effectively. You need to have some or all of your shingles repaired or replaced depending on the extent of the damage.
Sometimes, you can see granule loss on your roof. If you have a low roof or can see some shingles clearly from the ground, then they will look too flat and even. They won't look bumpy.
However, the easiest way to spot granule loss is to look in your gutters and on the ground around your home. When granules fall off, they either fall into gutters or onto the ground. If you can see them in either of these places, then you know that your shingles are failing.
If you can see signs of granule damage or loss, then call a roof repair contractor. They can take a look at your shingles and make any necessary repairs.