Being a homeowner means that you constantly have to keep an eye on your home, looking around your entire property. Usually, you will just be looking for problems, or things that may need work. When you are cleaning your gutters, you may ask yourself: what is causing granules in my gutters? These granules may cause you to panic, and seeing them in your gutters may give you the initial reaction that your shingles need to be replaced. But is that true?
What is an asphalt shingle?
An asphalt shingle is comprised of a mat core that is coated with many layers of asphalt. The top layer of the shingle is coated with pulverized minerals, which become embedded in its surface. This, in turn, provides the shingle with a protective top layer that functions to not only physically protect the inner layers and core of the shingle, but also to protect against the sun's ultraviolet rays. There are two different types of cores that make up a shingle; you may have either an organic mat-core shingle or a fiberglass mat-core alternative.
Asphalt shingles are built to be strong and durable. Yet, only professional installation can maximize their potential to protect your roof and home. When installed properly, they overlap with each other, providing them with additional stability and protection from the elements. In fact, that protection is exactly why asphalt shingles are so popular. They are durable, attractive, and cost effective.
Homeowners should also know that not all asphalt shingles are the same. Some manufacturers use low quality materials in an attempt to save money, which compromises the longevity of the shingles. However, if you ask you certified roofing company for high quality products, they will be sure to get you the best price and maximum protection of your home.
Why are the granules coming off?
As described above, asphalt shingles have pulverized minerals embedded on their surface. In fact, they are so covered with minerals, some excess material is bound to fall off. Severe storms and windy weather can cause some of the granules to loosen and make their way into your gutters. Because each shingle has so many, you usually don't have to be concerned about finding granules in your gutters, especially if your roof is relatively new.
Given the origin of these granules, a staple of any asphalt shingle roof, your immediate instinct upon finding them should not be to fear for the integrity of your roof. If you do think that, despite the above explanation, your shingles have shed too many granules, your first step should be look for other signs that you may need a new roof.
Signs You May Need A New Roof
As your roof ages, so will the integrity of your shingles. Some granule loss is to be expected, and as your roof continues to age, it will increase. However, there are other signs to look for if you suspect that your roof is in need of repair or replacement.
Missing or flapping shingles are sure-fire signs that your roof needs work. But even if you find that your shingles are curling, cracking or buckling, consider it a sign that they are losing their UV protection, which means that they will begin to experience sun damage. If your shingles have sun damage, problems can and will snowball quickly.
Finally, look for excessive amounts of granules in your gutters (i.e. you can't see the bottom of your gutters) or pieces of the shingles themselves. Any of the above signs should lead you to the next step:
Contacting a Professional
Regardless of how long you have owned and maintained your home, sometimes the best advice is to seek advice. Because most homeowners don't have a thorough understand of their roof, or the materials that comprise it, you should not be afraid to ask for help. If you think you may have too many shingle granules in your gutters, don't hesitate to call a professional for a closer look.
A certified roofer will be happy to inspect your roof. They will take stock of its condition in order to provide you with a detailed outlook, whether it's good or in need of a complete replacement. Don't hesitate to ask for advice. Not only will it help save you money in the long run, but it will give you peace of mind.
When you own a home, you should keep an eye on its overall condition. Being aware of granules in your gutters, is a perfect example of what to look for: these granules may not be cause for concern, but finding them may lead you to look for other, more serious, signs of damage on your roof.
The older the shingles, the more granules you will find. Especially if your roof has endured severe weather, you will probably find a number of granules having been shed during the storm. But if you notice other signs of damage, be sure to contact a roofing company right away. The last thing you want to do is let a bad roof go unnoticed until it's too late and water begins to leak into your home--causing significant damage. So if you have found granules in your gutter and are worried something else may be wrong with your roof, please contact us.