Understanding Granular Loss: A Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners

At Conner Roofing, we’ve dedicated over three decades to not just providing top-notch roofing services but also empowering homeowners with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their roofing needs. Today, we’re tackling a topic that, while common, remains shrouded in mystery for many: granular loss on asphalt shingle roofs.

What Exactly is Granular Loss?

To appreciate the significance of granular loss, it’s crucial to first understand what granules are. These tiny, but mighty, particles are more than just aesthetic enhancements to your shingles. Embedded into the asphalt shingle, granules provide critical fire resistance, color retention, and protection against harmful UV rays. Essentially, they’re the unsung heroes working tirelessly to extend the life of your roof.

Natural Wear and Beyond: Causes of Granular Loss

Granular loss is a natural part of the aging process for asphalt shingles. Over time, it’s normal to see some of these granules wash away. However, several factors can accelerate this process, including:

Hail Damage: The impact of hail can dislodge granules, exposing the asphalt to the elements.

Tree Limbs Contact: When branches rub against your roof, they can strip granules from the surface.

Power Washing: High-pressure cleaning can be too harsh, washing away granules prematurely.

Improper Installation: Errors during installation can lead to uneven granule distribution and loss.

Manufacturer Defects: Occasionally, shingles might have inherent weaknesses that result in granule loss.

The Implications of Granular Loss for Your Roof

Granular loss isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it’s a red flag regarding your roof’s health. When granules start to go, they take with them your roof’s resilience against weather and wear. Significant granule loss, especially in older roofs nearing or beyond the 20-year mark, often indicates it’s time to consider roof replacement.

After severe weather, particularly hail storms, granule loss might also signal a potential insurance claim. Many insurance policies cover damage that leads to the necessity of a roof replacement, potentially saving you a significant expense.

Spotting Granular Loss Without a Ladder

While a professional roof inspection is the surest way to gauge granular loss, there are signs you can look for from the safety of the ground:

Bald Spots: Visible patches where shingles have lost a significant number of granules.

Downspout Deposits: Check around downspouts for accumulations of granules, which may indicate widespread loss.

Gutter Granules: Although checking gutters involves climbing, it can reveal granule buildup. If you opt to use a ladder, ensure it’s secure and you’re taking all necessary safety precautions.

Beyond Granular Loss: Other Signs Your Roof May Need Replacement

While granular loss is a clear indicator, it’s just one of several signs that your roof’s lifespan might be nearing its end. Other symptoms include sagging, frequent leaks, damaged flashing, and missing shingles. Recognizing these signs early can prevent more extensive damage to your home’s interior and structure.


At Conner Roofing, we’re committed to ensuring that homeowners are well-informed about their roofing options. Understanding the causes and implications of granular loss is just the beginning. Remember, while your roof’s integrity is paramount, your safety is too. Always consult with professional roofing experts like Conner Roofing for inspections, maintenance, and replacements. Together, we’ll ensure your roof continues to protect your home for years to come.