Roof Granules — What Are They And Why Are They There?

Posted on: 15 July 2022

Have you noticed small pellet-like granules coming off your roof shingles? If so, you've found the smallest — but very important — tool for protecting your home and roof. What are shingle granules? Why do they exist? And how can they help you as a homeowner?

Here's a brief guide to the humble roofing granule. 

What Are Roof Granules?  

When asphalt shingles are nearly complete in the manufacturing process, a small layer of surface debris is added. This material consists of natural minerals or artificial ceramic and other modern materials. 

Granules adhere to the hot surface asphalt of the shingle, but they will eventually wear off. As granules wear, they break free and make their way down to the ground around your home. They're generally harmless to people and animals. 

What Purpose Do Granules Serve?

If granules are deliberately added, the question becomes why. The answer involves many reasons, both practical and decorative. 

First and foremost, the granules help protect the shingle under them from the ultraviolet radiation and heat of the sun. They take the brunt of natural sunlight and help keep the shingle's temperature even. Granules also become the first line of defense for the shingle against the wind, debris, water, snow, and ice that Mother Nature throws at the roof. It bolsters the shingle's durability and lengthens its life. 

However, granules aren't just utilitarian roofing tools. They also change the look of the shingle. With the invention of artificial granule materials, manufacturers can now offer different colors, shades, and aesthetics to customers. They create a pleasing texture and cause the sun to hit your particular shingles in different ways. 

Finally, you can use granules as a sort of early warning system for roof problems. Most homeowners will often find small amounts of granules around the house — particularly after they're loosened by weather events. But when you begin to find a lot of granules coming down gutters or directly falling on the ground, it's a sign that your roof is aging and may need more serious repairs or replacement. 

Where Can You Learn More?

New homeowners may be surprised to find some granules on the ground, so it's important to know that this is normal. However, if you've started to see more and more, it's time to have your roof inspected by a professional roofing contractor. With their guidance, you can protect the granules, your shingles, and your entire property better. 

For more information, contact a company like Sweers Eavestrough and Roofing Co, Inc.