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Closeup of shingle granules - brown shingles
Closeup of shingle granules - brown shingles

How to Repair Granule Loss on Roof Shingles

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, and one of its most essential components is the shingles. Over time, shingles may experience wear and tear, including the loss of granules. These granules protect the shingles from the sun’s harmful UV rays and other environmental factors. 

But if you’ve noticed granule loss on your roof shingles, don’t worry! In this guide, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step process to repair granule loss and extend the life of your roof.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

  • Common culprits of granule loss on roof shingles
  • The necessary tools + materials to fix granule loss
  • 8 easy steps to tackling granule loss in DIY fashion
  • 5 tips for preventing granule loss in the future

Ready to become a true expert on how to combat granule loss on your roof shingles? Start scrollin’!

What Causes Granule Loss? 🤔

Closeup of roof shingles with granule loss

Before we dive into the repair process, it’s crucial to understand what causes granule loss on your roof shingles. Several factors can contribute to this issue:

  • Normal Aging ⏳: Shingles naturally lose granules over time as they age.
  • Severe Weather ⚡: Hailstorms, heavy rain, and strong winds can accelerate granule loss.
  • Foot Traffic 👣: Walking on the roof, especially with improper footwear, can dislodge granules.
  • Poor Installation ⚒️: Incorrect installation may lead to premature granule loss.
  • Manufacturing Defects 🧰: In some cases, shingles may have manufacturing defects that cause granules to detach.

Tools + Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin the repair process, gather the necessary tools and materials to ensure a smooth and efficient job:

  • Safety Gear: Safety goggles, work gloves, and a dust mask to protect yourself.
  • Replacement Shingles: Just as you can’t replace a hole in your denim jeans with a patch of wool, you can’t replace your clay tiles with wood shakes. You’ve got to make sure the materials match. So, for example, if you have an asphalt shingle roof, you’ll of course need asphalt replacement shingles!
  • Roofing Cement: A tube of roofing cement to adhere the granules and shingles.
  • Putty Knife: A putty knife or a similar tool for applying roofing cement.
  • Utility Knife: A utility knife to trim the replacement shingle, if needed.
  • Wire Brush: A wire brush to clean the area of granule loss.
  • Nail Gun or Roofing Nails: A nail gun or roofing nails to secure the replacement shingle.

Repair Granule Loss Like a Pro in 8 Steps 

Now that you have your tools and materials ready, follow these 8 steps to repair granule loss on your roof shingles:

1. Identify the Affected Area 🔍

Inspect your roof carefully to locate the areas with granule loss. Look for shingles that appear discolored, with exposed asphalt.

2. Clean the Affected Area 🧼

Close up of shingles in need of cleaning due to granule decay

Use a wire brush to gently clean the affected shingles. Remove any loose granules, dirt, or debris to create a clean surface for the repair.

3. Prepare the Replacement Shingle 🪓

If the damaged shingle is beyond repair, you’ll need a replacement. Carefully remove the damaged shingle by lifting its edges and prying out the roofing nails. Slide the replacement shingle into place, ensuring it matches the surrounding shingles.

4. Apply Roofing Cement 🏗️

Apply a generous amount of roofing cement to the underside of the replacement shingle. Make sure to spread the cement evenly to create a strong bond.

5. Secure the Replacement Shingle 🔩

Slide the replacement shingle into position, aligning it with the surrounding shingles. Press down firmly to ensure a secure bond.

6. Nail the Shingle 🔨

Homeowner installs new roof shingle after granule loss

Use a nail gun or roofing nails to secure the replacement shingle in place. Insert nails just below the shingle’s tar line, ensuring they penetrate the roof deck for maximum stability.

7. Seal the Edges 🧽

Apply a thin layer of roofing cement along the edges of the replacement shingle to seal it against moisture infiltration.

8. Check Your Work ✅

Inspect the repaired area to ensure the replacement shingle is properly secured and sealed. Verify that it aligns with the surrounding shingles for a uniform appearance.

When to Seek Professional Help 🧑‍🔧

While repairing granule loss is a manageable DIY task for many homeowners, there are situations when you should seek professional help:

  • Extensive Damage: If a large portion of your roof is affected by granule loss, it’s best to have a professional roofing contractor assess the situation.
  • Steep or High Roof: Roof repairs on steep or high roofs can be dangerous. Leave such repairs to experienced professionals who have the necessary safety equipment and expertise.
  • Structural Issues: If you suspect underlying structural problems with your roof, it’s essential to consult with a professional to address the root cause of the granule loss.

5 Tips for Preventing Granule Loss in the Future 💡

To extend the lifespan of your roof and minimize future granule loss, consider the following preventive measures:

1. Regular Inspections

Conduct regular roof inspections to catch granule loss and other issues early.

2. Proper Installation

Ensure your shingles are installed correctly to prevent premature granule loss.

3. Gutter Maintenance

Homeowner cleans gutters on home

Keep your gutters clean to prevent water from backing up and damaging your roof.

4. Foot Traffic

Minimize foot traffic on your roof, especially during hot weather, as excessive heat can soften the asphalt and lead to granule loss.

5. Trim Overhanging Branches

Remove overhanging tree branches that may scrape against your roof during windy conditions.

Tackle Granule Loss on Your Roof Shingles Like a Champ 👷‍♂️

Repairing granule loss on your roof shingles is a manageable DIY project for homeowners who are comfortable working on roofs and have the necessary tools. However, always prioritize safety and know your limits. If you’re unsure about the extent of the damage or feel uncomfortable with the repair process, it’s best to consult with a professional roofing contractor. 

Regular inspections and preventive measures can help extend the life of your roof and reduce the likelihood of granule loss in the future. A well-maintained roof not only protects your home but also enhances its curb appeal and value.

Reach out to our awesome and expert roofing crew at Distinctive Roofing today. We’ll kickstart your next roofing project with a FREE detailed roofing inspection.

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