Have you ever been cleaning your gutters and noticed tiny rocks in them? Or have you ever seen a little pile of gravel at the end of your downspout? What are these little rocks, where did they come from, and what does it mean?
What are the little rock granules in my gutters?
When asphalt shingles are manufactured, mineral granules (basically, lots of little rocks) are pressed into the hot asphalt. The granules are what create the color of the singles and protect the roof from harmful UV rays. They also make the shingles more durable, fire-resistant, and extend their lifespan.
With proper granule coverage, a roof can withstand years of rain, wind, hail, and other elements without the materials breaking down. However, over time, these little granules loosen and are washed off of the roof and into the gutters.
As your roof is exposed to the elements, it is not uncommon for small numbers of granules to come off and get washed into the downspouts. They will look like little rocks and you might see them here or there as the roof ages. The presence of a few granules in your gutters after a storm is nothing to be worried about. While it does contribute to your eventual need for a roof replacement, the loss of granules over time is normal.
What does it mean if there are granules in my gutters?
If you have been seeing a lot of granules in your gutters, it could mean a few things depending on the age and overall health of your roof.
If you roof is new, it is normal for your roof to “shed” some of these granules as the shingles adjust to their new life as a roof. This occurs because some of the granules come loose during packing, shipping, and installation of the roof. It is common to see granules washed into the gutters and downspouts of your home after a new roof has been installed. The loss of granules will stop, and it’s no reason to worry.
You may see an influx of granules in your downspouts after a storm. This could be caused by heavy rains or hail that beat on the roof and loosen the granules. It is normal to see some granule loss on these occasions and does not necessarily mean your roof is failing.
If you are seeing huge numbers of granules, to the point where it looks like there is gravel in your gutters or coming out of your downspouts, you roof might be nearing the end of its useful lifespan. If this is the case, you might start to notice that your shingles look spotty or bare in areas and you should call a roofing professional to take a look before further damage is done.
What should I do if there is a lot of gravel or granules in my gutters?
As local roofers, we have answered our fair share of roofing questions. While losing some granules here and there is completely normal and expected, a large amount over an extended time could mean it’s time for some repairs or a replacement. If you are concerned about the health of your roof or just want reassurance that everything is ok, give us a call! We would be happy to come provide a free inspection and offer our insight.