If you’ve been asking yourself “Why do my roofing shingles feel like sandpaper?” Let Louisiana Roof Crafters help you answer this! As asphalt shingles are taken as one of the most common roofing materials in America, you probably have a good understanding of the material. As a matter of fact, you might even have some roof shingles right now. There are many reasons why shingles remain popular, including their affordability, ease of installation, and a wide variety of styles and colors.
The granules on shingles do make them feel somewhat like sandpaper, don’t they? In this blog, we delve deeper to answer that question.
Why do shingles feel so gritty? What’s the deal with those granules?
Let’s start by looking at asphalt shingle anatomy. To design shingles, three elements are required – asphalt material, mineral granules, and some sort of backing or base material. Having said that, petroleum-based asphalt naturally repels water, so why are those little granules needed? The granules have a multitude of benefits, including:
Asphalt shingles aren’t necessarily more rigid when they contain mineral granules, but they do offer surface protection by blocking UV rays from the sun and delaying asphalt deterioration.
The rougher surface of granules also protects the shingles from other harsh weathering elements, including rain, hail, and snow. Granules also help prevent impacts from small branches.
Granules improve the fire resistance of petroleum-based asphalt, which is naturally susceptible to fire threats. They serve to increase fire safety since they are typically made from slate, stone, ceramics, or other materials that are fire-resistant.
Ease of installation
It may surprise you to learn that shingles aren’t just coated with granules on top; their undersides are also covered with sand. This will keep the shingles from sticking to each other until they have been nailed down.
Texture & aesthetics
Granules also have a positive effect on the aesthetics and textural feel of asphalt shingles. Without them, asphalt shingles would really look (and feel) rather flat. It is the presence of those embedded granules that gives shingles their aesthetic value.
So, is asphalt shingle granule shedding normal?
The granules used in the manufacture of shingles exceed the amount they need. A shingle roof loses granules naturally during installation, as the result of various weather events, and as a result of wear over the course of its lifetime:
Granule loss during the shingle installation
It’s perfectly normal for a freshly installed roof to lose granules. It is inevitable that some granules from the asphalt layer will be dislodged during the installation process since the shingles are being moved, fastened, and walked on. There should be an end to this granular shedding within a week or two.
Normal shingle degradation and granule loss
Some granule loss is expected over time. Be prepared to see some granules around your downspouts after heavy rainfall. As asphalt shingles are subjected to UV rays, wind, and other weathering, they are subjected to consistent (yet minimal) granule loss.
Accelerated granule loss on older shingle roofs.
If shed granules are accumulating in your gutters and around your downspouts, that may indicate your old shingle roof has reached the end of its service life. You may want to consider having your shingles inspected and making plans to replace your roof.
What shingle options are available to me?
Are you considering a roof replacement? The good news, there are many more choices of shingle products available now than there were when your original roof was installed. Here are just a few shingles options for your consideration.
Standard Asphalt Shingles
There are many names for “standard” shingles, including regular shingles, traditional shingles, and 3-tab shingles. It makes sense that many people gravitate towards standard asphalt shingles since they are the cheapest. However, cheaper does not always equate with a better product. Compared to other shingle products, there are many that are more durable, perform better, and have better design features.
Even though these types of shingles are referred to as “architectural,” don’t misunderstand the term to mean that they are only for professionals in the architectural field. Known also as composite, laminate, or dimensional shingles, these are superior to regular 3-tab shingles for several reasons. They have a thicker base, are usually constructed of multiple layers of material, are robust, and have a more complex, 3-dimensional appearance. There is a 50% weight difference between architectural shingles and “normal” shingles, as well as a double lifespan for architectural shingles. An excellent architectural shingle is almost always recommended by roofing contractors. Owens Corning’s TruDefinition Duration line offers some great solutions for your architectural shingle needs.
It is possible that you are considering something other than asphalt shingles because of the way they look and feel. In this case, synthetic shingles might prove to be a great solution. There’s something else to learn about DaVinci shingle tiles: they’re cast from virgin polymer resins and don’t require granules! Depending on your preferences, DaVinci tiles can mimic the look of wood shakes or slate or even be designed to resemble asphalt shingles. The roofs are rated as ‘cool roofs,’ which can reduce your energy costs in a tangible way. Aside from that, they require essentially no maintenance and are built to outlast and perform better than most other roofing materials.