Is Considered Hail Damage Granule Loss?

As we enter into “hail season,” we want to make sure our customers are prepared with all the information they need if they encounter any hail damage. A lot of people ask us if granule loss is considered to be hail damage. And, does hailstone impact cause granule loss? First of all, let’s consider the history and purpose of granule composition shingles.
Granule Loss from hail damage.Asphalt shingles were developed in the late 1800s. Roofing manufacturers soon learned that coating the asphalt roofing material with granules extended the life of the product.

What are the purposes of granules on an asphalt fiberglass shingle? Granules on a roof have four main purposes:

  1. They are the protection of the asphalt coating from UV light.
  2. They add coloring and beauty.
  3. They provide fire resistance.
  4. They add to the aid in shingle packaging.

In today’s market, shingles are available in a wide range of colors and styles with 20-year lifetime warranties. One fact remains constant: all asphalt shingles have granule surfaces and manufacturers recognize granule asphalt shingles will not last forever, thus the wide range of warranties. As a shingle ages, it loses granules as the adhesion qualities in the asphalt dissipate. The older the shingle, the more granules are released, consequently, the less ability the shingle has to resist the weather elements. Hail impact can cause a certain amount of granule loss. With this in mind, does hail impact automatically constitute roof failure?

Hail impact is not the only element that can cause granule loss. Normal rainfall, wind or temperature change, and even foot trafficking can cause granule displacement from a shingle. It is true, after a heavy rain or hail storm, an abnormal amount of granules may be collected in the gutter system. When this happens, your first  thought might be, “my roof is damaged.”

Consider the following: an individual makes a routine maintenance check on his property and decides to clean out the gutters. A recent hail storm had occurred and a collection of shingle granules was discovered. The overall appearance of the roof remains the same, but now there may be a concern of roof failure.

The number of granules collected from the gutters filled two-gallon containers. A gallon of roof granules weighs approximately 15 lbs. An average size house has a roof square footage of about 3,000 square feet or 30 squares of shingles. There are about 86 lbs. of granules in a square which would be a total of about 2,580 lbs. of granules. If you collected two gallons of granules in the gutter system (30 lbs.), it would take 86 YEARS to lose all the granules from the roof providing the same hail storm occurs every year!

This scenario is extreme and unlikely but provides enlightenment to our discussion. So, does granule loss automatically determine roof failure and constitute roof replacement? No! Granule loss is part of the natural aging process of shingle and is recognized as such by the roofing industry.

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