Balding shingles is a phenomenon where the protective layer of gravel on the surface of asphalt shingles comes loose. You can often spot the signs of balding from the ground, as gravel will build up in gutters or along the dripline under the eaves of your roof. Without this gravel, your shingles aren't properly waterproofed and they will be prone to leaks.
Age is the number one reason for shingle balding. Once shingles reach the end of their normal lifespan of a couple of decades, weathering and exposure will catch up to them and the gravel layer begins to come loose. Not only does balding occur, but the shingles may also begin to curl up around the edges due to the aging deterioration. The best repair at this point is to replace all of the shingles.
Hail can cause balding on new and old shingles. The strikes of the hailstones knock loose the gravel with each impact. After the storm, the shingles may have shiny spots on them where the gravel was knocked off. There will also be more shed gravel on the ground or in the gutters. Hail-damaged shingles require replacement as there is no way to counteract the balding.
Debris buildup on the roof traps moisture on the shingles, which can cause the gravel to loosen prematurely. Fallen leaves and heavy moss growth are the most common types of debris buildup. Only small areas may be affected by the balding depending on the distribution of the debris. Keeping the roof clean and replacing any bald shingles is the best form of prevention and repair.
It's usually best to stay off the roof, as asphalt shingles aren't meant to be walked on. Both footsteps and dropped tools and supplies can lead to bald shingles, and any affected by the foot traffic will require replacement. If you must get on the roof, minimize impacts by spreading out the weight. When possible, try to do any work from the edges of the roof by standing on a ladder instead of walking across shingles.
If balding affects newer shingles and there haven't been any of the above issues to speed gravel loss, then there may be a manufacturing defect with the shingles themselves. Your roofer can check the shingles for such defects. If a defect is the cause, your roofer will work with the manufacturer to have the shingles replaced under warranty.
Contact a roof repair service if you notice signs of shingle balding. A prompt repair can prevent future leaks.Share