Asphalt shingles are one of the most widely used roofing materials on the market today. Asphalt shingles are used on residential shingle roofs or also referred to as steep slope roofs. The asphalt shingle has advanced since its creation to its current day types, styles, shapes, colors, and sizes. The reason we call them asphalt shingles is because they are primarily composed of asphalt.
1. Asphalt roofing shingles are one of the referred roofing material for homes based on their relative cheap cost compared to tile, metal, wood shake, and other types of roofing materials.
2. Although they cost less there life expectancy ranges from 20 years – 50 years which most home owners find satisfactory when compared to the cost savings in the material itself.
3. Asphalt shingles are also one of the easiest roofing materials to install and are often installed by eager DIYers/home owners.
4. With the modern advancements in technology and design asphalt shingles are made in many different colors and designs. Some asphalt shingles are designed to replicate the look of wood shake, tile, and other types of more expensive roofing materials. This range of looks is one of the most important aspects that a homeowner looks at when deciding on a roof material. They want to know that it will look good on their roof.
Most asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of color and design options, but in terms of shingle type, there are chiefly three design categories: Three-tab (also called Standard or Strip shingles), Dimensional (also called Laminate or Architectural shingles) and Premium shingles.
Strip Shingles Strip Shingles are the original and the most basic of roofing shingles available in the industry. Strip Shingles are denoted by the fact that they are single layered roofing shingles that are generally designed to look like slate. Strip Roofing Shingles have a very flat appearance on the roof line and are typically the lightest weight roofing shingles available in the market. Strip shingles used to be the predominant roofing shingle available and used in the market. Today, however, with significant advances in technology and consumer sophistication, Strip Shingles are used primarily by home builders manufacturing economy priced homes or purchased by homeowners as replacement roofing shingles for homes that already have Strip Shingles on the roof.
Dimensional Shingles are now the predominant roofing shingles installed in North America. These products are manufactured as dual layered products (or multi-layered in some instances) and provide a thicker and richer appearance on the roof (a multi-dimensional look). Dimensional shingles are also (typically) heavier in weight than strip shingles and usually have improved warranty protections, which can range from 30-years to Lifetime.
Historically the mat of the shingles was made from a wood and paper felt material. Today a more advanced mat is created from fiberglass. Fiberglass is a type of material that is used for various things. In this case it is used to create shingles. It is created with plastic backed by fine fibers of glass. For shingles, fiberglass provides reliable strength and durability.
The fiberglass in asphalt/fiberglass shingles creates the mat portion of the shingle. The fiberglass that creates this shingle mat is compiled by randomly laying wet fiberglass and then bonding it with urea-formaldehyde resin. After this is done the mat goes through a process of coating. It is coated with asphalt but not just any asphalt. The asphalt is mixed with various types of mineral fillers. These mineral fillers give the shingle and mat waterproof characteristics which is a very important aspect shingles provide as a roofing material.
One of the benefits of a fiberglass shingle roof is that it is more fire resident. A fiberglass shingle usually has a class A fire rating. Compared to the older wood and paper mats used for asphalt shingles, the fiberglass shingles are much better for your home, especially when it comes to fire residence.
Organic asphalt shingles are a thing of the past. In fact, organic is simply the modern name for the traditional felt mat asphalt shingles. Companies simply took advantage of the eco friendly movement and started calling their felt asphalt mat shingles organic.
Wood & Shake Shingles
Wood shingles and shakes were here long before the advent of asphalt shingles and are in fact the forefather of the asphalt shingle. Wood shingles are modernly made out of wood or some type of synthetic material. Both the wood shake and wood shingle come primarily from pine, redwood trees, red cedar, and cypress.
- A good wood roof that is not exposed to too harsh of weather conditions should last up to 30 years.
- Wood shingles are undeniably unique in their appearance. The unique look of wood is one of its most desired benefits.
- Wood shingles are organic and eco friendly. This is an important benefit for those that are looking to be environmentally friendly when choosing what type of roof material they should get installed on their roof.
- Wood shingles are much more energy efficient than asphalt shingles. This energy efficiency could save the homeowner money on their heating and a/c bills.
- Wood shingles are very durable. Unlike other materials they are not prone to crack from hail or by being punctured. They also can withstand high winds much better than asphalt shingles.
Slate is one of the longest lasting roof materials available. There are slate roofs that are over 100 years old and they are still performing fantastically on the roof top. Slate is a natural rock that is mined and cut to become slate shingles or a.k.a slate tiles.
- Slate shingles generally last 80 – 100 years.
- Slate shingles are unique in appearance.
- Slate does an amazing job at resisting water absorption. Because it has an extremely low water absorption index (.4%) it does really well in freezing temperatures.
- Slate is strong and isn’t as easy to damage in wind storms or hail storms as compared to asphalt shingles.
A new type of shingle that is emerging across the United States are Solar Roof Shingles. Solar roof shingles double as a protective shingle for the roof and an energy producing system. The most common companies in the industry are Dow and CertainTeed. Both of these companies produce an aesthetically appealing solar shingle that blends in very well with traditional asphalt shingles.