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The Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles: A Roofing Contractor’s Perspective
Asphalt shingles are one of the most commonly-used roofing materials for residential and commercial buildings. There are many reasons for its popularity. One of these is because it is more affordable than its alternatives. In fact, it is almost two times less than the cost of other popular roofing materials.
Apart from price, asphalt shingles have features that make them stand out in the market. One other primary feature is its high heat resistance. Heat resistance is one of the most outstanding features of asphalt shingles. It assures homeowners and roofers of longer-lasting roofing materials. After all, heat is one of the key reasons why roofing materials wear out over time.
Beyond these features, there’s more to learn about Asphalt shingles. In this article, you will learn about:
- the origin of asphalt roof shingles
- the best shingles, and its manufacturing process.
- the lifespan of asphalt roofs
- the price of asphalt shingles
- their benefits
- how roofing contractors or DIYers can install them in detail.
- roofers’ warranties
- the pros and cons of asphalt shingles based on a roofer’s perspective, and more.
What Are Asphalt Shingles?
Asphalt shingles are roofing materials manufactured using ACM (asphalt-containing material) or asphalt. They also contain other granules obtained from different materials, including wood. Asphalt shingles use paper or wood fibers as their base material. However, manufacturers are trying out other products like rubber and different mineral compounds.
Manufacturers can use organic fibers like paper and wood can as base materials. These materials are then made into a mash and dried and flattened into sheets. Afterward, the manufacturer adds granules to give the sheets or mats specific properties.
In other cases, manufacturers use fiberglass to create a thinner finished product. Asphalt shingles made from glass fibers combine glass pieces and resin. Afterwards, the manufacturer adds other components.
Its manufacturing process is identical to producing paper/wood-based asphalt shingles. Fiberglass asphalt shingles are more popular than organic shingles due to their fire and heat resistance.
Apart from the base materials, manufacturers add other components to get the finished product. These components include granite or basalt rocks that get crushed into tiny pieces. These rocks usually undergo a process where they get transformed into different colors. This process helps to improve the Asphalt Shingles aesthetics.
Other components that asphalt shingles contain to boost their quality may include:
- granules treated with biocides to prevent algae growth and recycled materials
- reflective materials
- adhesives to help the shingles stick during installation
- sand or limestone to stop the shingles from sticking to each other.
How Do Factories Manufacture Asphalt Shingles?
Asphalt shingles have been a staple in the roofing industry. Thousands of people use them daily to roof their homes and buildings.
However, very few people know the process involved in manufacturing asphalt shingles. Below, we will highlight important details, such as:
- the materials used
- the types of equipment
- the various steps taken in manufacturing an asphalt shingle in this section.
Gathering Raw Materials
Acquiring raw materials is the first and most crucial step. Every asphalt shingles manufacturer must choose the desired materials before the manufacturing process. Their choice will depend on the kind of asphalt shingles to be manufactured. The most popular types are:
- 3-tab asphalt shingles (or strip shingles)
- Architectural asphalt shingles (dimensional shingles)
- Premium asphalt shingles.
Deciding on the type of asphalt shingles to manufacture guides the manufacturers on choosing raw materials. It also helps to reduce the number of defects and prevent other issues during production.
Mixing The Base Material
Asphalt shingle manufacturers use either organic (wood or paper), glass, or rock fragments to create a base for the shingles. The process for preparing organic and fiberglass is similar. Paper/wood/glass is usually reduced to small pieces and turned into a pulp with water. The pulp must dry to reduce the moisture content, and the dried mixture is made into sheets or mats.
Applying The First Coat To The Sheets
Once the base material has dried, it gets pressed into thin sheets. Then the first asphalt coating gets applied to only one side of the sheet. The first coating is applied to only one side of the sheet to help remove any moisture trapped within. If both sides of the sheet get coated, it’ll trap the moisture between the sheets and cause it to degrade.
Soaking The Sheets In Asphalt And Final Coating.
After the first coating, the manufacturer passes the sheet through an asphalt chamber. The sheet absorbs hot asphalt in this chamber. This helps to seal any empty pores formed after the pulp dried.
However, fiberglass shingles don’t need to undergo this soaking process at all.
Once the sheet has soaked and dries off, the manufacturer rolls another round of asphalt coating onto both sides. Afterward, the manufacturer applies other materials as the final coating. These materials include mineral components such as crushed granite or basalt. The manufacturer can stain these materials into diverse colors.
Cutting And Drying
First, the asphalt sheets get coated. The next step is to cut them into the recommended dimensions using the appropriate equipment. Then the asphalt shingles must dry to ensure every trace of moisture is gone. This is because water leads to mold damage.
Before manufacturers package the asphalt shingles for distribution, they examine the materials to ensure the quality meets the standard requirements. They will inspect the materials for factory defects. Finally, they will separate and dispose of every material that doesn’t meet the desired standard.
The last step in the manufacturing process is packaging. The asphalt shingles get placed inside protective coverings and stored. Manufacturers distribute them to stores and roofing companies based on demand.
Why Are Asphalt Shingles the Most Popular Material in North America?
Asphalt shingles are a prevalent choice among North American roofers and building owners, especially in the US. You will find one kind of asphalt shingle roof or the other covering most homes and commercial structures in North America. Find out some of the reasons why more than 70% of building owners in North America opt for asphalt shingle roofs.
Asphalt shingles are one of the best roofing materials for complex roofing designs. Their unique size, flexibility, and design allow roofers to maneuver them to fit into any space or angle. They’re great even when the roofs have vents, chimneys, or any other air duct.
Apart from its diversity, asphalt shingles come in different colors. It also comes in various styles with different finishes. These features allow it to blend with contemporary home designs and even more retro styled structures. Plus, asphalt shingles are one of the only roofing materials that can mimic the look of other roofing materials.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable roofing materials available. This is one reason why it’s the most preferred option in North America. Asphalt shingles cost a little under $2 to $5.50 for a square foot. The only cheaper alternatives are clay tiles and EPDM rubber in some situations. Although asphalt shingles prices are low, they offer excellent value for money. This value includes their aesthetic value and lifespan.
Ease Of Installation
Asphalt shingles are very easy to install. There are several reasons for their ease of use. The major reason is their weight. Carrying asphalt shingles from the floor to the roof is very easy, even for newbie roofers.
In most cases, the roofer must cut and prepare roofing materials before installation. But architectural shingles come in shapes and sizes that don’t demand extra work before installation.
Best Roofing Shingles of 2023
Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing shingles in the market. And there are other kinds of roofing shingles used for covering buildings. Check out some of the best roofing shingles from the top roofing shingles brands based on consumer reports. The criteria for selection depends on how much force the roof could withstand.
- GAF – Royal Sovereign
- Tamko – Heritage
- Owens Corning – Oakridge
- IKO – Crowne Slate
- Owens Corning – Duration
- CertainTeed Landmark Shingles
- Owens Corning – Berkshire Collection
- IKO – Cambridge
GAF – Royal Sovereign
This is a popular entry-level shingle from GAF. The Royal Sovereign provides a classic, simple design, and solid performance at an affordable price point.
TAMKO – Heritage
TAMKO’s flagship product, the Heritage shingle, offers a wide range of color options and a limited lifetime warranty. Its fiberglass mat construction provides excellent durability.
Owens Corning – Oakridge
The Oakridge line from Owens Corning features a dimensional design and patented SureNail technology. Its design makes for easier and more accurate installation. It also offers good energy efficiency.
IKO – Crowne Slate
The Crown Slate design mimics the appearance of natural slate. The Crowne Slate shingle from IKO uses high-quality asphalt, offers excellent durability and wind resistance.
Owens Corning – Duration
The Duration is another popular shingle from Owens Corning. It offers a range of color options and a patented SureNail technology for easier and more accurate installation. It also provides strong wind resistance.
CertainTeed Landmark Shingles
A top-tier product from CertainTeed, the Landmark shingle offers a variety of colors and styles. You can even choose a luxury shingle option. Its fiberglass construction provides excellent durability and weather resistance.
Owens Corning – Berkshire Collection
The Berkshire Collection offers a unique, artisan-crafted look. Its design comes with a steep-slope design and thick, layered appearance. It is also resistant to weather.
IKO – Cambridge
The Cambridge line from IKO offers a variety of colors and a dimensional design for a classic look. It features a reinforced nail zone for added wind resistance and durability.
How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last?
Asphalt roofing shingles usually have a 20-year warranty period. So in most cases, their roofs will likely last for that long, or 4 – 5 years extra. Asphalt shingles have a pretty short lifespan compared to many other roofing materials.
However, asphalt shingles made with an organic base material consisting of either wood or recycled paper usually last for more extended periods than those made with fiberglass. This is because organic asphalt is thicker and heavier than fiberglass. It takes a lot more for thicker shingles to wear and tear compared to their lighter alternative. Premium or luxury asphalt shingles can also last for 50 years and above.
Asphalt Shingle Costs
Asphalt shingles are more affordable than other roofing solutions. There are different types of asphalt shingles, each with special pricing depending on the quality. Check out the cost of the four main types of roofing shingles.
3-tab asphalt shingles are one of the lowest-grade shingles available. They are cheap compared to other types of asphalt shingles. 3-tab shingles cost $80 to $100 per square, and are an excellent option for homeowners looking to save costs.
Architectural asphalt shingles are a grade higher than 3-tab and cost a bit more. Using an architectural shingle to cover an area per square costs around $100 or a max of $200. Architectural shingles also have a longer lifespan than 3-tab shingles because they are of better quality.
One well-known disadvantage of asphalt shingles is its short lifespan. People opt for luxury shingles since they have a much longer lifespan than the 3-tab and architectural types. They also cost around $200 or close to $500 for the quantity that’ll cover a square. Luxury shingles have a better aesthetic appeal and can last up to 50 years.
Composite shingles are the most common impact-resistant asphalt shingles available in the market. Impact-resistant shingles offer reinforced protection from adverse weather conditions, costing up to $700 and above $1000 for good IR shingles.
Comprehensive Review of Asphalt Roofing Shingles
Asphalt shingles have been massively adopted and used by lots of roofers all over the world. This section will review some of its stand-out features and include some Pros and Cons one can expect when using the product.
There are very few other roofing materials worldwide that can compete with asphalt shingles regarding how much it costs. Asphalt shingles are very affordable and in abundant supply in North America, the United States, and other countries in the world where it is being exported to.
Asphalt shingles come in various colors with unique designs and styles. Any building owner looking for roofing materials that can readily blend their chosen colors should probably go for asphalt shingles.
It can be found in shades of brown, red, black, and even grey tones. Sometimes, you can even get bespoke colors for your building projects. These wide range of colors can be obtained from all of the best asphalt shingle brands discussed here.
Another reason roofers would readily recommend asphalt shingles to their customers when it’s time for a roofing project is the ease of installation. It reduces the cost of labor and transporting equipment from the office to the roofing sites because asphalt shingles don’t require severe preparation before installation.
Asphalt shingles are pretty easy to replace. If you identify any cracks during a routine roof inspection to identify the areas that need to be touched up, all you need to do is replace the single piece. There’s no need to start overhauling the entire roof when you need to fix minor issues with asphalt shingles.
Repair is incredibly affordable, taking both the repair labor cost and buying new materials to replace the old one. Building owners get to save a lot by opting for asphalt shingle roofs.
- Asphalt shingles issues are straightforward to identify and even easier to fix, especially if it is minor damage like broken or cracked shingles.
- Asphalt shingles are one of the most pocket-friendly roofing materials one can get.
- The roofing materials are readily available for a new project or repairs.
- It doesn’t require too much skill or equipment to install.
- Available in various colors and designs.
- Asphalt shingles have a short lifespan because they are more susceptible to wear and tear from external elements.
- Asphalt is not biodegradable and is manufactured from leftover products after petroleum distillation. Anyone looking for eco-friendly products cannot use asphalt shingles.
- The material composition can’t withstand adverse environmental conditions and will damage easily under pressure. (e.g., wind storms)
Outstanding Benefits of Asphalt Shingles
If you’re wondering why asphalt shingles are so popular in North America and other places worldwide, this section will outline some benefits contributing to Asphalt shingles’ widespread use.
Asphalt Shingles Are Cheap
Building owners embark on roofing projects for several reasons. Before a building is sold, there might be a need to reproof or carry out maintenance and repair to ensure the owners get the best value for their property. The other common reason is to install a new roof on a new house.
Whatever the case, asphalt shingles provide these owners a cost-friendly option to protect and beautify their buildings. Apart from the asphalt shingle prices, it is also easy to install, reducing the cost of labor by a substantial margin.
You Don’t Have To Worry About Rust
Rusting is a familiar problem for building owners when using certain roofing materials. However, asphalt shingles don’t contain metals that’ll lead to the reaction that causes rusting. That way, asphalt roofs maintain their aesthetic value for an extended period.
Many Options To Choose From
Asphalt shingles are one of the few roofing materials in many colors. Manufacturers also create them in styles and designs that imitate other roofing materials. That way, even if the building owners can not afford a specific material, they can opt for an asphalt shingle with a similar design. Asphalt shingles can also be modified to fit more trendy designs and looks and will still be the right fit for a Victorian-style home.
Requires Minimal Maintenance Checks
Asphalt shingles are designed so that, except if the roof is affected by harsh weather conditions, it will remain intact for years. The only maintenance that will be required is to clean out the gutter to prevent water from accumulating on the roof and causing issues like leaking. Once in a while, there might be the need to replace a shingle or two.
Why Does The Roofing Industry Recognize GAF as One of the Superior Asphalt Roofing Products?
GAF is one of the most notable roof manufacturing companies in the United States. Their asphalt shingles product line is recognized by roofers, building owners, and even their competitors. There are always conversations popping up regularly about the performance of their products in the market and about their level of profitability, and here’s why:
- GAF makes use of the best quality raw materials in manufacturing their asphalt shingles. To ensure that they uphold the quality of its products, the company started producing its materials years ago. As a result, GAF roofs are known to be sturdy and last long after their expired warranty.
- GAF ensures that before their products hit the market, it has been passed through an extensive check. This evaluation is done before packaging, and it helps the company eliminate all of its products with minor or significant defects before the product can get out into the market.
Apart from subjecting it to tests for defects, the company provides equipment that checks the product’s strength. This ensures that every product they release is as strong as they claim.
- If you buy a GAF product, you enjoy a lifetime warranty on every purchase. This guarantee helps their customers trust in the quality of what the company is selling to them.
- Respected bodies have recognized GAF in the roofing industry for consistently producing quality products. The recognition comes in the form of awards that’ll likely be displayed on the company website. This alone builds trust among consumers and roofing contractors for the company.
Step-by-Step Process for Installing a New GAF Roofing System
The first step in installing a new GAF roofing system is to plan and prepare the roof for installation. This step includes removing all the old roofing materials, inspecting and repairing the roof deck, and installing underlayment.
Removing Old Roofing Materials
Before installing a new GAF roofing system, you must remove the old roofing materials. The old shingles, underlayment, and other roofing material must be removed to ensure a smooth installation.
This step is crucial as it provides a clean surface for the new roofing materials to adhere to. However, if it is a new roofing project, there would be no need for this step.
Inspecting and Repairing the Roof Deck
Once the old roofing material has been removed, it’s time to inspect the roof deck. The roof deck is your roof’s foundation, and it plays a crucial role in the roofing system’s overall health and lifespan.
If there is any damage to the roof deck, it must be repaired before installing the new roofing system. Repairing any damage to the roof deck ensures that your new roofing system has a solid foundation to adhere to and will last many years.
Installing Roof Underlayment
The next step is to install a roof underlayment. The roof underlayment is a material layer installed directly on the roof deck.
The underlayment provides additional protection against water infiltration. It also helps to protect the roof deck from damage and provides a smooth surface for installing the shingles.
Once the pre-installation preparation is complete, it’s time to start installing the shingles. This step includes laying out shingle courses, nailing shingles in place, and cutting and shaping shingles to fit roof features.
When installing shingles, the best approach is to start the project from the bottom of the roof and work your way up. Starting the project from the bottom will ensure that the shingles overlap correctly. This will go a long way in preventing water from infiltrating your roof system.
Lay Out Shingle Courses
The next step is to lay out the shingle courses if you desire a quality finish. Shingle courses are rows of shingles running from the roof’s bottom to the top.
To lay out shingle courses, you must determine the correct exposure and stagger for the shingles. The exposure is the amount of visible shingle, and the stagger is the offset of the shingle from the course below.
Nail Shingles In Place
Once the shingle courses are laid out, it’s time to start nailing the shingles in place. When nailing shingles, following the manufacturer’s instructions and using the correct number of nails per shingle is crucial.
The manufacturer’s guide should be found on the shingles package. It is important to note that improper nailing can lead to shingle blow-off, which will cause damage to your roofing system.
Cut and Shape Shingles to Fit Roof Features
One final step in the shingle installation process is to cut and shape shingles to fit around certain roof features. For instance, roof features like chimneys, vents, and skylights require custom-cut shingles around their edges to ensure a proper fit and a watertight seal.
The last step in the installation process is to complete the finishing touches. This step includes installing ridge vents, flashing installation, clean-up, and final inspection.
Ridge vents are a critical component of your roofing system. They allow proper ventilation and airflow in your attic, which helps regulate your home’s temperature and moisture levels. Installing ridge vents is part of the final step in the installation process and ensures that your new roofing system functions correctly.
Flashing is a material that roofers place to protect your roof from water infiltration. It is always around roof features such as chimneys, vents, and skylights. Installing flashing is essential in ensuring your roofing system is watertight and protected from the elements.
Once the installation is complete, it’s time to start cleaning up the work area. This step includes removing any debris and disposing of old roofing materials properly.
The final step in the installation process is to conduct a final inspection. A last review ensures the installation process is complete and your new roofing system functions correctly. The assessment includes checking for proper nail placement, ensuring that flashing is installed correctly, and verifying that the ridge vents work perfectly.
What Processes do Manufacturers Use to Make Asphalt Shingles, So They Mimic the Look of Slate, Wood Shakes, or Even Tile?
Manufacturers use asphalt roofing shingle granule application to mimic the look of slate, wood shakes, or tile. Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material due to their durability, affordability, and versatility.
Asphalt Roofing Shingle Granule Application
Asphalt roofing shingle granule application is a process that manufacturers use to mimic the look of slate, wood shakes, or tile. The process involves applying granules to the shingle’s surface to achieve the desired appearance.
The granules used in asphalt roofing shingle granule application are made of various materials, including ceramic, stone, and minerals.
The granules are coated with a color pigment to achieve the desired color and then applied to the shingles surface.
Asphalt shingles are available in a wide variety of colors and textures, making them an excellent option for homeowners looking to enhance the aesthetic appeal of their homes.
How Asphalt Shingles Complement Victorian Architecture
Asphalt shingles complement Victorian architecture by providing a versatile and durable roofing material that is also aesthetically pleasing. Victorian architecture is known for its elaborate detailing and vibrant colors, and asphalt shingles can be customized to match these features.
By Providing Multiple Color Options for Victorian Architecture
Asphalt shingles come in a wide range of colors, this makes it easy to find a color palette that matches those that are associated with the Victorian era. Popular color options for Victorian architecture include burgundy, green, brown and certain shades of blue.
By Providing Different Styles/Designs for Victorian Architecture
Asphalt shingles are also available in various textures, including slate, wood shake, and tile. Textured asphalt shingles provide a unique aesthetic appeal that complements the extravagant designs commonly found in Victorian architecture.
How do Asphalt Shingles Complement the Square, Slate-Like Shingles Suited for Colonial Homes?
Asphalt shingles complement square, slate-like shingles for colonial homes by providing a cost-effective and durable alternative to the traditional slate shingles associated with those kinds of structures. Asphalt shingles are created with a similar appearance to conventional slate shingles commonly used in colonial homes. The slate-like texture provides an authentic look while maintaining the durability and affordability that asphalt shingles are known for.
What Manufacturing Process Is Used to Achieve The Light and Dark Color Tone In Asphalt Shingles?
Asphalt shingles can be seen sporting some vibrant light and dark color tones, and these colors result from the granules embedded in the shingles. The granules are infused with colors that help to improve the aesthetics of the shingles, and an additional procedure is undergone to protect the shingles from damage due to the intense UV light from the sun. Here’s a brief overview of its manufacturing process.
When colored metals and crushed rocks with light or dark tones are applied to the surface of asphalt shingles, it reflects once sunlight falls on the roof’s surface. The variations in the color of the granules cause various areas of the roof surface to give off different tones, causing an illusion called color shading. However, this phenomenon can be influenced by the time of the day and angle of the observer.
Asphalt shingles are usually coated with talc and other substances that help to prevent the Shingles from sticking together. Very often, the coating adheres to the granules on the surface of the shingle, causing it to reflect light and dark tones immediately after installation. Although, in this case, the color difference ceases to occur once the coating has been washed off by rainfall.
Overapplication Of Asphalt
One of the last steps in the asphalt shingles manufacturing process is to apply minerals like rocks and metals (granules) to the surface of the shingles. These help to reflect light and minimize the heat trapped by the asphalt. When the granules are applied to the surface of the asphalt sheet, the asphalt could get between them and give an observer the illusion of light and dark tones until the asphalt wears out.
What Manufacturing Process Is Used to Achieve The Weathered Looks Designed to Make a New Roof Look Vintage?
A weathered wood asphalt shingle usually has the vintage appearance associated with wooden structures that were prevalent in the past. GAF, CertainTeed, and TAMKO are one of the biggest asphalt shingles companies that produce this kind of asphalt shingles.
Weathered wood gets its look due to natural occurrences. For instance, rainfall wets the surface of the wood, and UV light dries the moisture up. This cycle causes the roof to weather and attains a greyish look. Alternatively, manufacturers recreate this look in asphalt shingles by coloring the granules to a grey or brownish vintage color through ceramic firing. After ceramic firing gives the stones and metals the desired color, the granules are poured on the surface of the asphalt sheet to provide it with a vintage look.
What Are Energy-Efficient Asphalt Shingles?
Energy efficient asphalt shingles is the term used to describe asphalt shingles with the ability to regulate the temperature of the building that It’s placed over. An energy-efficient asphalt shingle helps the occupants of the building cut down on the amount of energy used up by fixtures like the heater or air conditioners.
An energy efficient asphalt shingle is achieved by adding materials to the asphalt shingles that give them reflective properties. These reflective properties deflect the sunlight from the roof surface, causing it to trap less heat energy. This, in turn, reduces the amount of energy that is now transmitted into the building, causing the building to remain at a cool temperature most of the time.
Alternatively, when the temperature drops, the energy-efficient properties of the roof will help retain more heat in the building. Every energy-efficient roof has an SRI rating to indicate how much heat energy it can reflect.
What Manufacturing Process Is Used To Create Energy-Saving Asphalt Shingles?
Energy-saving asphalt shingle is created using a process called cool roof technology. In cool roof technology, asphalt shingles are covered with granules that have been coated with materials that allow them to reflect more UV rays off the surface of the roof than regular asphalt shingles.
What Manufacturing Process Is Used To Create Cool-Roof Technology, And How Does It Help Reduce The Amount Of Heat The Roof Absorbs?
In cool roof technology, the most common means of improving the energy efficiency of the roofing shingles is by increasing the reflective coating of the granules. However, manufacturers also use other processes to reduce the roof’s heat absorption rate.
In some cases, manufacturers create very tight bonds between the asphalt shingle molecules in a process called thermal sealing. The asphalt shingle is subjected to high temperatures, forcing any air pocket to close. This eliminates all the air openings that energy could leak out from.
Alternatively, some manufacturers use recycled materials like aluminum, fillers, and other raw materials to create more energy-efficient asphalt shingles. Increasing a roof’s energy efficiency helps building owners save the extra cost spent on bills due to excess heat or cold.
Why Does High Heat Degrade Asphalt Shingles Sooner Than Cool Weather Conditions?
External factors significantly affect how quickly or slowly roofing materials degrade, and heat plays one of the most prominent roles. During high heat, architectural asphalt shingles begin to expand, and once it gets cooler, the material relaxes. The alternate expansion and contraction will eventually cause the fabric to get weak and lead to cracks and other forms of degradation.
In cool weather conditions, although expansion and relaxation may occur, especially during the winter, it occurs at a much milder rate. This delays the level of degradation that will occur compared to periods of high heat (which lasts for long periods).
How Does The Roof Pitch Affect Asphalt Shingle Life?
The roof pitch is used to describe the angle of the roof’s slope, and the slope of the roof determines how easily rainfall can roll off its surface. Apart from the heat, water is another element that damages roofing materials and is a cause of concern to many building owners.
Roofs with steep slopes allow water from rainfall to flow quickly, eliminating room for the water to remain stagnant. On the other hand, a roof with a very gentle slope allows water to find its way into spaces in the roof resulting in cases of leaking which could cause significant damage to buildings.
Explain What Happens To The Shingles At The Microscopic Level
Roof shingles consist of various materials, including asphalt, fiberglass, and organic fibers. At the microscopic level, the structure of the shingles can vary depending on their composition.
For asphalt shingles, the base material is typically a fiberglass mat or felt coated with asphalt and ceramic granules. The asphalt mixture comprises a blend of bitumen (a sticky and black substance that is similar to tar) and filler materials, including limestone, sand, and other minerals.
At the microscopic level, the bitumen in the asphalt mixture forms a continuous bond around the filler particles, creating a solid and durable material. The ceramic granules on the surface of the shingles provide additional protection against UV rays and weathering.
In organic shingles, the base material is typically a mat of recycled paper or wood fibers coated with asphalt and granules. The asphalt in organic shingles is made up of a mixture of bitumen and cellulose fibers, which come from paper or wood pulp.
At the microscopic level, the cellulose fibers in the asphalt matrix create a more fibrous and porous structure than the solid ma of asphalt and filler in fiberglass shingles. This can make organic shingles more susceptible to moisture damage and deterioration.
Overall, the microscopic structure of roof shingles plays a crucial role in determining their durability, weather resistance, and other vital properties. Understanding these structures can help builders and homeowners decide which types of shingles to use and how to care for them over time.
What Measures Are Roof Manufacturers Researching to Reduce or Avoid Potentially Damaging Roof Surfaces in Perennially Damp or Subtropical Areas?
With the increasing threat of extreme weather conditions, including hurricanes and tropical storms, there is a growing need for roofs that can withstand these events. Therefore, roof manufacturers constantly research new measures to reduce or avoid potentially damaging roof surfaces in perennially damp or subtropical areas.
One of the most effective ways that manufacturers are working to improve roof performance in these areas is by developing roofing materials that are specifically designed to withstand moisture and humidity. These materials include high-quality shingles, tiles, and other roofing products manufactured with advanced technologies and materials.
Another approach is designing roofing systems that allow for better ventilation and airflow. This can help to reduce the build-up of moisture and humidity, which can cause damage to the roof over time. Also, manufacturers are researching new coatings and sealants that can provide additional protection against water and humidity.
Furthermore, manufacturers are also exploring using environmentally friendly and sustainable roofing materials. These materials are designed to reduce the impact of construction on the environment while providing a durable and long-lasting roof. These materials include recycled metal, sustainable wood, and green roofs, incorporating vegetation and other natural elements into the roofing system.
Roof manufacturers are relentlessly researching and developing new measures to reduce or avoid potentially damaging roof surfaces in perennially damp or subtropical areas. With the increasing threat of extreme weather conditions, homeowners and builders need to select high-quality roofing products that are specifically designed to withstand these events.
Why Are Asphalt Shingles The Lasting Solution to Roof Deterioration?
Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material for many homeowners, and for a good reason. These shingles are made from a combination of asphalt and fiberglass or organic base, which makes them durable, long-lasting, and resistant to weathering and wear.
One of the primary reasons asphalt shingles are a lasting solution to roof deterioration is their ability to resist water damage. They are designed with a waterproof coating that prevents moisture from penetrating the roof’s surface, protecting the underlying structure from damage. Also, the fiberglass or organic base of the shingles provides additional strength and durability to the roof, helping it withstand the impact of wind, rain, and hail.
Another benefit of asphalt shingles is their ease of installation and maintenance. These shingles are lightweight and easy to work with, making them a cost-effective option for roofing projects. Asphalt shingles also require minimal maintenance, with occasional inspections and cleaning being all that is needed to keep them in good condition.
Finally, asphalt shingles are available in a wide range of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to choose a design that complements their home’s architectural style and aesthetic. This versatility, combined with their durability and affordability, makes asphalt shingles a popular choice for homeowners looking for a lasting solution to roof deterioration.
The Three Types of Asphalt Shingles
The three main types commonly used for residential roofing include the following
Three-Tab shingles, or strip shingles, are a traditional type of asphalt shingle used in roofing for over 50 years. They are called three-tab shingles because they have three uniformly spaced tabs along the lower edge that create the appearance of three separate shingles when installed.
One of the critical benefits of Three-Tab shingles is their affordability. They are generally the most cost-effective option compared to other types of shingles. This makes them an ideal choice for homeowners on a tight budget or looking for an economical roofing solution.
In addition to their affordability, Three-Tab shingles are also relatively easy to install. Their lightweight design allows for quick and easy installation, saving labor costs. They can be installed on various roof types, including steep-slope and low-slope roofs.
Three-Tab shingles are also known for their durability. They also have a long lifespan, typically 20 to 30 years. This means homeowners can expect to get a lot of use out of their investment in Three-Tab shingles.
Another benefit of Three-Tab shingles is their aesthetic appeal. They are available in various colors and styles, allowing homeowners to choose a look that best suits their home’s style and personality. Whether you are looking for a classic, traditional look or a more modern, sleek appearance, Three-Tab shingles can provide an attractive and functional solution.
Architectural shingles are made from multiple layers of material, including a fiberglass or organic felt mat, a layer of asphalt, and a top layer of granules. The layers are laminated together to create a thick, durable shingle. The shingles are designed to have a three-dimensional appearance, mimicking the look of other high-end roofing materials like slate or cedar shake.
There are several benefits to using architectural shingles over traditional asphalt shingles. First, the multiple layers and thicker construction make them more resistant to weather and wear, which can extend their lifespan. Architectural shingles also tend to have higher wind ratings than traditional shingles, making them a good choice for areas prone to high winds.
Another benefit of architectural shingles is their appearance. The layered construction and three-dimensional design create a more visually appealing roof than traditional shingles. Architectural shingles are available in a wide range of colors and styles, so it is easy to find a design that matches the style of the building.
Lastly, architectural shingles can increase the value of a property. The durability and appearance of these shingles can make a building more attractive to potential buyers, leading to a higher selling price. Also, because architectural shingles are more durable than traditional shingles, they may reduce the cost of homeowners insurance premiums.
Overall, architectural shingles are an excellent choice for homeowners or commercial property owners who want a durable, attractive, and long-lasting roofing material. While they may be slightly more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles, their benefits are worth the investment.
Multilayered architectural shingles are designed to provide a more dimensional and textured appearance to a roof. They are thicker and heavier than traditional asphalt shingles, which gives them a more premium look and feel. They are also more durable and can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance.
These shingles comprise multiple layers of asphalt and fiberglass, adding strength and durability. The base layer is made of a fiberglass mat coated with asphalt and granules to give it a textured look. The top layer is also made of asphalt, but it is thicker and more resistant to weather and UV rays.
The thickness and weight of multilayered architectural shingles make them more resistant to wind and hail damage. They also have a higher fire rating, which makes them a safer option for homes and buildings.
Another advantage of multilayered architectural shingles is their energy efficiency. They are designed to reflect heat away from the roof, which means they can help lower cooling costs during the summer months.
Although multilayered architectural shingles are more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles, they offer more benefits in terms of durability, longevity, and aesthetics. With proper installation and maintenance, they can provide many years of reliable service and enhance the curb appeal of any property.
The Dynamic Benefits of Asphalt
Everyone knows asphalt as the primary material used for tarring roads; however, for several decades, it is also used as a roofing material. This section will cover the benefits or reasons why asphalt is a good material for protecting buildings and not only roads.
- Asphalt doesn’t need much maintenance when used as a roofing material unless there is an adverse weather condition like a windstorm. Asphalt roofing materials can survive only on routine maintenance that mainly involves roof cleaning.
- Asphalt is cheaper to obtain than many other roofing materials, which also plays a significant role in the cost of the finished product.
- Asphalt has good waterproof properties, which is a desirable quality for all roofing materials.
- Asphalt has a very high resistance to heat and fire.
- Asphalt allows manufacturers the liberty to create incredible designs with roofing materials.
How to Replace Asphalt Shingles
Replacing asphalt shingles involves several steps that must be followed carefully to ensure a successful outcome. Here are the steps to replace asphalt shingles:
Before you start working, make sure you have the proper safety gear. Wear gloves, eye protection, and a hard hat.
Remove the damaged shingles
Use a pry bar to remove the damaged shingles. Start from the top of the roof and work your way down. Take care not to damage the surrounding shingles.
Inspect the decking
After removing the damaged shingles, inspect the decking for any signs of damage or rot. Replace any damaged or rotted wood.
Install new underlayment
Before installing the new shingles, it is crucial to install a new underlayment. Use a high-quality underlayment to ensure proper protection from moisture.
Install new shingles
Start by installing a starter strip at the bottom of the roof. Then, install the shingles in rows, overlapping each row. Use roofing nails to secure the shingles in place.
Install ridge vents
If your roof has ridge vents, install them after you have installed the new shingles.
Once you have finished installing the new shingles, clean up any debris from the roof and surrounding area.
Dispose of the old shingles
Properly dispose of the old shingles. You can take them to a local recycling center or landfill.
By following these steps, you can replace asphalt shingles safely and effectively. If you are not comfortable with any of these steps, it’s best to hire a professional roofing contractor to do the job for you.
Asphalt Shingles Varieties
Asphalt comes in two varieties, fiberglass and organic shingles. Learn more about these varieties below.
Fiberglass asphalt shingles are manufactured using crushed glass fibers. Manufacturers use fiberglass as raw material to create shingles that prevent the asphalt from absorbing
General Characteristics for Fiberglass Shingles
Fiberglass shingles have several characteristics that make them a desirable option for homeowners and roofing professionals. Here are some of these characteristics:
Fiberglass shingles are lightweight compared to other roofing materials, which makes them easy to install and maneuver.
They are durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions. They are also resistant to fire and rot.
Fiberglass shingles are relatively affordable compared to other roofing materials, such as slate or tile.
They have a high solar reflectivity, which means they reflect more sunlight and heat away from the roof, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool a home.
They are low maintenance and require occasional cleaning to remove debris and maintain their appearance.
They come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, making them a versatile option that can match any home’s architectural style.
They are often made with recycled materials and can be recycled again at the end of their lifespan.
This asphalt shingle contains an organic base material, typically made of paper or felt, saturated with asphalt, and coated with granules. These shingles are sometimes called “felt” or “paper” shingles.
Organic shingles were commonly used in the past, but they have largely been replaced by fiberglass shingles, which are more durable and less prone to damage from moisture and weather. However, some older homes may still have organic shingles installed.
One of the key features of organic shingles is their weight. They are generally heavier than fiberglass shingles, which can make them more challenging to install and require additional support from the roof decking. Also, because they are made of organic materials, they may be more susceptible to mold and mildew growth, leading to premature deterioration.
When considering roofing options, it is crucial to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of different materials, including organic and fiberglass shingles, to determine which will best meet your needs and budget. Consulting with a professional roofing contractor can also help you make an informed decision and receive high-quality installation and maintenance services.
What Are the Roof Slopes Manufacturers Design Asphalt Shingles?
When it comes to asphalt shingles, they’re designed to be used on all kinds of roof slopes. However, you can’t just use any shingle for any slope. For roofs with a low pitch (2:12 or less), you may need special shingles or other materials to prevent leaks.
But, if your roof has a steep slope (greater than 4:12), you’ll need shingles for high-wind areas to stand up to strong gusts. As a roofing contractor, it’s essential to keep the roof slope in mind and select the correct type of asphalt shingle for maximum protection and durability for the homeowner.
Asphalt Shingle Styles and Colors
Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials thanks to their affordability, durability, and ease of installation. They are available in various styles and colors, allowing homeowners to customize their roofs to their preferences.
The most common asphalt shingle styles are 3-tab, architectural, and designer. 3-tab shingles are the most basic and budget-friendly option, while architectural shingles offer more texture and dimension. Designer shingles, on the other hand, can mimic the appearance of other roofing materials such as wood, slate, or tile.
When it comes to colors, asphalt shingles are available in virtually every shade imaginable, from traditional earth tones to bold and bright hues. Homeowners can choose a color that complements the style of their home or makes a statement with a bold contrast.
It is essential to consider the climate and location when choosing asphalt shingle styles and colors. Lighter colors reflect sunlight and help keep homes cooler in hot climates, while darker tints can absorb heat and provide warmth in colder climates. Certain styles may also be more appropriate for areas with high winds or heavy snow loads.
Choosing the right asphalt shingle style and color depends on personal preference and practical considerations. A trusted roofing professional can help guide homeowners through the selection process and ensure a beautiful and functional roof that lasts for years to come.
Why Are Asphalt Shingles No Longer Easy to Identify?
In recent years, identifying the type of asphalt shingle has become increasingly challenging. This is due to various factors, including changes in manufacturing processes, technological advances, and the introduction of new raw materials.
One of the reasons why asphalt shingles are no longer easy to identify is the introduction of synthetic materials, which makes them more durable and resistant to weathering. Synthetic materials can also mimic the appearance of traditional asphalt shingles, making it difficult to tell them apart. Additionally, some manufacturers have begun using recycled materials in their shingles, which can further complicate the identification process.
Another reason why asphalt shingles are becoming harder to identify is due to changes in manufacturing processes. As technology has advanced, manufacturers have been able to produce shingles that look and perform better than ever before. Some shingles are now designed to simulate the look of natural slate or wood shingles, which can make it difficult to distinguish them from the real thing.
Finally, the increasing popularity of architectural or designer shingles has contributed to the difficulty of identifying asphalt shingles. These shingles are often multi-dimensional and have a textured appearance that makes them look more like high-end roofing materials. Also, many designer shingles come in various colors and patterns, further complicating the identification process.
While it may be more challenging to identify these shingles than in the past, it is still important to know what type of shingle is being used on your roof. This information can help ensure that your roof is properly maintained and repaired, which can extend its lifespan and prevent costly damage down the road.
What Color Choices do Asphalt Shingles Offer?
The most common color options for asphalt shingles include shades of gray, brown, and black. These neutral colors are popular because they complement various home styles and colors.
Some manufacturers also offer earthy tones like green and red, as well as bolder options like blue and purple. In recent times, there has been a trend towards lighter-colored shingles, which can help to reflect sunlight and keep homes cooler in hot climates. Lighter shades of gray, beige, and even white are becoming increasingly popular for this reason too.
So, there you have it! The color of your asphalt shingles should complement the overall style and color scheme of your home. Consulting with a roofing professional or design expert can help you choose the perfect color to enhance the beauty and functionality of your roof.
Does Asphalt Shingles Colors Affect The Quality Of The Shingles?
Shingles are an essential part of any roofing system. They are not only responsible for protecting your home from external elements such as rain, wind, and sun, but they also play a significant role in enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your property. However, when it comes to choosing shingles for your roofing system, color is often an overlooked factor.
Many people assume that shingle color is purely an aesthetic choice. However, color affects more than just the look; it can also affect the quality and longevity of your shingles. One of the primary ways that color affects shingle quality is through heat absorption. Darker colors tend to absorb more heat than lighter colors, which makes them become brittle and crack over time.
This is particularly true in warmer climates where the sun’s rays can be intense. If you live in a hot environment, it is generally recommended that you opt for lighter-colored shingles, as they will help to reflect the sun’s rays and keep your roof cooler.
On the other hand, in colder climates, darker-colored shingles can be beneficial. They can help to absorb more heat from the sun, which can help to melt any snow or ice that may have accumulated on your roof. This can be particularly useful in preventing ice dams, which can cause significant damage to your roof.
Color can also affect the overall lifespan of your shingles. Darker colors tend to fade more quickly than lighter colors, which means they may need to be replaced sooner. Lighter hues are more resistant to fading so they may last longer than darker shingles.
Furthermore, if you live in an area with a lot of trees or foliage, it is generally recommended that you choose a lighter-colored shingle. This is because darker colors show more dirt and debris, making your roof look unsightly.
Describe the Top Asphalt Shingles Brands
Selecting the best asphalt shingles for a roofing project is always a top priority for every building owner searching for a new roof. It can be challenging to choose the perfect one for your location that can offer protection against external elements and still have a high aesthetic value. Check out some of the best roofing shingles of 2023 from some of the best roofing manufacturers.
IKO is one of the top shingles manufacturing companies in 2023 that produces asphalt roofing shingles. The company was established as far back as 1951 in Calgary, Canada. They started by manufacturing building paper for water insulation, but by 1954 they had produced and sold their first set of asphalt shingles. Since they first came out, they have diversified and included manufacturing waterproofing as well as roofing materials and insulation materials.
In the roofing sector, IKO is known for producing good quality architectural and 3-tab shingles and is reportedly one of the biggest asphalt shingles manufacturers. For over six decades, IKO has maintained a reputation for putting out some of the best asphalt shingles.
They also have some of the most inclusive asphalt roof shingles colors building owners can choose from. Some colors include red, brown, grey, black, and blue.
TAMKO is one of the leaders in manufacturing the best roofing shingles, with many of its products covering buildings in North America and the rest of the United States. TAMKO was established in 1944 in a city called Joplin, Missouri, and started out doing exactly what it is doing now, which is making shingles.
Like some of its competitors, TAMKO produces most of the raw materials it uses in creating its asphalt roofing shingles. This has helped the company maintain the superior quality of its roofing shingles for almost eight decades. TAMKO’s most significant selling point is the lifetime warranty it offers to its customers.
CertainTeed is one of the biggest roofing brand names in North America, although the company also specializes in manufacturing other materials. When the pioneer George M. Brown first began CertainTeed in 1904, he started manufacturing asphalt roofing materials.
However, manufacturing architectural (asphalt) shingles came much later in 1913, and years later, CertainTeed added other building materials like roofing slates, tiles, insulation materials, pipes, windows, etc. Building owners and roofers look to CertainTeed when they need roofing shingles designed to look like slates and other roofing materials and for sustainable 3-tab shingles.
GAF is among the oldest roofing materials manufacturers in the United States and North America. The company began production in 1886 using a renovated mill to produce a roofing material called RU-BER-OID, which was asphalt made into rolls that roofers could lay over roof surfaces. Due to the success of RU-BER-OID, there was a split, with one side adopting the name RUBEROID.co, although it will merge back with GAF once the successful Timberline was launched.
It may not be common knowledge, but GAF has been involved in several other ventures under different names, including camera and film production. The company was even officially affiliated with Walt Disney and Hollywood Veterans, running commercials for the company. However, in 2023, GAF will specialize strictly in manufacturing roofing materials like 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and metal roofs.
Owen Corning is one of the best manufacturers of architectural shingles in the States and has existed since 1938. Originally from 1935 to sometime in 1938, Owen Corning was formed through a merger; the companies used to be known as Owens-Illinois and Corning Glass. They came together to produce fiberglass to be used as building insulation materials.
At some point, Owens Corning had gotten involved in producing asbestos for roofing and ended up with crippling lawsuits and filed for bankruptcy like their competitor GAF. However, since then, Owen’s policy has been very customer focused, and they incorporate that in handling the millions of customers worldwide who buy their building and composite materials. As of 2023, Owen Corning is still one of the best asphalt shingles manufacturers, and their products come in multiple styles and colors.
Why do Roofers Measure Roofs by Square?
Roofers measure roofs by square because it provides a simple and standardized way to estimate the amount of roofing material required for a particular job. One square equals 100 square feet of roof area, which is a convenient unit of measurement for both the roofer and the customer.
Measuring a roof in squares is a time-tested method used in the roofing industry for many years. It allows for accurate and consistent estimates, making it easier for roofers to quote prices and for customers to compare bids. Using squares helps ensure enough material is ordered for the job, avoiding costly delays or additional trips to the supplier.
Measuring a roof in squares also simplifies the calculation of material costs. When estimating a roofing job, the roofer takes the total square footage of the roof and divides it by 100 to determine the number of squares needed. The cost per square of roofing material can then be multiplied by the number of squares needed to estimate the total cost.
Overall, measuring roofs by square provides a standardized, easy-to-understand method for estimating roofing material requirements and costs. It simplifies the process for the roofer and the customer, ensuring accurate and efficient roofing projects.
Asphalt Shingles Roofers Warranties
Despite being one of the most popular roofing materials used in residential and commercial properties due to their affordability, durability, and ease of installation. Asphalt shingles, like any roofing material, can experience wear and tear over time, which is why it is essential to have a warranty to protect your investment.
Generally, there are two types of Asphalt shingles warranties, material warranties and workmanship warranties. These warranties can vary significantly from one manufacturer to another.
These cover the defects in the shingles themselves, such as cracking, curling, or fading. The warranty typically ranges from 20 to 50 years, with the more extended warranties being more expensive. It is essential to read the contract carefully to understand what it covers. Some warranties may only cover the cost of replacement shingles and not the labor required for installation.
Workmanship warranties cover the installation of the shingles, such as leaks or defects caused by improper installation. These warranties typically range from one to ten years and are often included in the installation cost. It is essential to hire a professional roofing contractor who offers a workmanship warranty to ensure that any installation issues are covered.
It is important to note that warranties do not cover damage caused by external factors such as severe weather or natural disasters. Also, guarantees may be voided if the shingles are not properly maintained. For instance, failing to clean debris or leaves from the roof is an easy way to void your warranty.
To ensure that your asphalt shingle warranty remains valid, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations, such as regular inspections and cleanings, and only use qualified professionals for any repairs or replacements.
Finally, roofing contractors work with lots of different types of roofing materials. Still, asphalt shingles are the most popular choice in North America and other parts of the United States. In this comprehensive article on asphalt shingles as a roofing material, some pros and cons of working with asphalt shingles were carefully outlined. It covered aspects of asphalt shingle prices to their aesthetic value and energy efficiency for pros. Also, it outlined how basic asphalt shingles, like a 3-tab shingle, have a relatively short lifespan for cons, amongst others.
It also covered specific aspects of asphalt shingles and the materials used in their production. There are also different types of shingles based on composition, and the differences have been covered extensively. The details provided will help any building owner in deciding what type to use after taking factors like location, weather conditions where the building is located, and roof design.
Additional information about the top companies producing the best roofing shingles within the States and beyond its borders was discussed. Particular emphasis was given to GAF and why it is recognized in the roofing industry as the superior asphalt roofing product. The article focused on some regions of the company’s activities in reviewing their roofing systems, like how the company focuses on providing lasting solutions in the roofing industry.
Several external factors affect how long an asphalt shingle roof can last before it needs to be replaced. The article looked at this from the microscopic level, outlining what happens to asphalt shingles and why different weather conditions can affect their lifespan. You’d also learn about high heat’s role in the degradation process compared to cool weather conditions. You’d also know how other factors apart from the weather, like the roof’s pitch, can affect an asphalt roofing shingle’s lifespan and functionality.
Wrapping up, you have learnt about the steps involved in installing an asphalt shingle roof and what equipment you may need. Other things the article provides include the tricks used in getting asphalt shingles to mimic the look and design of different roofing materials.
In conclusion, asphalt shingles are an excellent roofing solution for building owners looking for a cost-effective, versatile, and long-lasting roofing material. If the owners can choose the right manufacturers to use or what style, color, and texture to go for, asphalt shingles can complement any home’s architecture.
In addition, it will offer the best aesthetics while offering energy-efficient and cool-roof technologies to check energy usage and lower the amount spent on utility bills. Many roofing contractors recommend asphalt shingles to any commercial or private building owner looking for a roofing solution that offers durability, affordability, and style.