Information About Shingles:
Lifespan: 20-50 years
Wind Resistance: 60-130 mph
Composition: Asphalt coated fiberglass covered with crushed stone
Advantages: Economic, Fire-Resistant
Disadvantages: Short Lifecycle, limited protection from hail,
Susceptible to algae staining, Not environmentally friendly
Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material in the United States. Asphalt shingles were developed in 1903 when Californian Henry M. Reynolds cut small squares from existing rolled roofing to create shingles that could be applied like the scales of a fish to create a water-shedding roof covering. This economic, attractive, and fire-resistant roofing material quickly gained acceptance and was marketed by catalog companies such as Sears. While many improvements have been made, this application style is still in practice more than a century later. The first shingles consisted of an asphalt (refined crude oil byproduct) saturated mat (cotton and wood fiber) covered with crushed slate or stone. In 1953 the first self-sealing shingle was introduced improving the weatherproofing ability of asphalt shingles and wind resistance. At about this same time, inorganic mats were developed utilizing asbestos to increase the strength, durability, and fire resistance of the shingles. The next major development occurred in the early 1970’s in response to the oil embargo and dramatic increases in the price of crude oil. Manufacturers created the fiberglass mat which is still the backbone of today’s asphalt shingles. The fiberglass mat absorbed less asphalt, reducing the dependence on foreign oil and reducing the weight of the shingles. Shortly thereafter, multilayered or laminated shingles were born, improving aesthetics and increasing durability. Further developments include the addition of copper granules applied with colored granules to prevent algae build up and improved granule coatings to improve UV protection and enhance appearance.
Construction of Shingles
Asphalt roofing shingles are available in three distinct styles; 3-Tab, Architectural, and Designer. 3-Tab Shingles are so named because the tab forming cutouts create the appearance of 3 smaller shingles. 3-tab shingles are typically the most economical form of asphalt shingle. This type of shingle provides double coverage due to the overlap from one shingle to the next. Typical manufacturer’s warranties are 20-25 years.
Architectural shingles, designed to replicate the random appearance of cedar shakes, are the most popular shingle used for new roof construction in the United States today. These shingles provide 3 to 4 layers of protection and do not have joints between the tabs exposed to the weather. Architectural shingles are created by laminating a top shingle with cutouts to a half shingle to create a dimensional pattern on the roof. The extra thickness and random design creates a more visually stimulating appearance and can hide imperfections in the decking that might telegraph through the 3-Tab Shingle. Examples of architectural shingles are GAF-Elk’s Timberline Shingle, Owens Corning’s Oakridge Shingle, and Certainteed’s Landmark Shingle. Typical manufacturer’s warranties are 30, 40, or 50 years depending on material thickness.
Designer shingles utilize newer laminating technology that allows for increased thickness and additional protection from the elements. Designer shingles replicate the look and thickness of real slate and cedar shake roofing materials. Examples of this are the Grand Canyon shingle from GAF-Elk and the Grand Manor Shingle from Certainteed. Due to the increased weight, some structures cannot support designer shingles. Typical manufacturer’s warranties are in excess of 50 years. Homeowners should install heavier gauge flashing materials and accessories designed to last as long as the shingles.
North Carolina Roofing Shingles from Roofwerks
Asphalt shingle roofs can be expected to last from 15-30 years. Differences in the shingles, slope of the roof, exposure to the sun, foliage, and climate conditions all contribute to the lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof. Shingles in Southern climates generally do not last as long as those in other parts of the country. If you need new shingles for a home construction or to replace old shingles, contact Roofwerks today.