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Asphalt Shingles


DESCRIPTION: Asphalt, a petroleum by-product, is an inexpensive roofing material made from asphalt saturated fiberglass or paper mat with tiny stone-like colored chips embedded in the surface. These chips serve two purposes: to protect the petroleum based mat from UV rays, and to give the shingle its color and dimension. Available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and price ranges from inexpensive strips to premium laminates.

ADVANTAGES:

  • inexpensive
  • commonly available
  • large selection of colors, types, manufacturers
  • ability to walk on (but this may affect warranty)
  • suitable for most residential applications from mobile homes to premium housing

 

DISADVANTAGES:

  • deterioration begins early in product life-cycle as product sheds its protective granules
  • susceptible to blow off in high winds
  • scars easily when hot
  • susceptible to mildew and moss
  • environmentally unfriendly

 

Asphalt Shingles: Strength & Style

RoofingDespite the wide range of options available, asphalt shingles remain one of the most popular choices in roofing materials across the country. Their virtures are many: easy to install, relatively economical, versatility, no specialized accessories needed and, with the newer products, stylish good looks. Asphalt shingles come in either three-tab or laminated shingle profiles.
Although the three-tab shingle was the traditional favorite, newer homes often feature a steeper roof pitch, creating more of a market for the more visually attractive laminate shingle.
Obviously the look of a shingle is important, but given their important function homeowners have to give quality and durability even more consideration. One easy indicator of a shingle’s strength is the wind warranty. Most good quality shingles range from a 60 mph wind warranty to a 110 mph wind warranty, with several other options in between.
Two roofer installing laminate shingles on a custom home renovationAs well as a better appearance, laminate shingles have a higher wind warranty than a traditional three-tab shingle. With at least two layers laminated, or sealed, together under specific factory conditions laminate shingles give the most protection. The higher end laminates are triple laminated to provide even more layers of coverage.
Laminated shingles also do not have “keyways” — an industry term for areas where the wind can get into and pull the shingles away from the roof deck.
The weight of the shingle also plays a role in protecting against wind. Laminated shingles weigh more than a strip shingle. A strip shingle with a 25-year warranty, for example, may weigh 225 lbs. but an inexpensive laminate will start at approximately 245 lbs. per square. Five layer laminates and triple laminates can weigh in excess of 400 lbs. per square.
Recent advances in technology has created “architectural” shingles — laminates that can replicate slate or wood shakes. Certainteed’s Centenntial Slate, for example, is a shingle that features the natural color and look of blended slate. The shingles are 355 lbs. per square and come with a lifetime limited warranty and a 10-year wind warranty of up to 110 mph.
With such a wide range of colors and patterns available, it can be hard to choose which one will best suit your home. Ask a roofing specialist to direct you to homes that have examples of different shingles. It’s much easier to get a feel for what you like by looking at the “big picture” view.