Asphalt Shingles: A Crash Course for Homeowners

roof-repairAsphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials available today. One thing that makes this roofing material so popular among homeowners is that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

A Brief History Lesson

•    Asphalt shingles are an American invention and they were first used in 1901.

•    In the 1930s and 1940s, asphalt shingles were designed in a locking configuration making them stronger and able to withstand higher wind conditions.

•    In the 1960s and 1970s, self sealing strips were added to the shingles eliminating the need to manually apply adhesive to the shingles.

•    By the 1980s, asphalt shingles were dominating the market and had become the most popular roofing material chosen by homeowners.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

Fiberglass Shingles – Made from woven fiberglass base mat and covered with waterproof asphalt coating. These shingles have a layer of ceramic granules that protect them from harmful UV rays. These are more lightweight and environmentally friendly compared to organic mat based shingles.

Organic Mat Based – Made from recycled layers of felt paper and saturated with asphalt for optimum weather proofing. These shingles are heavier and tend to warp easier over time. Since they are made with more asphalt, they are not as environmentally friendly as fiberglass shingles.

Three Tab Shingles – These are the most commonly used shingles. They are most commonly chosen because they are fairly inexpensive compared to architectural shingles.

Architectural Shingles – These shingles give your roof a more three dimensional look than traditional 3 tab shingles. Architectural shingles are the highest quality shingles available on the market today.

Today, there are so many different types of asphalt shingles available as well as colors to choose from. The best way to determining what is best for your home is to do your research. Contact your local roofing contractor and talk with them about your options. They will likely be able to provide you with pictures of the different styles and colors that are available to you.

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Andrew Bussell

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