Overview of Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the single most common type of roofing used on pitched roofs in the United States. Here is an introduction, including the pros and cons.
The difference is where the material used to create the membrane comes from. Organic-mat shingles are made from a tree-derived source, whether that be wood chips or recycled newspaper; fiberglass shingles are simply manufactured from fiberglass.
For both types, this basic foundation is put through a multi-step process to strengthen it. First, several layers of adhesive are added to the membrane by running it through multiple presses. Then, while the oil-based adhesive is still warm enough to be sticky, gravel is pressed into one side of the shingle.
The multiple layers of adhesive serve to create a barrier that prevents water from leaking through the roof, and protects the roof from small airborne debris. The gravel is present to protect the rest of the shingle from sunlight. Without the gravel, the oil-based adhesive might get excessively hot and melt, ruining the shingles.
Pros of Asphalt Shingles
Available and appropriate in many locations
As the most popular type of roofing, asphalt shingles can be found anywhere. Any roofing contractor will have a ready supply, as will any building supply or home repair store. Asphalt shingles can also be used successfully in a wide range of climates and elevations.
Asphalt shingles are durable. If properly installed, they can last for decades. Many come with 30 year warranties.
Easy to install
Asphalt shingles installation is easier than most other types of roofing. Roofing contractors will be very familiar with working with them. Those who are handy may even want to try putting them up themselves.
One of the reasons that asphalt shingles are the most popular choice for American roofs is because of their low cost. For many homeowners, choosing this type of shingles will be the most affordable option. Even including hiring a roofing contractor to perform the installation for you, asphalt shingles will often be cheaper than any other roofing.
Variety of styles
In most areas, you'll be able to find many different types of asphalt shingles. There's a wide range to choose from, in terms of both color, aesthetic and cost. There are even asphalt shingles designed to mimic other types of materials, such as wood or clay.
Cons of Asphalt Singles
Some types of roofing can be placed and then forgotten. Asphalt singles are not one of them. Regular check-ups are usually required. Most roofing contractors will be happy to provide this service, especially those who specialize in asphalt shingles installation.
Sensitive to weather changes
Extreme winds can blow off asphalt shingles. Some types also discolor in extended summer sunlight.
Asphalt shingles can increase the heat of upper floors.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Knapfel is Content Manager at Webfor, an Internet marketing company. One of their clients is A&E Roofing, a Roofing Contractor Salem OR.