What are asphalt shingles?

by | Dec 16, 2015 | Roofing

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Asphalt shingles are extremely versatile; they represent over 75 percent of the roofing material used on homes. Asphalt shingles are easy to install, long lasting and as they are available in a host of colours they can give any home a custom look.

There are two materials that are used to manufacture shingles, both of which include asphalt. A form of paper is used in the manufacture of organic shingles, fibreglass is the other base material used. Both paper and fibreglass are coated with asphalt. The base construction is not noticeable, what is visible is a coating of ceramic granules that are applied to the outer layer of asphalt. The granules serve a few purposes; one such purpose is reflecting the sun’s rays which add years to the shingle. Another purpose is aesthetic, the granular material is that which colours the shingle.

Of all the roofing colours that are available using asphalt shingles, lighter colours prevail. Grey or off-white is extremely popular, darker colours pose challenges that lighter colours do not. Dark colored shingles tend to decay faster as they tend to absorb the damaging UV rays from the sun rather than reflect them. The heat tends to be held in the attic as well, this makes it more difficult and more expensive to cool the home’s interior during the summer months.

Asphalt shingles last about 20 years although there are manufacturers who guarantee that the roofing surface will last considerably longer. A longer warranty of course is good but warrantees are not really an accurate reflection the true useful life of the shingles. Temperatures as well as variations in it are the major contributors to aging. When asphalt shingles are used for roofing in moderate climates there is a tendency for them to last longer than they would in hot climates.

Installing asphalt shingles is quite straight forward. They are installed over a layer of roofing tar paper which is installed on the roof decking. The shingles are laid one by one, nailed or stapled onto the surface. A major benefit of asphalt shingles is the fact that they can replaced one at a time in the event of storm damage or damage caused by ice buildup.

It is not difficult for the homeowner to know that the roofing on the house is in need of replacing. There will be cracks; the shingles will also begin to show evidence of bubbles or bloating. To avoid serious problems with leaking it is recommended that a professional roofing contractor be hired to replace the entire roof with new shingles. To know more about roofing services visit TechPro Roofing. You can also connct them on Facebook.

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