Asphalt shingles are a variety of roof shingles. They have become popularly used nowadays because they are inexpensive, economical, lighter and easier to install compared to tiles, and has good insulation qualities compared to galvanized iron sheets. Moreover, in terms of aesthetics, they give the house a textured, classic and elegant look.
Asphalt became widely used as a roofing material in the 1890s when a chemist experimented and developed paper infused with asphalt for roofing purposes. Felt is soaked in asphalt. Pellet-like minerals are then embedded into the asphalt’s surface while still hot and soft. Shingles are used and attached to a deck which may either be plywood, fiber cement board, hardiflex or even galvanized iron sheet.
There are two types of asphalt shingles – organic and glass fiber. Organic shingles are generally made of waste paper soaked in asphalt, coated with adhesive asphalt and embedded with ceramic grains. Fiberglass shingles, on the other hand, have a base composed of glass fiber mat made from fiberglass mixed with resin. They are made waterproof by a layer of asphalt. A variety of fiberglass asphalt shingle has been introduced and is now known as the laminated shingle, which, as the name suggests, uses two layers laminated with sealant. It is much more costly yet also more durable.
These shingles are not only exceptional in terms of energy savings and aesthetics; they are also highly durable, lasting up to fifty years or more especially in geographic locations with cooler climates while wood shakes last for only about five to fifteen years. Compared to other roofing materials, asphalt shingles require low long term and maintenance costs. Wood shakes and clay or slate tiles require high maintenance costs due to decay and water infiltration problems, respectively. Metal roofing, is, well, naturally prone to rusting and thus, also needs additional expenses on paint coats. In addition, they also tend to be noisier than other materials during rainy seasons. In case of installation errors, asphalt is also less expensive to replace, unlike metal roofing materials.
Asphalt shingles are undeniably one of the most popularly used roofing materials not only in the US and Canada, but also around the world. They provide convenience through ease of use. They are also simpler to install and can be done even by homeowners themselves. They are the ideal roofing material and perfect replacements for the usual slate, wood roofing and terracotta simply because they are both reasonably priced and versatile.