Asphalt roof shingles are the most popular roofing material used in the roofing industry. They are economical to produce and are widely available. There are other types of roofing materials such as wood shakes, tile, metal and slate. However, the life span of a asphalt shingle puts it ahead of its competition. The top roofing shingle manufacturers are GAF, CertainTeed and Owens Corning.
Asphalt shingles are available in two basic families… organic and fiberglass. The traditional organic shingles are made from a layer of felt paper usually recycled. The paper is saturated with asphalt for waterproofing purposes and covered with a adhesive asphalt which is coated with ceramic granules. This type of shingle is a very heavy and considered a very rugged shingle. Over time they will start to absorb water and can warp. Fiberglass shingles are made from woven fiberglass covered with a layer of asphalt that is then coated with ceramic granules. The fiberglass shingle has less asphalt in its composition because the fiberglass has its own strength and durability. In the end, the fiberglass shingle weighs less and is a thinner roofing material. Fiberglass shingles are quickly becoming the roofing choice for many homeowners.
Roofing shingles sizes are 12 inches by 36 inches and are made into two different types, three tab roof shingles and architectural roof shingles. Three tab roof shingles can be noticed by simple cutouts or tabs along the lower edge of the shingle. Each shingle will look like three separate pieces when on a roof top. They are the most popular type of shingle. Architectural shingles don’t have cut outs. The bottom part of the shingle has a laminated layer attached. This additional layer provides a contoured appearance.
Roof shingles are available in a wide variety of colors to match most any style home. The colors range from traditional black, pale gray beige, reddish and medium browns to blues and greens. Some of the roofing materials can even help reflect sun’s rays and can reduce a roofs temperature as much as 20% like the Timberline Cool series Energy-Savings Shingles by GAF.
Lifespan of a shingle can vary depending on many different factors such as climate, weather and other environmental factors. The typical life span of a asphalt shingle is 15 to 30 years. The type of climate you live in will affect how long your roof shingle will last. If you experience wide spiking temperatures this will take its toll on your shingles. In general hotter climates are harder on roof shingles and show a shorter life span.
Regardless of the type, style, or color roof shingles you choose; you want to ensure you use a licensed, fully insured, certified roofing contractor to install your new roof. By doing so you will ensure your roof shingles are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Discuss your roofing project with your contractor, competent contractors will be able to help you with any questions you have meaningful input for your roofing project.