Roof Shingles and their uses

roof shingles

The Use of Asphalt roof Shingles

An asphalt shingle is a particular kind of roof shingle in which asphalt serves as the main waterproofing substance. For a number of reasons, asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roof covering in North America.

Compared to the majority of other pitched roof covering materials, asphalt shingles have a much lower installed weight, which lowers the cost of materials for the supporting structure. It is more affordable to build a house when an asphalt shingle roof is considered. Only an asphalt shingle roof or something lighter, like standing seam metal, can be supported by a significant section of the housing stock in America.

The cost of asphalt shingles themselves is typically far lower than the alternatives (tile, metal). In comparison to other pitched roofing materials, they are also less expensive and simpler to repair or replace.

Additionally, asphalt shingles can be manufactured in any color by tinting the mineral granules that are always employed as an asphalt shingle’s protective surface. Dimensional asphalt shingles give the appearance of more substantial traditional materials like slate by adding texture, shadow lines, and an apparent sense of depth.


Since a man had the brilliant idea to chop up asphalt roll roofing into smaller pieces that could be used as shingles, asphalt shingles have been available for more than a century. The 1890s saw the introduction of asphalt roll roofing that was ready to install.

The invention of asphalt shingles is generally acknowledged to have occurred in 1903; the location was undoubtedly Michigan, though the identity of the creator is rarely questioned. Most frequently mentioned is Grand Rapids native Henry M. Reynolds.

By 1950, approximately half of all homes in the United States had asphalt roofs, demonstrating the enormous popularity of asphalt shingles. Today, that percentage is at near 80%.

Parts of asphalt roof shingles

Asphalt shingles are made up of a reinforcing mat with a layer of asphalt on either side and mineral granules on top.


The shingle’s waterproof quality is a result of the asphalt it contains. Oil refineries are the source of the asphalt used in the production of shingles. What’s left over after all the other commercially significant components of petroleum are removed during the refining process is asphalt, which is the thickest, heaviest component of crude oil.

The shingle’s asphalt layers are made up of asphalt, a number of modifiers, and inert fillers like limestone powder. Depending on the producer and the product line, the asphalt itself makes up 10 to 30 percent of an asphalt shingle. Because of the fillers, the asphalt is able to perform better than pure asphalt would. A normal shingle’s “asphalt” will really have more filler than asphalt in it.

Some shingles employ asphalt that has polymeric additives added to improve the performance of the shingles, making them more resilient to impacts and likely to shatter in extremely cold temperatures.

Fiberglass and Organic Reinforcement Mat

It is only possible to utilize asphalt for a shingle because of the reinforcement mat, which serves as the shingle’s core. Without the mat, natural thermal stress would cause the asphalt layer to split and crack when handled.

For many years, the reinforcement mat was initially made of organic materials (primarily cellulose from various sources such as cotton rags or wood chips).

Almost all major manufacturers phased out organic asphalt shingles over the course of the first decade of the twenty-first century due to technological advancements in the production of fiberglass shingles and a wave of class action lawsuits targeting roofing manufacturers due to the premature failure of organic shingles.

For instance, CertainTeed, the second-largest producer of asphalt shingles in the world, stopped producing organic shingles in 2005. The last company to produce organic shingles was BP Canada, which stopped making them in 2011.

Fiberglass mat shingles have now totally taken the role of organic mat shingles.

Organic mats absorb more moisture than fiberglass reinforcement mats, which also expand and contract more in response to temperature variations. These elements result in a shingle that is more structurally stable. Less age-related deformation and greater durability result from shingles that are more structurally stable. Additionally, fiberglass mat shingles are less likely to blister on the roof.

Mineral Granules

An asphalt shingle has mineral granules on it for two reasons.

Granules are mostly used to cover asphalt shingles in order to shield the asphalt from the sun. Asphalt is destroyed by the sun. The extraordinarily long hydrocarbon molecular chains that makeup asphalt have their molecular bonds broken by the sun’s UV radiation.

These UV rays are kept from harming the asphalt by shingle granules formed from coated rock particles. This is why granule loss, such as that experienced during a hailstorm, reduces the lifespan of a roof.

Asphalt shingles degrade and lose their usefulness without a protective surface after around five years.

The granules are also used for their assortment of color options. The producer may pretty much create any color they desire for the coating on the grains. Any building’s color scheme can be complemented with asphalt shingle roofing.

Scalable Roof Shingles

In order to create dimensional asphalt shingles, a partial shingle with patterns cut out of the lower half is bonded to the top of a complete shingle. Due to this method of production, dimensional shingles are also known as “laminated shingles.” Dimensional shingles are substantially thicker than standard 3-tab shingles because each one is typically two shingles, therefore you may get a much longer guarantee for them.

Asphalt Shingle Roofs’ Lifespan

An asphalt shingle roof can last 10 to 50 years, depending on the quality of the construction, the thickness of the shingles, the manufacturing process, the environment, and how well the attic space beneath the roof is ventilated.

Thin shingles won’t last for very long. Poor ventilation causes shingles to overheat, which will shorten their lifespan. Short-lived shingles of poor quality lose their granules as soon as they are put. Asphalt shingles won’t endure very long if they are constantly exposed to strong winds or hot desert sun.

Of course, a roof made of asphalt shingles that have been placed improperly will break far sooner than one that has.

Contact a Professional Today!

To get started on installing roof shingles onto your home, contact us today!