Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt  Roofing Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in Ohio for a number of reasons. They are less expensive than any other type of roofing material. They hold up well to Ultra Violet (UV) light and they are easy to work with during installation. They also don't require specialized accessories for roof edges, wall terminations, and chimney or roof vents and they are lighter.

Asphalt shingles weigh about two to three pounds a square foot making them much lighter than slate or tile. They last from 20 to 40 years depending on the shingle style, the quality of the installation and the climate. Other roofing materials such as slate, tile, wood and metal last longer but due to the expense in materials and labor to install, asphalt shingles are still less expensive over time.

Asphalt shingles can either be organic or fiberglass. The difference is what material forms the "base" of the shingle. The base is what gets saturated with asphalt; organic shingles have a paper base and fiberglass shingles have a mat made from fiberglass. Fiberglass shingles are by far the more popular choice in our area because they last longer and are more fire resistant than organics. The base holds the shingle together and the asphalt is what makes the shingle water proof. The back of the shingle has finely ground mineral material and the top of the shingle has ceramic granules embedded into the asphalt. The ceramic granules serve two purposes. One is to protect the shingle from the effects of UV and the second is to provide color and shading to the shingle.

There are four design categories that asphalt shingles encompass. There are dimensional, laminated or architectural shingles, the traditional three tab shingle, interlocking shingles and one piece shingle. Laminated shingles, are made to resemble the three dimensional visual effect of conventional wood and slate shingles by added an additional laminated layer and shading, are becoming the most popular. Interlocking asphalt shingles are becoming less prevalent due to the superior qualities of the dimensional shingle. The three tab shingle was the most commonly used asphalt shingle primarily used up until dimensional shingles started becoming popular in the Nineties.

Many of the shingles offered today are "algae resistant"; this is accomplished by coating the ceramic granules on top of the shingle with zinc or copper. The purpose is to prevent the black streaks that can discolor the shingles.

How Long Do They Last?

The lifespan of asphalt shingles depends upon a number of factors. The climate plays a role of course. The pitch of the roof will determine how long the roof will last. The steeper the roof the longer it will last. How well the attic is ventilated will have a huge effect on how long the roof will last. This is one aspect that should not be ignored when installing a new roof. The quality of the shingle also plays a part of course.

Fire Ratings

Asphalt shingles are fire rated by class. Class C indicates that the shingle offers only light fire resistance to fire. Organic shingles are rated class C. Class A is the highest fire resistance an asphalt shingle can obtain and most fiberglass shingles have this rating. It means that it resists catching on fire from sparks from chimney or another building. It is important to remember that they are not "fireproof".


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