Roof shingles are composed of various materials such as asphalt, fiberglass, minerals, wood, and more. Around 80% of homeowners in the United States choose asphalt shingles because they are affordable and easy to install. If you are getting new shingles, it’s essential to understand what they are made of. This will help you choose the most suitable roofing material for your home.
At RST Roofing and Renovations, we help homeowners learn more about their roofs and exteriors. In this blog post, we’ll explain what are roof shingles made of, and which one may be the best choice for your home.
What Are Asphalt Roof Shingles Made Of?
Asphalt shingles have been popular since the industry started, and they’ve evolved exponentially over the years. At present, there are two types available: organic asphalt shingles and composite asphalt shingles. The famous architectural shingles are the composite version of the old, organic asphalt shingles.
- Organic asphalt shingles are made of a base layer of natural felt material saturated with asphalt. The asphalt makes the shingles waterproof and provides flexibility.
- The asphalt is also mixed with various fillers made of mica, limestone, or talc to give the shingles added strength and durability.
- On top of the base layer, a layer of granules is applied. These granules are made of crushed rock, ceramic, or other materials. They provide a protective barrier against the elements. The granules also give the shingles their color, so you can choose shingles in a variety of shades to match the look of your home.
Organic asphalt shingles are affordable, with a lifespan of around 15 to 20 years. However, they are less durable than composite asphalt shingles and may not hold up as well in extreme weather conditions. They are also more prone to fading and wear over time.
What Are Composite Roof Shingles Made Of?
Composite asphalt shingles are a new development in the roofing industry. There are two types of composite shingles: Architectural (most popular) and luxury asphalt shingles (most durable). They have a similar composition to organic asphalt shingles but are not entirely the same.
- Composite asphalt shingles are also known as fiberglass shingles, as their base layer is made of fiberglass instead of organic felt.
- Some composite shingles also have a layer of synthetic rubber or polymer added to the mix. This gives the shingles added strength and durability and makes them more resistant to extreme weather conditions and algae growth.
- Like organic asphalt shingles, composite asphalt shingles also have a layer of granules applied on top to provide a protective barrier and add color. But the granules used in composite shingles are often more durable and resistant to fading than those used in organic shingles.
Composite asphalt shingles have a longer lifespan than organic shingles, around 30 years. Some shingles have a layer of aluminum oxide added to make them more resistant to algae stains and mold growth. Other shingles may have a layer of copper or zinc added to prevent fungus growth and UV damage, extending their life.
Many homeowners prefer other materials for their roof shingles, such as slate, wood, and metal. These are more durable and appealing than asphalt shingles, and can better resist all sorts of damage. Let’s learn more about these shingles’ composition.
What Are Wood Shake Shingles Made Of?
Wood shakes, or shingles, are made from thin slices of timber cut out of trees, or recycled wood. They are overlapped to form a watertight roof covering that looks beautiful, rustic, and earthy. These natural shingles are made of cedarwood, redwood, and pine trees. Since wood is prone to rot, mold and algae, the shingles are often infused or coated with waterproof chemicals or layered to make the wood more sturdy and durable.
What Are Slate Shingles Made Of?
Slate shingles are made from thin layers of natural stone that are split into uniform shapes and sizes. Slate shingles are known for their durability and luxurious appeal, as they can last for 70 to 100 years with proper care. The thickness of the shingles determines longevity. Slate shingles are also resistant to fire, wind, and hail, making them a popular choice for high-end residential and commercial buildings. However, slate roof shingles are expensive and heavy, making them difficult to install, and you might need a stronger roof frame and decking than the old, withered ones.
Finally, you have metal roofs. They come in various forms and looks, including standing seam panels, corrugated sheets, metal shingles, shakes, and tiles.
You Can Also Use Metal Shingles On Your Home
Metal shingles are made from steel, aluminum, or copper and are formed into a variety of shapes and sizes to mimic the appearance of other types of roofing materials. Painting asphalt shingles isn’t a good idea, but you can definitely paint metal shingles in any color you like. Steel shingles are generally coated with a layer of paint, or a protective finish of copper or zinc to prevent rust and corrosion.
Metal shingles usually have a designer appearance, where the shingles are molded to give them curved edges, a cove look, or a slate style. Metal roofs are durable, fire-resistant, and low maintenance, making them a popular choice for residential and commercial buildings. Metal shingles are also energy-efficient, as they reflect sunlight and reduce heat absorption, which can help lower energy bills.
The best time to install new asphalt shingles is during summertime. That’s because asphalt shingles seal quickly when the temperature is around 70 degrees, with no sign of rain. In winter, shingles take a few weeks or months to seal completely. However, urgent repairs and replacements should never be delayed, and you must choose roof shingles that are made to handle your local weather conditions.
What Type Of Shingles Are Suitable For Your Home?
When choosing roof shingles, it’s essential to consider the specific needs of your home or building, as well as your budget and personal preferences.
- Asphalt shingles are a good choice for most residential roofs, as they offer a balance of affordability, durability, and appearance. However, asphalt shingles may easily wear down if you live in an area prone to hail or hurricane-level winds.
- Wood shingles are a good choice for those who want a natural, rustic look, but they require more maintenance and are more expensive. Wood shingles would be an excellent choice for small homes or cabins.
- Slate shingles are a good choice for those who want a long-lasting, high-end roofing material and are ready to upgrade their roof decking and framing. Slate can be an excellent choice for homes near the coast.
- Metal shingles are a good choice for those who want a durable, low-maintenance roof that is energy-efficient and resistant to fire and wind damage.
Regardless of the type of roof shingles you choose, it’s crucial to have them installed by a professional roofing contractor with the knowledge and experience to ensure a proper and long-lasting installation. Proper installation is critical to the performance and longevity of your roof shingles, so be sure to choose a reputable and experienced contractor to do the job.
If you are looking for new roof shingles in Atlanta, Georgia, we can help you!
Get The Best Roof Shingles For Your Atlanta Home
The beautiful and historic city of Atlanta has a pleasant climate, but the coastal atmosphere constantly affects the shingles. In Georgia, the salt and moisture content in the air is exceptionally high, which is responsible for the early wear and tear of roofing shingles. If you feel there’s something wrong with your shingles, we can help you figure it out.
At RST Roofing and Renovations, we’ve been improving homes in Atlanta for years. We are proud to be a part of this beautiful community and do our best to protect your building and homes with honesty. Our skilled roofing team is backed by Owens Corning, CertainTeed, HomeAdvisor, and Google. If you are looking for shingle roof repair or replacement services, we would be happy to offer you a free consultation and estimate.
Contact us at (404)-548-8901, and one of our professionals will be happy to guide you through.