Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing shingle in the US. They are typical components of new roof installations and roof repair, and provide decent protection to your home, at great value for your money. But have you ever wondered what they are made of? These shingles are mostly asphalt, true, but is that all there is to this roofing material? Find out more!
Q: What Were the Original Asphalt Shingles?
The shingles you’re using now aren’t exactly the same as the asphalt shingles used back in the day. These asphalt shingles were made with a core layer of organic materials, such as wood shavings and waste paper. These shingles had more asphalt than today’s fiberglass composition shingles do, but they were notoriously more susceptible to fire. Also, there was an issue with the usage of asbestos on these shingles, which eventually led people to look for other roofing materials.
Q: What Are Composition Shingles?
All of this changed with the introduction of the modern fiberglass composite shingle. You might have heard some contractors use the term “composition shingles.” These and modern asphalt shingles are one and the same thing.
The reason why your roofer may have called them this is because an asphalt shingle is made of composite materials. The basic ingredient is asphalt, definitely, but there are increasing mixtures of fiberglass in each layer as well. In fact, when compared to older materials, today’s modern asphalt roofing and siding materials have 40% less asphalt. The overall composition varies per manufacturer.
Q: What Are the Layers?
The core of modern asphalt shingles is an interwoven fiberglass mat. This core is what makes the shingles strong enough to resist tearing and thicker cores gives a better tear resistance. The fiberglass mat is saturated with asphalt to make it tougher, before the other layers are applied to the mat.
Once the fiberglass layer is fully saturated with asphalt, thicker asphalt composite layers are added on either side. These form the exterior of the shingle and are what give the shingle its appearance–but these aren’t yet ready for use in roof replacement.
That’s because it’s missing two other layers. The bottom layer of each shingle is coated with an adhesive that helps each shingle stick onto the roof structure. The outermost layer, on the other hand, is coated with ceramic granules that serve to give the shingle it’s natural color.
At Home Pro Exteriors, Inc,, we work hard to ensure that our clients benefit from our three generations of roofing experience. Ask us about our asphalt roofing options by contacting us at (845) 343-1777. You can also submit your questions by filling up our contact form. We serve residents of Middletown, NY.