If you are about to replace your roof or building a new structure, chances are you have considered various types of material to determine what would serve you best. It is pretty much a given fact that one of the most popular and affordable materials for any roofing job is asphalt shingles.
Asphalt shingles were actually invented in America and first used in 1901. The new invention replaced previous roofing material called asphalt prepared roofing which has been modernized and is still used on flat roofs today. Originally, shingles were made out of organic materials called felt which was basically cotton rags until around 1920 when the material became costlier. Once prices began to rise other materials began being used such as, manila, jute, wool as well as wood pulp.
Not much changed until the 1950’s when manually-applied, self-sealing adhesives started to be used to avoid wind-[damage to shingle roofs. Also in 1950 was the discovery that staples instead of nails could be used to attach the shingles and worked just as well. 1960 brought fiberglass-mat bases however, with little success, as they were prone to wind and hail damage.
Today there has been much progress in both design and durability with asphalt shingles. There are essentially two kinds of asphalt shingles – organic and fiberglass. Both of these types are mat based and need to meet certain standards. Fiberglass asphalt shingles are much lighter and thinner. A bundle of these shingles weighs between 70 and 140 pounds. Each square has three bundles. Because they are lighter they are easier to move around while installing the roof and they also do not burn easily.
Fiberglass shingles are used mainly across central and southern United States, while the organic shingles are used more in the northern states. This is because each shingle’s design and structure varies and display different characteristics suitable for each area.
Organic shingles are much heavier than fiberglass but they are far more flexible. They do, however, absorb water very easily which can cause them to warp. The shingle is also rougher in texture because the backing encompasses asphalt as well as felt. Both of these shingles can vary in price from $25 to $80 per square foot.
Three-tab shingles are currently the most popular shingles being installed today however there has been a recent shift toward architectural shingles. Architectural shingles are thicker asphalt which are designed to look like, cedar, clay tile, slate and other natural materials. In addition to a little different design it pretty much makes the color choice limitless. These shingles are an affordable option to using more expensive materials but achieving the same aesthetic value.
The progress made with developing shingles since the early 1900’s really allows the customer a wide choice of color, texture and flexibility. All the customer has to do is determine which asphalt shingle is best for where they live, pick out a design, texture and color then find a licensed contractor to finish the job.