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Shingle Roofing

From nearly the beginning of time, man has been doing whatever it takes to

keep out the elements, be it using animal skins or the bark of a tree,

all while trying to keep safe and warm within the home.

Today’s protections of home and hearth, such as roofing materials,

have come a long way in tried and proven techniques and technology.

Some materials have remained unchanged for centuries, as they are the

tried and true, such as slate and wood shakes. Others, such as

asphalt/fiberglass composites, lightweight concrete, and coated metal

tiles are a part of technological revolutions. Each has its own

differences in durability, appearance, cost, and ease of application;

but they do the job they were meant to do and that is to keep the

weather out and comfort in.

Roofing is actually more than just shingles

or tiles; it is a complete system that includes framing, sheathing,

underlayment, flashing, and the finishing touches of shingles or tiles.

Consider the following types of shingles:


Most wood shingles roofs are made from Western Red Cedar

because of its durability and resistance to pest damage. Preservative

treated pine and similar wood species are also used. Real cedar is a

perennial that has a natural, rustic appearance; all wood types give a

roof a very natural appearance and blend well with the environment.

Wood shingles are smooth while shakes are more rustic and rough hewn.

Available in varying lengths and random widths, the life expectancy for

most wood shingles is 15 to 25 years.

The downside to wood shingles is that they require pressure treatment to become fire retardant

and in some fire prone areas, are forbidden for use. In more humid

climates, wood shingles are treated with a fungicide and preservatives,

as they are susceptible if untreated.


Asphalt shingles make up the majority of use in roofing products today and come with a

core of either organic felt (composition) or fiberglass materials,

fiberglass being the more preferred in the market at this time. The

core is saturated in asphalt, a petroleum product, and then coated with

colored mineral granules to fit the style and decor of a home. Asphalt

shingles do require some replacement in high wind areas. They are also

affected by sun and weather wear (but can be pretreated for more

protection), and are expected to last about 25 years. Because of their

content, they are fire resistant.


Metal shingles can be made to resemble wood shakes, tile, and slate. Most are

painted or coated steel or aluminum shingles that are pressed or formed

into realistic shapes and are amazingly convincing in their appearance.

To reduce any tell-tale sheen, they are texture layered and given a

granulated stone topcoat. The tile and slate look-a-likes

are very difficult to distinguish from the real thing after

installation. Metal shingles are fast approaching the most popular

status in roofing products today, as they are maintenance free and do

the complete job of keeping the weather out and comfort in, thus saving

on energy costs. They are also environment friendly with great curb appeal.


These shingles offer a great alternative to traditional roofing types as

homeowners become more environmentally conscience. Their prices are

great when compared to standard roofing materials, due to the use of

newer technologies by recycling plastic bags, rubber

tires, and other similar materials. Rubber shingles look like the real

traditional shingles they represent and are lighter, cheaper, and carry

a Class A fire rating. They hold up to the weather, withstanding winds

of 80 mph. They’re also excellent as insulators, and though they are

relatively new to the industry, they are given a 30 – 50 year warranty.

They require fewer repairs or replacements compared to asphalt, but are

much more expensive than asphalt. Consider this type of shingle in your

next roofing project, and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Why should you choose shingle roofing? Overall, shingles…

  • Perform well in extreme temperatures
  • Require little or no maintenance
  • Are easily repaired if damaged
  • Are the easiest of roofing materials to install
  • Come in a wide variety of styles, design, and colors

The installation of an entire roof system requires proper design, quality

materials, and quality installation. Be sure to contact a professional contractor to help you keep the elements out and the warmth and comfort in.

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