Asphalt shingles have become quite so popular when it comes to roofing options for homes. Their versatility and economic value have proven to be so attractive that they now cover as much as 80 percent of the market. Asphalt shingles are quite inexpensive and easy to install. They come in a great array of quality and style and are compatible with a wide range of roof pitches. They can be installed with different roof features, from roof edges to chimneys and wall terminations to vent flashings. Most of all, they are highly attractive and can really give a house that homey effect.
There are basically two types of asphalt shingles available in the market: the organic-mat shingles and the fiberglass shingles. Both of these are of course made of asphalt, but the difference lies on the reinforcing mat – the fiberglass variety of uses fiberglass while the organic variety uses a wood-derived mat made of cellulose fiber.
The organic type of mat requires two coatings of asphalt – a soft asphalt for saturation and then harder asphalt for protection. Meanwhile, the fiberglass type only needs one hard asphalt coating. People choose fiberglass for its light weight, thinness, ease of transporting and high fire rating.
There are those who still prefer the organic type because they are more durable and they are more flexible especially during cold weather. As such, fiberglass shingles are more popular in the central and southern parts of the country while organic shingles predominate the market in the northern parts as well as in Canada.
One of the major considerations when buying asphalt shingles is its service life. Warranties for asphalt shingles usually come as longs as 20 to 45 years. However, it is important to choose a particular brand not only for its warranty period as they do not really reflect the actual lifespan of shingles. There have been reports of asphalt shingles failing far earlier than the expiry date of their warranties, and a lot of homeowners have complained that the payouts did not really cover the replacement or repair costs as they should.
But this does not mean that one should completely shun asphalt shingles as a roofing choice with the right mindset in buying, you can still get quality shingles that last long.
When buying asphalt shingles what you need to look at is how much a particular brand meets industry standards, instead of the warranties. For fiberglass shingles, you should make sure that the product meets the standard known as ASTM D-3462, which means that the shingles can withstand tests such as nail withdrawal and tear-strength. In the past decade only a few products have passed this standards and you need to make sure that the one you buy are up to this standard. Shingles are inspected by Underwriters Laboratory and those who pass come with the UL logo and a certification.
Organic mat shingles, on the other hand, should meet the standard called ASTM D-225. Organic shingles usually have greater nail-pull and tear strength resistance compared to asphalt shingles and thus their standards are also higher. A good lose rule of thumb is that heavier organic shingles are sturdier than lighter ones. This may not always be true for fiberglass shingles, though.
As expected, shingles that fulfill the industry standards are more expensive than shingles of low quality. But aside from the quality of the shingles themselves, there is also the factor of installation when the roofing cost is being considered. You may opt to use cheaper nails, but it may be rather wasteful to install good quality shingles using low-grade nails.
What people usually consider when they want asphalt shingles is their appearance. Shingles comes in different styles and colors that can really bring out the beauty of a home. With the right kind of asphalt shingle you can achieve different looks for your dream home.
Asphalt roofing shingles are the roofing materials of choice for many homes and even commercial buildings. With its superb form and function there is no wonder why this has become quite popular when building dream houses.