Roof shingles are described as types of “roof covering consisting of individual overlapping elements. These elements are normally flat rectangular shapes that are laid in rows without the side edges overlapping, a single layer is used to ensure a water-resistant result.” (From Wikipedia.)
There are different types of roof shingles available in the market today. Here are some of them:
- Asphalt shingles -Asphalt shingles are also known as composite shingles. Most homeowners choose this type of roof shingle because it is inexpensive and they are easy to install. They last up to 30 years and they need low maintenance. They are also fire resistant and do not easily break even if the roofer steps on them during installation. Asphalt shingles also come in a variety of colors and styles. There are two types of asphalt shingles:
- Organic -These asphalt shingles are mostly waste paper saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof, adhesive asphalt is applied as a top coating and ceramic granules are embedded in them.
- Fibreglass -These shingles have a base layer of glass fibre reinforcing mat that is made from wet, random-laid fibreglass bonded with urea-formaldehyde resin.
- Wood shingles -In the past, wooden shingles were the popular choice of material for roofing. Perhaps the reason for this is that there were plenty of trees many years ago, and wood shingles were lightweight and easy to install. Wood shingles have a smooth finish and they are cut to a particular size, giving it a unique look. However, wood needs higher maintenance as it is prone to insects and rotting.
- Cedar shingles -Cedar shingles come in honey, cinnamon and silvery gray colors. They look very nice and give the structure a royal look. However, these shingles give the least resistance to fire compared to other types of shingles. They require regular care and maintenance to avoid fading in a short span of time. Cedar shingles also need initial treatment before installation in order to increase their lifespan.
- Metal roof shingles -Metal roof shingles used to be uncommon. Perhaps because these metal shingles can be quite expensive. However, it is now becoming more popular because it is durable and safe. It can also withstand all kinds of weather conditions: rain, hail, strong winds and snow. These shingles are also fire resistant and they are not prone to mildew, rot and insects. Most metal roof shingles are eco-friendly because they contain recycled materials. The most commonly used metals for metal roof shingles are painted aluminum and steel.
- Slate roof shingles -These are the most expensive type of roof shingles. These are said to be the most stylish and sophisticated roofing materials available. They come in different colors, textures and quality levels. However, slate roof shingles are also the most durable. For as long as they are properly maintained, these roof shingles can last up to 100 years. They are fireproof and are not vulnerable to insects and rot. This type of roof shingle is mostly seen on government buildings, high end and large homes. If you want to use slate roof shingles, make sure that your house can withstand the weight of this roofing material.
- Concrete shingles -In the past, concrete shingles contained asbestos. Now, that people are aware of the health hazards of being exposed to asbestos, concrete shingle are manufactured using cement and sand. Concrete shingles are durable and require very little maintenance. They are lightweight and can withstand shattering, high wind, extreme temperatures and hail. These shingles are also fire resistant.
- Clay tile shingles -This type of shingles used to be very common in areas with warm climate such as Florida and California because they do not absorb the heat of the sun. Clay tile shingles are very durable and they are fire resistant. Like slate however, clay is heavy and will need strong support from underneath to ensure safety.
These are the most popular roof shingles in the market today. How would you know which one is best for your home? Most people consider their taste and their budget when choosing roofing shingles but it would be best to also consider the climate in your area, the protection that the roof shingle offers and the amount of maintenance your roof will require. Do some research online. Better yet, ask a professional.