A brief history of Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the most popular form of residential roofing material found in the area. Widely considered as the best balance between cost-effectiveness and curb appeal, asphalt shingles come in a wide range of styles, colors, levels of quality and brands that can suit almost every budget.
Old School Shingles vs New Shingles
Asphalt shingles are available in two types of material. Three-Tab (Paper/Organic) and Fiberglass (Architectural)
Paper based or Organic shingles are composed of compressed paper waste then saturated in asphalt to make them waterproof. Once made waterproof, they are coated with adhesive salt and ceramic granules.
The name “Organic Shingles” gives a false impression that they are green, environmentally friendly or made from organic material which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just clever marketing in our opinion.
While organic shingles were more flexible than the new fiberglass shingles, they didn’t pass the test of time, were susceptible to uplift during winds over 50miles/hr and held a lifespan that lasted only 7-10 years if you were lucky. These shingles are also often referred to as 3-tab shingles and are quickly being replaced by newer, better technology offered at the same price point.
Affordably priced, fiberglass shingles are thinner, lighter and less prone to uplift during winds over 50miles than old-school organic shingles. While some manufacturers offer up to 50-year warranties on manufacturer defects, one can expect these shingles to last between 10-20 years as long as they are installed correctly by a certified roofing installer.
As far as composition goes, they are generally made up of 5 layers.
- The top layer is what you can see from outside the house and it is made up of granules.
- Below that is a layer of asphalt that makes the top of the shingle waterproof.
- In the middle, you will find a layer of fiberglass.
- The fourth layer is again composed of asphalt to make the bottom of the shingle waterproof.
- The 5th layer is a layer of sealant that helps bond the shingle to the underlayment.