Asphalt Shingles Are A Very Common Roofing Material

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Asphalt Shingles Are A Very Common Roofing Material

14 December 2015
 Categories: , Blog

There is a variety of shingle choices that you could use on your roof. One very common kind is asphalt shingles. They have been used for decades. Part of the reason for that is that they are relatively easy to install, and tend be somewhat less expensive than some other choices. Asphalt shingles also have a very long lifespan, ranging from 15-50 years, depending on certain variables. 

Asphalt Shingles

The shingles themselves are constructed of a couple of parts. The first part is a base mat of some kind. Then the mat is covered with asphalt for waterproofing, and then finally with some small ceramic gravel pieces. The ceramic gravel is there to help reflect some of the UV rays back up off the roof. UV rays have the chance to be potentially damaging to your shingles. 

Types of Base Mats

There are a couple of base mat choices. One is fiberglass, the other is organic. 


A fiberglass asphalt shingle starts with a woven fiberglass mat. Then some asphalt is applied to the shingle. There doesn't need to be a lot of asphalt on these shingles since the mat itself is fairly strong, the asphalt is mostly there as a waterproofing agent. Before the asphalt dries, the small pieces of ceramic gravel are sprinkled on the shingles. 

Most new construction using asphalt shingles use this kind. They tend to have a longer warranty than other kinds of shingles. Fiberglass asphalt shingles also tend to be lighter, as well as a less expensive choice. An added benefit is the fact that they have a higher fire resistance, due to the lack of organic parts. 


The organic asphalt shingle starts with base of felt. The felt is generally recycled from other shingles. Before it goes anywhere, the felt is saturated in asphalt. That gives the shingles their strength and their waterproofing. In order to put the small piece of ceramic on the shingles, a layer of adhesive asphalt is sprayed on the shingles for the ceramic to hold on to. 

These shingles were the more traditional kind asphalt shingle. They aren't used as much these days because fiberglass shingles are moving in to become the industry standard. However, if you want the organic style, you can still get them. You will tend to pay a little more and they are going to be heavier on your roof. 

Asphalt shingles can be a good way to make sure you have a decent roof on your house, especially if you are running on a tight budget. To learn more, contact a residential roofing specialist.