When you talk about roofing with most homeowners, the concept of shingle roofing is the only one that they understand. That is because the use of shingles is the single most common type of roof that is installed in North America. Other options such as rubber sheeting and metal panels is not quite as popular, although both of those roofing variations are becoming more and more common.
The best way to understand shingle roofing is to become familiar with the major types of shingles and understand why they are used in various situations. The next time you discuss a potential roofing project with a roofing professional, your better understanding of shingle roofing will help you to get a better bargain on your project.
There are a couple of reasons why asphalt shingles are the most common type of shingle used in North America. Asphalt shingles tend to be one of the least expensive, yet most effective, types of roofing materials on the market. Asphalt shingles are also relatively easy to install, which makes labor costs less expensive.
The one misconception that homeowners have about asphalt shingles is that they can be easily installed by anyone. Any roof, including an asphalt shingle roof, should only be installed by a professional roofer to make sure that the job is done completely and properly.
Wood shingles are popular in some areas because of their rural and colonial look. Wood shingles tend to be thick and overlap in a very specific way when installed. The more popular wood singles are made from cedar and redwood. These two types of wood are naturally durable and are also able to resist the problems that come with termites and the weather.
Cedar and redwood can also last upwards of 50 years, which is nearly three times as long as the average asphalt shingle roof. Many homeowners also enjoy the deep colors and unique look of real wood shingles on their home. The grain in a wood shingle helps to add to its look and make it something that can enhance a particular kind of home decor.
Slate shingles are popular in rural areas because of their durability and their availability. As you get closer to a slate quarry, you may start to notice more slate shingle roofs on the homes and businesses in the area. As with cedar and redwood shingles, slate shingles have been known to last for 50 years or longer. Many farm communities utilize slate shingles because of the shingles' reliability and durability.
Slate shingles can also create a very unique look to a roof that cannot be accomplished with any other kind of shingle, or any other kind of roofing material. Slate shingles are one of the few kinds of roofing shingles that change color when they get wet, which is just another reason that these shingles are growing in popularity.
Shingle Roofing Accessories
As with most other kinds of roofing materials, shingles are attached to a roof deck made of treated wood. Asphalt shingles can come in a three-tan design which makes the installation process even faster. Shingles are usually installed over a layer of felt that is put on the roof to act as a protective layer between the elements and the roof deck.
Another accessory that is commonly used with shingle roofs is flashing. This is a thin metal that is resistant to the elements and is used to protect areas left exposed by shingle installation. It is common to see flashing exposed when an asphalt roof is installed, but roofers will often hide flashing behind wood and slate shingles. Flashing is most commonly used near chimneys and vents on the roof which create areas that are difficult for shingles to cover.
Shingle Roof Maintenance
The best way to maintain your shingle roof is to remain vigilant when it comes to finding clues that would indicate problems. For example, if you see small, white particles in your gutters, then that is the white particles from your asphalt shingles. This could indicate that it may be time to think about replacing your shingles.
It is important to have your shingle roof inspected by an experienced roofing professional at least once a year. An inspector will let you know what kinds of repair and replacement projects you will need consider in the immediate future and in the long term. The more you do to maintain your shingle roof properly, the more you will get out of your roof and your investment.