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Fiberglass Roofing Shingles

Fiberglass Roofing Shingles
Fiberglass shingle is a relatively new entrant, when compared to other types of roofing materials. This article deals with the various aspects of this product...
Sonia Nair
Roof Shingles
Roofing is one of the integral parts of any house. A perfect roofing material is that which gels well with the style of the house, at the same time, provides protection to the structure. It must be strong as well as durable and easy to install. Nowadays, there are many options, as far as roofing shingles are concerned.
The different roofing shingle types include asphalt shingles, metal shingles, clay shingles, architectural shingles, wood shingles, slate shingles and fiberglass shingles. They are available in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. If you are searching for a cheaper roofing shingle that offers looks as well as toughness, then, fiberglass roofing shingles could be an ideal option.
What is Fiberglass Roofing Shingle
They are nothing other than a newer version of asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles come in two types - organic asphalt shingles and asphalt fiberglass roof shingles. Initially, asphalt shingles were made from waste paper and wood fiber saturated with asphalt and other products. But, nowadays, the newer version is getting more popular and in this type, asphalt coating is applied on mats made of fiberglass. This type of roofing material is called fiberglass roofing shingle. 
Another newer version of these roof shingles has been introduced in the market and this newer entrant is called architectural shingle. In this type, two such (as detailed above) fiberglass mats are secured together with asphalt sealant. These roofing shingles are also called laminated shingles or three-dimensional shingles that are said to be much stronger, heavier and durable, as compared to most of the other types. However, architectural shingles are very expensive.
As mentioned above, fiberglass roofing shingles are made by coating fiberglass mats with asphalt. It is said that both manufacturers as well as customers benefit from this product. While manufacturers require less asphalt in regular fiberglass shingles (as compared to organic asphalt shingles), for the customers, it is less expensive and is easy to install. These shingles are also strong, tough, waterproof and fire resistant. It is claimed that fiberglass roof shingles are difficult to break, do not tear and are also resistant to wind damage. These shingles are much more durable than organic asphalt roof shingles.
Fiberglass shingles are also lightweight, flexible and are also easy to install. In fact, these shingles are fast replacing felt mats too. Usually, fiberglass shingles are sold as 36'' x 12'' pieces that can also be attached together, so that it looks like a single-piece roof covering. Even mold resistant version is available in the market. Some manufacturers offer warranties against weather damage too. If you go for the high-end versions, called architectural shingles, you may get to buy shingles that mimic the looks of slate or cedar shakes.
In short, fiberglass roofing shingle, especially the architectural type, has emerged as one of the popular roofing materials. It is said to be ideal for those who need an inexpensive roofing material that offers looks as well as durability. However, there are some disadvantages of regular fiberglass roof shingles and this include thermal splitting, which could be due to less amount of asphalt coating or faulty installation methods.
So, these shingles have to be installed carefully, especially, in case of nailing and placement. The instructions of the manufacturer must be followed, if you install it for yourself. Contrary to popular belief, there are also speculations regarding the lifespan of fiberglass roofing shingles. It is said that these shingles have to be replaced within 15 to 30 years of installation. So, if you intend to buy this roofing material, conduct a study about its various aspects, before choosing it.