Roofing shingles are the external covering, which provide protection to your roof. They are generally individual overlapping plates or tile like elements arranged in rows over roofs.
Choosing Roofing Shingles
Any project like choosing shingles should not be undertaken without adequate preparation and research. It will not only help you save some time and money, but it will also give you an idea about the range of choice that you have, when it comes to choosing the right one. The choice of material for the roofing shingles is crucial. When you are putting a roof over your head, it is good to do it in the best way possible and with the best materials available, as it ensures longevity and lessens your future roofing problems.
There are certain factors which you need to look into while buying roofing shingles for your house. Here are the factors that you need to be clear about before you start perusing any reviews.
- Roofing Area: Calculate the total roofing surface area to be covered. This will give you an idea about the quantity of shingles you'll need to buy to cover the roof.
- Material and Color: Check out the various roofing catalogs found in lifestyle magazines or on the internet. Decide on the kind of color you want, which is in sync with rest of the house and its architecture.
- Budget: The most important factor is your budget allotment, which will decide which ones you can go for.
Here, some roofing shingle ratings are presented, which cover the whole range of choice in the market. The ones rated here, are the most popular ones that are available in United States of America.
Asphalt shingles are the popular choice for most Americans, when it comes to choosing shingles. The reasons are their low cost and the simplicity of their installation. They come in two types which are organic and fiber glass. The asphalt content of organic shingles is about 40% more than fiber glass shingles and they are additionally coated with ceramic coated copper for algae and moss resistance. This makes them heavier (increasing blow-off resistance) and durable. However, being paper based, gives them lower fire resistance.
The fiber glass type, asphalt shingles have better fire resistance as they are made from a glass based fiber layer bonded with urea-formaldehyde resin. It is also made waterproof. Asphalt shingles are best suited for cool climates than warmer ones. They are the best choices. Typically, once installed, asphalt shingles will last for ten to twenty years depending on the climate in the region. They last longer in colder climates, in the upper latitudes. Manufacturers usually provide warranties on asphalt shingles that extend well beyond 20 years. The prices for these shingles vary from 80 cents per square foot to more than $3 per square foot. Some of the best roofing shingle brands are TAMKO, CertainTeed and GAF.
Slate is a type of metamorphic rock used traditionally as roofing shingles, in the form of thin sheets. Slate is naturally insulating and bonds well with chemical sealants. It absorbs very less water, making it an ideal candidate for roof shingles. Ergo, it makes for an excellent roofing choice, if you are looking for a house with a rustic look in a cold climate. They are not simply laid and need a professional hand. It is still a preferred choice of shingles in Europe and upper latitudes in USA. These shouldn't be confused with synthetic slate shingles and come in a variety of colors ranging from classic blue or black, to various shades of green and gray. They are considerably more costly than asphalt shingles, but provide a very long service life. 'Virginia Slate' is one of the leading manufacturers of slate shingles.
The wooden shingles are the earliest of shingles made by man. They are the cheapest choice and also come in wide variety. One type of wooden roofing shingle is called a 'shake'. It is made by splitting logs of Western Red Cedar in North America. Wooden shingles are most well suited for dry climates and give a beautiful rustic look to your house. They require regular maintenance. Some of the leading manufacturers of wooden shingles areDavinci Roofscapes, The Clarke Group, Cox Industries and BCF Shake and Shingle.
These were the three most preferred choices for roofing shingles. Take all factors including durability, compatibility and budget, into consideration before choosing a shingle type.