Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in North America, with a market share of over 70% among single-family homes. They are preferred for their reasonable cost, long life expectancy and classic looks. Most homeowners who have asphalt shingles as their roofing system also choose essentially the same material whenever they talk to their roofer about a roof replacement.
But how much do you know about your asphalt shingles? Here are some facts about them.
1. Fiberglass Shingles Are Asphalt Shingles
You can call them fiberglass shingles or asphalt shingles. They are also known as composition shingles. Asphalt is the material used for water resistance and weatherproofing, and the fabric that holds the shingle together is made of fiberglass. Asphalt makes up about 20% of the total product weight. In lighter shingles, that percentage further goes down.
2. There Is No Asbestos in Modern Shingles
There were some manufacturers in the past that marketed fire-resistant shingles that contained asbestos fibers, but those shingles were phased out in the 1960s. Today, fire-resistant shingles tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) do not contain asbestos anymore.
3. Shingles Can Be Installed Using Either Hand Nailing or Nail Guns
Reputable roofers in the past avoided using pneumatic shingle attachment because it involved using staples, which were prone to crooked installation. Professionals hand-nailed the shingles instead. These days, nail guns are simply better. As long as you hire reputable and highly trained roofers, it doesn’t matter whether they hand-nail or use a nail gun as the difference is in their skill.
4. Shingle Color Isn’t the Only Factor Involved in Energy Efficiency
Don’t be afraid to choose dark-colored shingles. As long as your attic is properly insulated and ventilated, and the shingles you choose are of good quality, you don’t have to worry about cooling costs or indoor comfort.
5. Asphalt Shingles Can Last Up to 30 Years
Good-quality shingles are a good bargain because they last longer and don’t cost too much. Just make sure to inspect and maintain your roof regularly.