Roofing shingles are the outcome of a long line of roofing innovation, beginning as early as the use of natural and organic material to create shelters in ancient times. Humans for centuries have used various natural materials found around them to shield themselves from the elements, such as dried grasses, palm leaves, or even clay and dirt. Over time we’ve gotten smarter, more efficient, and more practical on creating the materials to shelter us from the weather.
The most common modern day roofing material is the asphalt shingle, used on approximately 80% of residential roofs in the United States. Asphalt shingles began as a way to make roofing materials lighter, cheaper, and more reliable. Early forms of asphalt shingles were characterized by rolls of felt saturated in tar, which were then covered with sand or broken shells. Overtime, the rolls began to be cut into smaller rectangular pieces to make them more available to consumers and retail environments. Overtime, the tar was replaced by asphalt and the sand/shell pieces replaced with fiberglass or organic granules. Today, asphalt shingles are manufactured into rectangular shapes and often have cutouts known as tabs. Tabs allow for the shingles to interlock together to create a more wind-resistant roofing system.
Now you may wonder, how exactly do asphalt shingles keep my home dry? Asphalt shingles are not only nailed to the roof itself, but they are also nailed to each other to act as another line of defense against strong winds that have the potential to lift shingles or blow them away completely, creating an entry point for moisture. Shingles also feature an adhesive backing as an additional barrier from excess moistures. The slope of the roof is also essential in water runoff, using the benefits of gravity to move water along quickly before it can find any cracks. The granules on the shingles help to disperse the water flow as it works to move around them, which in process erodes them. This erosion of the granules is why asphalt shingles need to be replaced over time.
If you’re concerned about the status of your roof or would like to learn more about our asphalt shingle installation process, schedule a FREE inspection and estimate with us by calling us TODAY.