FYI Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Most people don’t give much thought to the material covering their homes. All they know is that it looks nice and it keeps the rain out. And, most everyone knows that the material used on the roofs of most homes are called shingles. But beyond that…it gets a little vague.

Types of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

There are two types asphalt shingles, organic and fiberglass.

“Organic.” In the beginning all shingles were made of “Organic” based material such as waste paper, cellulose, wood pulp, and cotton rag. These materials were mixed with asphalt to make them waterproof. Some of the organic based shingles that were produced before 1980 contained asbestos. Roofers often have to call in a remediation expert to handle the asbestos shingles.

Asphalt based material. The binding material for asphalt shingles has been around for thousands of years. It was used for filling the cracks between bricks and stones in homes and other buildings to keep out the cold and heat. It was also used to waterproof canals to prevent water loss.

It might surprise you to know that roofing shingles and roofing contractors haven’t changed much over the years. The process of making the shingle has remained pretty much the same since about the turn of the century. Asphalt coated felt with a stone granule finish has served America well for over a century. Little has changed in the actual process of making the shingle, although alternative material has been developed to make the shingle lighter and more durable. Most of the material used in making shingles have moved from an organic material to a non-organic material to make them fire resistant.

Fiberglass Roof Shingles

“Fiberglass” Asphalt shingles cover about 80 percent of the homes in America. The “Fiberglass” shingle itself is made up of a fiberglass mat, mixed with asphalt much like the asphalt used on building much of our highway system. The mat is then covered with a stone granule surfacing. The granules create the highly durable, long lasting, and fire resistant finish. The granules go through a ceramic firing to develop a range of long lasting colors.

Asphalt shingles comes in many shapes, colors, and textures. The three tab shingle is a single layer fiberglass shingle with three tabs cut into it. The three tab shingle is adequate for most homes but is at the lower end of the durability scale. Three tab shingles will usually need to be replaced after about 15 to 20 years. Most three tab shingles are used on lower valued homes and rental properties.

The asphalt architectural or dimensional shingle is stronger and thicker than the three tab shingle. It has a more expensive look because of the random highs and lows in its aesthetics. These shingles are more expensive but they also come with a longer warranty. Some asphalt architectural shingles come with an up to 50 year warranty.

The bottom line is, though you may not know all the details of the asphalt shingles on your house…but you can be sure that they are durable, wind resistant, fire resistant, some are hail resistant, algae resistant, and make just down right attractive roof. And that’s what matters, right?

Roof Repair Safety Tips

A Few Safety Tips on Roof Repair

You may watch professional roofers, insurance adjusters, and roofing salesmen, navigate the surface of your roof with ease and seemly no fear.

But the truth is most roofing professionals have a healthy respect for safety while they are on a roof. Experience has taught them that just one little slip up and a fall from a roof or ladder could end their careers in the roofing industry. Here’s a few tips from our friends who are roofing contractors midland tx.

The DIY homeowner should have even more respect than the professional for safety when he chooses to take on a project that calls for getting on the roof. Safety is always first when there is any chance of bodily injury.

Unpredictable fall hazards can catch even the most experienced roofer off guard. Unexpected danger can be lying in wait in the form of a loose shingle waiting to be stepped on, a sudden gust of wind causing you to lose your balance, or a sheet of rotten decayed plywood or OSB allowing you to step right through the roof. It is always wise to take the time to think ahead and eliminate as many risks as possible.

Have a well thought through plan for your project ready before you ever set one foot on a ladder. How well you are prepared for your roofing project will make a major difference in how safe and how smoothly your job will run. Make sure all the tools and equipment you use are safe and reliable.

Having a safe sturdy ladder is a must. Especially if it is an extension ladder. Don’t cut yourself short, make sure you choose the right length of ladder for the job. You should always pay close attention to weight load ratings for the ladder. Check to see if the rating is for the person and includes the material you may be carrying up the ladder with you.  Anchor your ladder and stabilize it by tying it off. And make sure the base of the ladder it is on a solid and firm surface.

Never get on a wet roof. A pitched roof is difficult to maintain a steady footing even when the surface is not wet. Rain, snow and ice are a roof hazard you do not what to attempt walking on. It’s good to remember that an object in motion stays in motion, and you don’t want to be that object sliding down the roof due to bad judgement. The ground could be the stopping point. If possible wait until you have a sunny day and the roof is good and dry.

Getting on a hot roof is extremely dangerous as well. Most all roofing materials reflect heat. It is hard for even the most seasoned roofer to work on a roof when temperatures reach extreme levels. When composition shingle are hot the asphalt on the fiberglass mat cannot be walked on without damaging the shingle. Another hazard about getting on hot roofs is not realizing how hot it really is up there and falling prey to dehydration.

“Be Safe, Be Alert, and Be Educated” whenever you climb upon a roof.