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Rockland County Roofing: Article About Asphalt Shingles

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Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in North America. Many people mistakenly believe that all asphalt shingles are the same. However, as Rockland County roofing contractors know, there is a large difference in the quality and durability of different asphalt shingles.

Asphalt shingles are made in two different varieties: fiberglass or organic. Fiberglass shingles are made with a fiberglass mat that is covered with asphalt and then topped with ceramic granules. Organic shingles are made from felt paper that is saturated with asphalt and then covered with ceramic granules. Organic shingles require 40 percent more asphalt than their fiberglass counterparts. They are less durable and offer less fire protection. Because of the additional work needed to make them and because of their negative impact on the environment, organic shingles are being used less and less.

Shingles are sold in three basic designs. Three tab shingles are made from a layer of material and have two cutouts on the exposed surface. Laminated shingles are made from multiple layers of material and have a three dimensional appearance. They can be fabricated to look like wood and heavy slate. Finally, large form shingles are cut as rectangles, but they have no tabs or cutouts.

The roofing contractors at Precision roofing of Rockland County can answer questions regarding shingle replacement or PVC roofing.

As with almost everything else, the less a person pays for shingles, the lower the quality of the shingle will be. Cheaper shingles are easily damaged by sun exposure, thermal movement, gale force winds and storms. They usually show wear and tear in as little as five or six years, and they have a predicted life span of 12 to 18 years.

All asphalt shingles have ceramic granules that are sprinkled on top. These serve to provide protection from UV rays. If weather causes the granules to fall off, the shingles will begin to age quicker.

Asphalt shingles require proper ventilation. The most efficient type of ventilation is a ridge/soffit vent combo. Soffit vents take in fresh air, and ridge vents remove old heated air from inside the home. A well designed ventilation system will allow more air to escape than it allows to enter. Asphalt shingle roofs that are designed without sufficient insulation void their warranty. Homeowners should make sure that attic insulation does not block soffit air intake valves; otherwise, the ventilation system will not work.

Asphalt shingles have gained in popularity because of their durability, light weight and relative affordability. Homeowners should talk to a roofing contractor prior to purchasing shingles for the roof to make sure the product they buy is right for their home and will ensure the longevity of their roof.

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