Get To Know Your Roof: Shingles

What exactly are roofing shingles? Roofing shingles are curved or flat tiles made from varying materials that overlap and interlock in a fashion that channels water off of a pitched roof. They are made of materials that are determined by cost, weight, durability, color, and architectural styles. When considering roofing your home with tiles, you should consider your budget, climate, the roofs pitch, and how you want the end result to look in regards to your homes design.

Shingles are used exclusively for roofs with sloping sides that are steep enough to allow water to flow into a gutter system using gravity alone. For flat or shallow roofs, materials such as metal flashing or sheets of PVC are more appropriate than shingles.

There are any materials that are well suited to serve as weatherproof, durable, shingles that are pleasing to the eye. Slate comes in a variety of colors from green to blue to gray or even tan, and can last as long as a century. However, they are extravagantly priced and require an extra strong roof since their weight is considerable. Ceramic or clay tiles come in an elongated S-shape to top Spanish-style adobe houses but like slate, they are also priced quite high are are heavy. Lighter alternatives such as asphalt shingles, can mimic both the color and fire-retardant rating of the choices.

Your basic standard asphalt shingles, also known as composite or fiberglass, are made by infusing paper or fiberglass base with asphalt. Then one side is sprayed with granules of whatever material is desired to achieve a chosen color. A dependable choice, these are the most affordable option and can last 15 – 20 years.

Of course thee are other, more expensive options such as shake or copper squares one can take into consideration. Even metal tiles made out of steel or aluminum, these make a strong design statement as they shine in the sunlight. Talk to your roofer or salesman on the varieties available and enjoy your new shingle roof!

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