Are you looking to replace your roofing system and are not sure where to start looking? We’ve put together a guide on things you might not have known about roof shingles, which is likely to answer a few questions you might have had.
1. There are Many Types of Roof Shingles
There are a variety of shingles that you can use for your home, depending on the aesthetic you are going for and, of course, considering the weather conditions of where you live.
There are 6 types of shingles you can choose from:
- Asphalt shingles – asphalt shingles are one of the most popular types of shingles used. Asphalt shingles are reinforced with fiberglass or organic materials. They come in various sizes and colors. Asphalt shingles are known to be the least expensive, waterproof, and fireproof.
- Wood shingles – wood shingles are environmentally friendly and easy to wash. However, wood shingles are vulnerable to fires, and they can be difficult to replace in the case of a damaged part. Wood shingles do not fare well in hot and dry/wet climates.
- Metal shingles – metal shingles have a long lifespan, longer than asphalt and wood. They are made up of aluminum, steel, and copper. They’re energy efficient due to their ability to reflect sunlight and not absorb heat, which lowers energy costs. They do tend to be a bit more expensive than other options.
- Slate shingles – slate shingles offer a natural aesthetic and the longest lifespan of all the options. However, they are costly and not all roofing structures can support the weight of the installation. They are heat and moisture resistant and fare well against leaks.
- Clay and concrete – these types of shingles come in a variety of colors and are energy efficient. Concrete shingles reflect sunlight and can effectively insulate homes from heat and cold. Concrete tiles are heavier than clay tiles, so you will need to ensure your roofing structure can withstand the weight.
- Composite shingles – composite shingles are made of rubber, polymer, or plastic. They come in a variety of colors and are made to look as natural as possible. To varying degrees, composite shingles are heat and impact resistant. Composite shingles are not as energy efficient as other materials, which may affect your energy bills.
2. The Impact Shingles Have on Energy Efficiency
Asphalt shingles are known to be the least energy efficient of roofing shingles. This is because of heat absorption and raised temperatures from the sun. There are other options for more energy efficient shingles. If you are looking for the most energy efficient roofing shingle, this will most likely be metal roofing.
3. How Long Do Roof Shingles Last?
The lifespan of a shingle roof depends largely on the materials that are used. The cheaper you go, the shorter the lifespan due to sun damage, temperate changes, strong winds and storms. Damage will begin to show around 5-6 years, while its total lifespan will be around 10-12 years. In most cases, shingle granules help protect against sunlight and UV rays. However, when these granules start to deplete, the process of aging speeds up and leaks can occur. Low ventilation levels and moss growth will also affect the lifespan of a shingle roof. In areas where there are hotter temperatures, it is recommended to install shingles of a lighter color. This will help protect against UV damage, and it is more heat absorption resistant.
4. How to Maintain Roof Shingles
Preventative roof maintenance is the best solution for algae growth. This includes trimming any nearby trees and branches that might cause damage to the roof, removing debris that may build up and cleaning out the gutters, so rainwater and leaves don’t build up and cause algae growth.
Algae growth develops because of excessive moisture. Regular check-ups on the condition of the shingles are important to ensure that there are no missing pieces and that flashing has not come loose. Caulking should also be inspected regularly.
5. The Pitch of Your Roof Matters
The pitch of your roof is influential when you consider the type of underlayment used. In cases where there is less pitch, double coverage should be included for extra protection. There are also minimum requirements for greater pitches. As experts in the industry, we prefer using a breathable synthetic underlayment to ensure that your roofing systems lasts longer.
6. Some Types of Roofs Are Excluded
Shingles should not be installed on a flat roof. This is because there is no capability for water shedding without the natural slope of the roof. They can, however, be installed on low slope roofs but will need a waterproof membrane.
7. You Need a Reliable Underlayment
Underlayment is essential to protect the deck from rain before the installation of the shingles. During sheathing, underlayment protects roofing from resin exposure. They also provide an extra barrier for leaks. Underlayment is often required to obtain a fire rating and are generally required by most building codes in the U.S. Aesthetically, underlayment prevents uneven spots from showing through.
8. The Role of Roof Ventilation
The better your ventilation, the longer your shingles will last. It is well known that installation of systems that do not have proper ventilation will lose their warranty. The most effective and commonly used ventilation type used these days is the Ridge/Soffit vent combination. Gable vents, electric powered vents and static boxes can also be used. It’s important to note, though, that a combination of different types of vents will not work. Different ventilation could cause a short-circuit effect, which means hot air remains within the attic space but doesn’t leave.
9. Warranties and Roof Shingles
Asphalt shingles carry a warranty of between 20 – 50 years, depending on the manufacturer. However, the warranty does not determine how long your shingles will last. This is due to climate and weather conditions as well as preventative maintenance. Check your warranty documents with the manufacturer as well as your roofing installer to ensure that you are clear on warranty time spans.
10. How Are the Costs Calculated?
A roofer will normally consider the following when drawing up an estimate for a shingle installation job:
- The cost of materials
- The project size
- The amount of labor needed
- Layout of the roof – this where slope and pitch come into play
11. What Parts Are Needed for Shingle Installation?
You will need to ensure you have an underlayment. This can be felt or synthetic. You will also need a drip edge, water barrier, ridge cap, ventilation, and nails. If you’re considering making this a DIY project, note that shingles are sold in bundles. We do, however, suggest calling in roofing professionals like AABCO Roofing to ensure that your home is successfully protected from the top through to the inside of your home.
12. Hiring the Right Contractor Matters
Hiring a reputable roofer is one of the most important things you can do for your home. Ensuring that you do your homework on the roofer that you have chosen will impact significantly on the final outcome of the project. Cheaper isn’t always better. It is completely reasonable to request to ask your potential roofer for previous work they have already done. If they provide you with contacts for referrals, don’t be afraid to make the calls and find out the information you need.
13. The Environmental Impact of Used Shingles
Not many people know that a lot of waste is produced from roofing annually. These kinds of materials can be recycled and should be done. Old roofing materials should not be burned as they can release harmful emissions.
14. Shingles Add Value to Your Home
If you’re only planning on staying in your home for a few years, don’t shy away from a fresh replacement of shingles if it is needed. It has been reported that a new roof can substantially increase the value of your home when selling. Buyers will be looking at these kinds of things.
15. Where You Live, Matters
Your geographic location matters when it comes to choosing your roofing materials. Hot and humid climates see more damage from algae and fungal growth. As mentioned before, if you are in a hot environment, you should opt for lighter colored shingles. If your location experiences heavy rains and strong winds, be sure to do regular maintenance to ensure that all your shingles are still intact and that there are no missing pieces that may cause leaks and further damage.
Professional Roofers in Pompano Beach
If you’re looking to replace your roof, we suggest calling in the professionals, so you know that you will end up with a roofing system that you can rely on. Further, if you’re looking to sell your home in the coming future, buyers will be interested in warranties on the workmanship and the materials. Call AABCO Roofing today to get a quote on all things roofing at 1-954-426-8500.