Asphalt Shingles - The First Line of Defense
"What is now proved was once only imagined."
Waterproofing is the first feature that comes to mind when one thinks of residential roofing and that is certainly one of the benefits of a well-constructed roof. Asphalt shingles can withstand gale force winds, driving rain, a scorching sun, winter’s deep freeze, ice build-up and hail. Many roofing materials have come and gone over the years but asphalt shingles have withstood Mother Nature’s test of time.
The science and technology invested in improving each and every element that goes into an asphalt shingle has made the current product one that is designed for longevity.
The primary ingredient in an asphalt shingle is, of course, the asphalt. Asphalt is a product that comes from a wide variety of petroleum crude's and geographic sources. To ensure quality and compatibility with other shingle components, the asphalt is scientifically analyzed, processed and modified to ensure that its waterproofing properties are maximized and that the asphalt remains stable over time. The ceramic-coated granule covering protects the asphalt from UV degradation.
Asphalt roofing manufacturers know how harsh Mother Nature can be. They plan for the worse to ensure the home stays dry and secure for decades to come.
STYLES AND PROFILES
The range of styles, colors and profiles that are being produced and offered today to the building owner has never been so broad and so exciting. There is a suitable shingle for every architectural style and every budget.
The most affordable roofing material in the residential roofing market, the 3-tab shingle, comes in a variety of colors and textures. Bold colors or softer tones, sometimes enhanced with shadow lines, will aesthetically blend in and complement any exterior cladding material.
There are a host of upgrades available. Among them is the multi-layered laminates that replicate the look of slate shingles or wood shake shingles for thousands of dollars less. Sophisticated profiles coupled with elegant colour blends that never go out of style add to the dramatic impact of any steep sloped roof.
A variety of warranties are offered by all shingle manufacturers.
EASE OF INSTALLATION
Asphalt shingles are certainly the most familiar roofing system available to the homeowner today. Thousands of roofing applicators install asphalt roofing shingles regularly because they know the building owner will be satisfied with the result for years to come. In Canada alone, over half a million homes each year are roofed with asphalt shingles.
The do-it-yourselfer is also more comfortable installing an asphalt shingle roof because its ease of installation has been built into the design itself. Step-by-step instructions are pretty much standard and available from all the manufacturers. They are printed on every shingle wrapper and detailed on the manufacturers' websites along with helpful drawings and installation tips. Unusual applications sometimes raise questions even by experienced contractors; these answers are available from trained industry specialists.
All Building Code Authorities across North America have asphalt roofing shingles included in their respective national, provincial, state and local building codes. The inclusion of asphalt shingles certifies its proven performance and acceptance by recognized professional bodies.
An installed shingle roof will ensure you have peace of mind for decades. While you can forget about the shingles, there are a few simple maintenance chores that will keep your roof performing at its best. Don't forget to empty the gutters of debris. And every year or two, you might want to check the exposed caulking (around chimneys, vents…) to ensure it has not dried up or cracked. Be sure to take the proper safety precautions if you go up on your roof.
ASPHALT SHINGLES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Homeowners and businesses alike are more focused than ever on building 'green', and how our actions affect the world around us. Demand is high for eco-friendly products that minimize the impact on the natural environment.
Canadian-made asphalt shingles offer many environmental advantages. When considering the environmental impact of various roofing options, asphalt shingles offer a lot of benefits, and still maintain incredible durability, value, aesthetics, and ease of installation/maintenance.
The cost/benefit advantage of asphalt roofing shingles has behind it the test of time but, in an economy so volatile, it has never been so important. Homeowners still demand that there be no compromise on the performance and look that both protect and enhance their property's value.
Other roofing materials like slate shingles, wood shake shingles, sheet metal and ceramic tiles have been around for a long time and certainly have merit but, when one considers the total cost and performance of an installed roof covering, there is nothing that comes even close to the value delivered by a roof done with asphalt roofing shingles. Protecting your home from the exterior elements has never been so easy and efficient because asphalt roofing has a history as the preferred roof covering for millions of homeowners. Their investment in their home's first line of defence, the roof, has never been so rewarding.
For more detailed information on various technical questions on Asphalt Roofing Shingles please review the Technical Bulletins section of our website.