Guide to Asphalt Fiberglass Roof Shingles
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Maryland Handyman Home Page - Guide to Roof Shingles

Asphalt or Fiberglass Roofing Shingles

One of the more common materials used is asphalt shingles. Older shingles were heavy, and when they failed they crumbled. Modern shingles are lighter because they are reinforced with a fiberglass matrix. Fiberglass is used to strengthen the shingle. These shingles are much thinner and may be more susceptible to surface damage.

Asphalt / fiberglass shingles come in different styles and with various lifetime warranties, ranging from 15 to 40 years. This may change depending on location, ventilation and color. Darker shingles may require more ventilation to prevent heat buildup, that may cause shingles to fail early. Poor attic ventilation can lead to shingles literally baking from excessive heat, and resulting in curling and premature failure.

Three tab shingles are evident by the way key-way lines (slots) run vertically up the roof. The key-ways are the area where leaks are more likely to occur. The shingle below can actually become eroded through, and expose the top of the lower shingle, or expose the felt paper. Strip shingles have no key-ways and are likely to outlast 3 tab shingles. Architectural shingles are the most durable with a double overlay face and heavier weight. These shingles are meant to create an enhanced aesthetic look similar to cedar shingles and be more resistant to wind. Interlocking shingles are seen on older homes and were used before tar strips were used as a self sealant. Tar strips were implemented to help prevent wind damage.

We hope that you have found this article helpful. Please contact us if you have questions. This article is to give you an idea of what to look for. It is always recommended that you hire or consult with a professional and licensed contractor.


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