Exterior Design

Modern residential roofing materials – asphalt shingles pros and cons

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Very often the roof is called “The fifth facade” as the roof is the finishing element of the building. The requirements to any type of residential roofing are many – it has to be safe for the occupants of the house, it has to be durable, to have a long life and last but not least – it has to be aesthetically pleasing and in harmony with the overall architectural design.

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We shall look at the pros and cons of asphalt shingles so that you can make an optimal choice. Depending on the product quality, asphalt roofing shingles can retain their properties from 10 to 40 years. As a general rule, the smaller temperature variations, the longer the life of the tiles.


Modern residential roofing materials – types of asphalt shingles


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In general asphalt shingles are divided in two main groups – organic and fiberglass. Organic shingles are based on paper which is saturated with asphalt and an additional coating of adhesive and ceramic granules is added to make them waterproof. Fiberglass shingles are manufactured with a base layer of glass and coated with asphalt, which contains mineral fillers. Depending on the shape, style and reinforcement, the shingles can be strip shingles, laminated strips shingles or individual shingles.


Pros and cons of asphalt shingles

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The reason for the great popularity of asphalt shingles is the relatively low cost. They are one of the most affordable roofing options.

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In terms of style, the shingles are offered in almost any color – blue, red, yellow and green – and in quite many patterns and you can find suitable shingles for contemporary or traditional home without any problem.

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The installation process is easy and many homeowners prefer to install their roof as a DIY project as there is no need of special tools or extensive prep work. Asphalt shingles are lightweight and do not require additional structural support which means that they can be installed on any roof.

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The disadvantages of asphalt shingles are not to be overlooked. On the first place, they are not resistant to temperature variations, and the shingles may crack from the expansion and contraction caused by the climate changes. Extreme heat also makes the shingles crack, so experts advise that the material is more suitable for cooler climate conditions.


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Asphalt shingles do require a regular maintenance and replacement, if necessary. Make sure you do that before rains and snows.

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A petroleum based product, asphalt shingles are not environmentally friendly and not recyclable.


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