More American homes — especially those in the Newnan, Georgia area — are protected with shingles than any other type of roofing material. In fact, shingle roofs top over 80 percent of American homes coast to coast.

However, even if you’ve always had a shingle roof on your home, you may not know a lot about this roofing material and why it’s so popular.

This is why we, the roofing professionals at Eagle Watch Roofing, have provided you with some facts about shingles that you’ll find especially relevant when the time comes to replace your existing roof.

History of Shingle Roofs

The original shingles were wood and were invented in the 1700s to be used by the American colonies. Shingles began being used because of their durability and affordability. Slate roofs were also used in the 1700s but were less common because of their high cost. More affordable than slate and more resilient than wood, asphalt roofing was invented in approximately 1903 to later begin normal use in America in 1911. Commercial metal shingle roofing was originally invented in 1959. The original metal used was aluminum. Other types of metal shingles began being used in the 1980s. However, steel and sheet metal as a general roofing material began being utilized in the 1930s. Clay tiles were originally used by China around 10,000 BCE, but after the Roman Empire fell, clay stopped being used until the 12th century.

Technical Facts About Shingles Roof

Asphalt Shingling

Asphalt shingling is produced through petroleum in a liquid state. The two types of asphalt shingle roofing are organic and fiberglass. These organic or natural materials include waste papers and wood fibers that are mixed with liquid or semi-liquid asphalt before being covered in another layer of asphalt. Fiberglass follows the same process of mixing with the asphalt but is made from glass instead. Mixing the asphalt with fiberglass or organic materials is what makes the shingle roofing waterproof.

The most popular asphalt shingles are three-tab shingles. This design is cut into strips approximately three feet long with two slits per strip opposite the strip’s length. The shingles are nailed in but also have a sun-activated adhesive that protects the roof from high winds and helps with water resistance.

Another type of asphalt shingles is architectural asphalt shingles, which are made to mimic natural materials. Therefore, the shingles are purposely made uneven, with a less than exact shape.

Metal Shingling

Metal shingling is built with empty space between the metal and roof deck in order to lessen the amount of heat reaching the addict. The metal shingling acts as a natural thermal regulator. Proper ventilation is necessary, especially if a house features an attic, which can get very hot in the summer. In summer, attics can get as hot as 150 degrees Fahrenheit if not ventilated properly.

Steel metal shingles have a base of carbon steel coated by zinc, zinc and aluminum, aluminum, or aluminum and copper. The zinc and aluminum coating protects from rusting. Metal shingling is usually made by putting metal coils into a roll-former that creates metal panels.

Clay Shingling

In preparation for constructing clay roofing, the clay is mixed with plastic and/or sand to be burned at approximately 2,372 Fahrenheit in kilns. Clay tiles can be handmade as well as machine manufactured. Before the clay is even used, it must first be weathered down after being excavated. The clay could be weathered for even a year before being molded and shaped with water, adding moisture to ease the molding process. A rolling system presses the clay into the proper slab sizes. Metal wire cuts the slabs of clay into the correct dimensions. This is when the clay is baked in the kiln. After baking, the clay shingles are inspected for any warping or cracks. Any shingles with these defects are discarded. Clay has a low water absorption rate and can last over one hundred years, requiring little maintenance. Though, clay is more susceptible to cracking in freezing weather.

Slate Shingling

Slate shingling is definitely one of the most durable single options. This shingling is made solely out of sedimentary or metamorphic rock. Therefore, cutting the rock into the perfect slabs for shingling is easy. Rocks for slate mainly come from China and Brazil, with a small portion excavated in the United States.

In order to use slate for shingles, the rock must first be found and excavated. Once the rock is excavated, it is brought to a shop to decide what the excavated slate should be used towards. Slate for roofing, shingling and any architectural work must be of high quality. Though slate for roofing can be a variety of sizes since it is cut into small dimensions either way. The slate is next sawed into blocks to be split in half, fourths, and eighths. The slate is then trimmed to the correct size and has two holes drilled into the piece. After this process is completed, the slate shingles are inspected to ensure high quality and durability.

Slate shingles come in myriad colors, with the rarest color being red. Other colors include a myriad of shades of blue, gray, purple, and green. Due to the heaviness of slate, the shingle material is best used for steep and sloping roofs.

Maintaining Shingle Roofs

In order to lengthen the lifespan of your shingles as long as possible, make sure to take care of your shingles. If your tree has any overhanging branches, cut them down to reduce the likelihood of the branches falling and possibly damaging your roof. You should inspect your roof approximately twice a year for any damages or lifting of the shingles. We recommend checking the shingles in the spring and fall. If you have asphalt shingles, watch for moss because it may lift the asphalt shingles. Also, contacting a local roofing expert, such as Eagle Watch roofing, will help ensure your shingles are maintained to last as long as possible.

Benefits of Shingle Roofs

Shingle roofing protects your home and roof from the outside elements and weather and is aesthetically appealing. Shingle roofing protects your roof and home from hail, snow, and other storms.

Roofer installing asphalt shinglesAsphalt shingles

  • Asphalt shingles are easy to install,
  • They are affordable.
  • Asphalt shingle roofing is lightweight.
  • Asphalt shingles can take approximately two hours to finally catch on fire when a fire occurs.

Slate Shingles

  • Due to the density of the slate rocks, they are energy efficient by keeping out the heat with proper ventilation.
  • Slate shingles are eco-friendly with little processing and little waste.
  • Slate shingles are one of the most durable shingle materials.

Metal shingles

  • They are energy efficient and eco friendly due to their insulation from heat, proper ventilation, and that the metal reflects the sun’s UV rays. This lowers the amount of heat radiated into the home and reduces the Urban Heat Island effect.
  • Metal shingles are also fire-resistant to both lightning strikes and wildfires.
  • Metal shingles are one of the most resilient shingle materials.
Construction of roof using ceramic tiles

Construction of roof using ceramic tiles

Clay shingles

  • Clay shingles are energy efficient by providing proper insulation to regulate temperatures and reflect the sun’s UV rays. Therefore, air conditioning and heating will not be needed as frequently.
  • This shingle material is also eco friendly since it reduces the Urban Heat Island effect when reflecting the sun’s UV rays.

Shingle Roofs Are Durable and Long-Lasting

When shingles are skillfully installed, they can be a durable material choice that can protect your home for the next two decades or longer. Exactly how long your roof lasts depends on the grade of the shingle and the installation quality.

Most roofing manufacturers, such as Eagle Watch Roofing, offer three quality grades that all provide Class A fire protection. Thicker, higher-end shingles typically last longer and have better wind resistance ratings. Slate shingles are an example of one of the most high-end shingles, with metal and clay shingles close behind.

Asphalt shingle roofs can last approximately fifteen years, while more durable shingle materials, such as metal, clay, and slate, can last approximately fifty years. Lighter shingles also tend to last longer without discoloration. If taken care of properly, slate shingles can even last approximately one hundred years.

Shingles Are a Cost-Effective Roofing Option

Shingles are hands-down the most affordable roofing material available today, especially compared to other options like metal, slate, and wood shake. Asphalt shingles are the cheapest option, while slate shingles are the most expensive.

What’s more, they’re one of the easiest materials to work with as well, which means it costs less to have them installed in your home.

Manufacturers back up their shingles with warranties against defects for 15 to 30 years and also give you the option of an extended 50-year or lifetime warranty on their higher-grade products when installed by a factory-certified shingle roofing contractor in Newnan, Georgia — like Eagle Watch Roofing.

Roofing Shingles are Eco Friendly

The majority of shingles are definitely eco-friendly. They can even be said to be the most sustainable type of roofing. Slate and clay roofing are the most sustainable types of shingle roofing because they are easily recyclable and can be built with recycled materials. The lighter the roofing shingles, the more sustainable. Shingles with “cool” colors are more sustainable since they reflect the sun’s UV rays rather than absorb them as darker colors do.

Unfortunately, asphalt shingles are the most unsustainable shingle material. This is because darker colors absorb heat, contributing to the Urban Heat Island Effect and though they can be recycled, they usually end up in the landfill.

Roofing Shingles Are Recyclable

If you’re concerned about sustainability, you’re probably worried about adding several tons of waste to the local landfill when you replace your roof.

Choosing a shingle roof is an eco-friendly option because most shingles are fully recyclable. It’s also easy to find a roofing contractor who is committed to sustainability and recycling by looking for certifications like the Green Roofer designation from one of the leading manufacturers in the roofing industry, GAF.

Asphalt roofing can be recycled into roads, while clay shingles can be ground and made into gravel. The gravel can be used in landscaping, sidewalks, and roads, among other ways. Metal shingles most likely already have recycled metal in them but can be recycled infinitely. Old metal roofing can be reused in family fun art projects, such as birdhouses. The metal can also be used in a myriad of DIY and family fun projects, such as for shelf backings, door paneling, feature wall, wall art, and fencing. Slate shingles can be recycled and sometimes used for other roofing repairs. DIY slate recycling can also bring fun projects for the family to enjoy together.  This can include pond lining, mosaic art, potting compost, an outdoor mural, a birdhouse, and plant markers, among much more. Use your imagination!

There Are Shingles to Match Every Aesthetic

Shingles are available in a stunning range of solid colors and color blends, from classic black and grays to warm earth tones and more contemporary blues, reds, and greens. The most popular shingle colors tend to be: light brown desert-like colors, dark brown hues, as well as white, blue, rust, and green colors.

Depending on the look you want to achieve, you can also opt for a distinctive shingle profile that beautifully replicates the appearance and texture of slate, tile, or wood shakes. All in all, no matter the style or design of your home, shingle roofs can match it — and even enhance it — perfectly. Rubber shingles are an excellent option for creating realistic replicas of a variety of shingle types, such as slate and tile.

For expert roof repairs or replacement services, as well as gutter installation and repair services, contact us at Eagle Watch Roofing today for a free quote. We’re your trusted shingle roofing contractor in the Newnan, Georgia area.