What Are Shingles Made Of and What’s the Best for My Roof

What Are Shingles Made Of and What’s the Best for My Roof?

If you plan on renovating or installing a completely new roofing project, you will have multiple choices regarding the type of roofing design you want. Shingles are small sections of certain materials arranged in a particular order on top of the trusses, sheathing, and underlayment of the roof to offer increased protection and aesthetic appeal.

Shingle roofs are popular for various reasons and come in different materials, each with features, advantages, and drawbacks. That’s why it’s important to know what roof shingles are made of.

What Are Roof Shingles Made of?

To give you a sound basis for your final decision, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most useful and popular shingle types used in the United States, helping you find out which option will suit your style, preferences, budget, and climate.

Let’s jump right in

Asphalt Shingles

This shingle is asphalt reinforced with fiberglass or organic materials such as cellulose and wood. Depending on your climate and preferences, you can find asphalt shingles in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Aside from their affordability, asphalt shingles are favorites with residential property owners because of their durability, fireproof nature (especially where fiberglass is a component), waterproofing, and ability to retain their integrity in the face of extreme weather conditions.

Wood Shingles

You can opt for wooden shingles machine-cut from pine, spruce, or cedar for an eco-friendly option that retains its natural charm. You can obtain wood shingles at slightly higher costs than asphalt shingles but cheaper than alternatives such as slate.

Wood roof shingles can be easily cleaned and maintained by power washing to remove mildew or mold. To deal with broken or damaged wood shingles, however, you’ll need to replace them entirely, which can be frustrating. 

While wooden shingles will provide significant benefits for the environment and aesthetic appeal of your property, they are often susceptible to fire damage (unless they have a Class A fire rating), hail, rot, and termites, which is why some regions of the country implement fire codes restricting their installation.

Concrete or Clay Shingles

As their names tell us, these shingles are made from clay or concrete molded into flat, scalloped, or barrel shapes. While concrete is excellent at reflecting sunlight and protecting you from heat and cold outside, clay will effectively protect your roof from fire. Both materials are long-lasting, fireproof, energy efficient, and come in various colors. 

These shingles are most suitable for houses in the Southwest, especially those aiming for Spanish-inspired aesthetics. Because of their heavy weight, they often require additional support for your roof during installation but can be expected to provide you with more than 50 years of service.

Composite Shingles

These are made from rubber, plastic, or polymers designed to closely mimic the feel and look of materials such as slate or wood. They are widely adopted nationwide due to their fire resistance, impact resistance, long lifespan, and resistance against Ultraviolet rays, moss, and mildew. 

They can be installed on roofs located anywhere in the United States. Still, owners should note that low-quality composite shingles will be more prone to extreme temperatures and might require experienced professionals to install them initially.

Slate Shingles

Slate shingles have the longest lifespan of all types of shingles, are extremely leak-resistant, and have great natural aesthetics. With professional installation, you can expect them to last between 50 and 100 years in whatever climate you live in. Because of this, they are most popular with homeowners in the Midwest that experience large volumes of snow during the year. 

Although slate shingles’ natural sleekness and elegance are highly attractive, they come with relatively high installation costs due to their heavy weight and need for extra framing during installation, which means that few professional roofing companies have the skill and experience required to install them competently.

Final Thoughts

When picking out the type of shingles you want for your residential properties, the final decision will typically come down to how much you are willing and able to pay and how long you expect them to last you. The latter consideration will depend on the climate you experience where you live.

Whatever choice you make, however, hiring a professional, experienced, and dedicated roofing contractor will always be a good idea to help you get excellent service out of your roof and home. 

If you have your home in Minnesota and are looking for a contractor capable of handling your entire project from start to finish with the best results, be sure to call Midwest Plus Roofing, Siding, and Windows. You won’t regret it. 

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