What You Should Know About Roofing Shingles

Most homes have roofing shingles, but most homeowners don’t spend much time thinking about them. Roofing Shingles provide a single layer solution to a leak resistant roof. Roofing shingles are generally laid from the bottom of the roof, with each higher row overlapping the row below it. Early shingles were made of wood and were capped at the top with a row of copper or lead sheeting. In modern shingle roofs this has been replaced by a row of roofing shingles that includes a plastic underlay.

In the old days wood roofing shingles were considered good. But in time, modern materials such as asphalt and asbestos cement replaced wood as common materials. Fiberglass based asphalt shingles are currently the most popular shingle used in the United States. The obvious issue with wood is fire, and fire is the reason wood and paper backed shingles are used infrequently in modern construction.

There’s another type of roofing shingles that many people have seen but few would be able to name. This roofing shingle is named a shake, which is a wooden shingle made from split logs. Shake roofs were commonly used in building log cabins, and with many wood frame homes. They’re still in use today, most commonly cut on site then transported by helicopters, but it wasn’t always done that way. Before the invention of helicopters the shakes were tied into packs and transported by pack animal or even by human power. Often cut in hilly areas, they were carried down the slope with the help of a long line run from the bottom to the top. This line served as a hand hold so people carrying the shake packs wouldn’t fall.

The main difference between a shingle and a tile is flexibility. Tiles are generally made from ceramic. They’re brittle and ill suited to locations where tree limbs might impact a roof. Shingles are flexible and therefore better able to stand up to tree limbs. Wood shingles rot, while ceramic tiles don’t., but modern materials such as the asbestos base for most shingles don’t rot. Another difference is the shape. Roofing shingles are flat, while ceramic tiles commonly have an “S” profile to allow them to interlock for strength.

Believe it or not slate is also used for roofing shingles. Slate can be easily split into thin sheets. Such sheets, the slate roofing shingles, make for a worn look for a roof. Slaters, tradesmen trained to work with slate, cut and install slate roofing shingles. The same qualities that make slate excellent for roofing shingles, it is fireproof and an electric insulator, made it useful for early twentieth century switchboards and relay controls on large electric motors. Imagine making a phone call on your roofing shingles.

Roof restoration is unavoidable because of different factors which usually consist of seepage of water, damages from storms, common decay, unsuitable design, flashing problems and so forth. If not repaired at the right time, maybe you have to improve the entire roofing unnecessarily. Considering that roof is the most susceptible as well as most essential section of virtually any building, you need to be cautious about it.

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