Composition Shingles

Many homeowners are likely to install composition shingles, also called asphalt shingles, themselves. These shingles come in a wide range of styles and colors and some are guaranteed up to thirty years. Up to 80% of the homeowners in this country have composition shingles because of the economy and options available. Asphalt shingles have excellent fire protection and are easy to repair; the downside is they are vulnerable to wind and ice damage.

There are two types of shingles available, organic (generally felt saturated with asphalt) and non-organic, (which is fiberglass). Commonly referred to as “3-tab” shingles, is still the favorite among the several kinds of asphalt roofing. The 1×3 foot strip has two short ½ inch cut outs at one foot intervals to give it three shingle tabs. The 3-tab is still widely used today, but also the no-tab, the irregular-butt shingles plus several types of double layer laminated shingles, all still keeping the same approximate 1×3 dimensions.

In recent years new manufactures methods, plus the double layering and use of larger heavier granules, have pushed shingle weights to 300 pounds or more per 100 square feet, giving them better ’blow off’ resistance. Prices range from the very inexpensive plain flat shingles to the more costly shingles with better quality, added features and longer durability. Since shingles are susceptible to algae growth, an anti algae coating will be more expensive but worth it.

Some shingles now are available with recycled content and many states have asphalt shingle recycling centers where they are turning old shingles into paving materials for our roads.

When installing the shingles, you will need roofing felt, metal drip edges, flashings for valleys and vents and 2 pounds of roofing nails per square (100 square feet). Nails should be long enough to penetrate the roof decking.

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