America’s Favorite Roof Shingles
It’s no secret that El Paso has a longer than average summer season when compared to other places. We usually experience heat from April through August, sometimes even September. On top of the dry heat, we also get at least one good wind storm and another hail storm each year. All of this is bad news for your roof shingles. However, there’s good news: asphalt shingles work really well in adverse weather, especially the El Paso heat.
The History of Asphalt Roof Shingles
Asphalt roofing shingles cut into tabs were actually created in 1901. People appreciated the useful design and long lasting materials right away. According to William C. Cullen, the writer of The Evolution of Asphalt Shingles: Survival of the Fittest, by 1939, 11 million squares of shingles had been created. In the beginning, all shingles were made from organic materials, but over the years, engineers have added adhesives to prevent wind damage.
80% of American homes use asphalt roof shingles, and this is for many reasons:
- Versatile and attractive
The materials used in asphalt shingles are low cost, and this roofing system is easier to install than others. Asphalt roof shingles also meet the government specifications for Energy Star ratings. This means homeowners can enjoy lower heating and cooling costs. Some homeowners can even qualify for an energy efficiency tax credit.
Versatile and Attractive
Asphalt shingles offer a wide variety of colors and texture to match with any home style or decor. They even come in different cut options and can look like other materials like wood, slate, or tile.
Asphalt roofing offers high-performance roof shingles. This is probably one of the top reasons this roofing system is so popular. They withstand high and low temperatures, the wind, adverse weather, and they are fire resistant.
Because asphalt roofing has been around for so long, many manufacturing companies have taken the time to continue perfecting the product. When this material is well maintained it can last 12-20 years.
How Does Asphalt Roofing Handle the Heat?
The biggest threat to the life span of these roof shingles is sadly the sun. The same UV rays that have us running for sunblock and cover, can beat down on our roofs. However, the sand like granules that give the asphalt roofing their color is the same thing that protects the shingles. The thickness of each shingle also helps to add to their durability.
Your roofing structure is much more than just the outside shingles. There is also a membrane and other layers underneath. The temperature of your roof can actually reach up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit on the hottest days. The change from hot to cool as the day progresses into the night can cause the roofing membrane to expand and contract, and this can cause leaks to occur over time. However, when you trust a good roofing contractor to perform quality work, you can rest assured knowing that your roof shingles will be installed properly, ready to withstand extreme weather changes.
Why is Asphalt Better than Other Tile or Metal Materials?
Another great advantage of these roof shingles is the fact that they are so light. Ceramic and slate tile add unique beauty to a home, however, they are costly and heavy. Unfortunately, some homes cannot even withstand the weight without additional supports. Ceramic tiles can also be very fragile. Getting access to the roof or AC unit for repair can be extremely difficult. Also, large hail can leave cracked, broken tile behind. Metal is a great option for longevity. It can even last 40 to 70 years with good maintenance. However, due to the fact that most homeowners don’t choose metal roofs, a house can stand out and even look awkward with a metal roof. Roofs with high pitches may also encounter problems with leaks. The biggest downfalls to metal roofs are the cost and denting.
Asphalt Roofing Shingles for the Win
At the end of the day, asphalt roofing is just an American classic. It has been around for quite some time, and engineers continue to improve the quality. Tile and metal roofing are great choices as well, but asphalt offers many pros and very few cons.