How shingles are made

6 different colors of composite shingles

Ever wonder how shingles are made?  You know, the things on top of your roof that protect your home.  We all have them, but we certainly don’t think about them much. Roofing shingles come in a variety of materials and have been redesigned and developed over the years.  Getting the proper shingle system for your weather and house design is important in protecting your home and assets from the elements.

Wood Shingles are often from red cedar or pine.  Modern shingles have to be treated with chemicals in order for the wood to hold up.  However, the most common in the United States today are Asphalt Shingles. These shingles started out as paper dipped in tar.  They are popular to their cost, longevity, ease of installation and low maintenance.

Asphalt Roofing History

Tar, which is the binder in the asphalt shingle has been used for 1000’s of years.  It was used to waterproof the liners of canals and between bricks. By the 1950s the asphalt shingle looked very much like it does today.  The roof liner started out as organic felt but finding a non-organic material was a must to help with fire prevention and weight issues. Asbestos was a material that was found to work well, however, later it was discovered that it poses serious health issues.  Today we use a fiberglass mat is used as the base material for the shingles. Fiberglass is perfect material as it is fire resistant and very rugged to the elements.

Another term for Asphalt shingles is composite shingles.  The foundation base of the shingle is made up of either wood and paper or fiberglass.  Fiberglass is preferred as it is fire resistant but also lighter weight. This mat is then covered in tar which is from naturally occurring deposits or a byproduct of crude oil refining.  Once the foundation is coated, fly ash or finely ground limestone is added. This material acts as a stabilizer and makes the shingles more durable and fire resistant.

Adding an Attractive Shingle Finish

Once the shingles are through that process, ceramic coated mineral granules are added to the top.  These can be in a variety of colors and help with UV protection from the sun. This further increases the shingles fire-resistant power as well as adding an attractive finish.  Shingles that are used in places of high humidity may have a bit of copper added to them to help stop the growth of algae. The back of the shingles is coated in some talc or sand to keep the shingles from completely sticking together.  And, spots or strips of thermoplastic adhesive is added. Once the shingles are installed the heat of the sun will warm these adhesive giving them a bit more grip.

Shingle Making Process

This entire process is complete with the cutting of the shingles to proper size as well as their tabs.  The tabs help interlock the shingles and protect them from the wind. Once the process is complete there is some byproduct from it.  This byproduct can be of ends of shingles and the cutouts from the tabs. All of the byproducts are typically sold to the asphalt road paving companies.  This option, due the weight, doesn’t always make the most sense. But, if the plants are near to each other, it does work well for both.

About The Writers

Prime Roofing is a roofing company serving the Northeast Florida area for over a decade now. We are devoted to the highest level of professionalism, quality and service.

If you’re looking for help with your new shingle roof replacement, just give us a call at (904) 530-1446.

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