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Some Information about Shingle Roofing

The roof covering that consists of individual overlapping elements are called roof shingles. The elements of shingle roofing are described as flat, rectangular in shape, and are laid in courses from the bottom edge of the roof up, with every successive course overlaps the joints before it. You will find shingles in different materials, from wood, slate, flagstone, metal, plastic, and composite materials like fibre cement and asphalt shingles. The common roof material in Europe and some parts in Asia are the ceramic roof tiles called simply tiles.

Almost always, roof shingles are very visible, thus this aspect of a building is very important especially where aesthetics is concern with reference to patterns, textures and colors. Generally, the materials of roof shingles, just like the other materials on vernacular buildings, are available locally. Before construction commences, the kind of shingle is taken into consideration especially because its material would affect the roof pitch and the method of construction. While other shingles can be installed on lath, some would need sheathing that is solid on the roof deck. Note that the installation of all shingle roofs are from bottom upward, beginning with a starter course, and the edge seams are offset in order to prevent leakage. It is beneficial for many shingle installations to place them on top of an underlayment material like asphalt felt paper, and this method would further prevent leakages due to wind, rain, snow and ice dams. Consider though that some roof shingles are non-combustible and have better fire rating than the other kinds that would affect the use, especially some building codes do not allow less than class-A fire rating to be used on some types of buildingins. Wood shingles and organic based asphalt shingles have become less common in use compared to fiberglass-based asphalt shingles because of the increased fire hazard. Since no shingles are water-tight, their recommended roof pitch is 4:12 devoid of underlayment material.

For residential roofing applications, the most common roofing material by far being used like in the United States are fiberglass-based asphalt shingles. Much less common in use are the bitumen roof shingles or tile strips as called in Europe, and these shingles are less expensive, easy to install and can last 20 to 50 years.

The protection of paper and fiberglass asphalt shingles comes from the long-chain petroleum carbons, while it is the natural oils in the cellulose structure that protects the wood shingles, and the are important characteristics to take note when choosing your roof shingles.

Other kinds of roof shingles are stone shingles, fiber cement shingles, metal shingles, plastic shingles, and cedar shingles.

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