ABOUT ROOFING SHINGLES
There are two main types of roofing shingle: wood and asphalt. Western Red Cedar is a popular material for wood roofing shingles. The shingles may be Handsplit and Resawn, Tapersplit, Straight-split, or Tapersawn. Hip and Ridge Units are also available. The term Shakes is used to describe more rustic, rough-hewn shingles. Roofing Shingles and Shakes come in varying lengths, usually 16, 18 or 24 inches, and in random widths. Asphalt roofing shingles are available in three main forms: organic asphalt shingles, laminated organic asphalt shingles, and fiberglass asphalt roofing shingles.
CHOOSING THE BEST TYPE
Your main choices are construction and style. As to construction, the cheapest asphalt shingles are made from paper (ususally recycled) which is soaked in asphalt to make it waterproof. A top surface of adhesive asphalt is added, with ceramic granules embedded to give further protection from the weather. More expensive shingles have a base mat of glass reinforced fiber, to which the asphalt is applied. This produces a much longer lasting shingle. Durability is reflected in the warranty period which can range from ten years up to fifty years in the case of high quality fiberglass-based shingles.
As to style, some shingles are designed to resemble slate, others are designed to resemble traditional wooden shingles. In the case of the slate-look shingles, there are several options in terms of edge shape – these may be straight, rounded, octagonal, or irregular. There are also color choices including grey, black, brown, and green. In the case of wood-look shingles there is a choice from the cheapest regular designs to more expensive irregular designs which more closely resemble real wood shingles. There is also a color choice ranging from light to dark brown.
The most common type of wood for wood shingles, also known as roofing shakes, is Western Red Cedar, which weathers to an attractive silvery grey. The main choices for wood roofing shingles are their size, and the option of split or sawn surface. The choice of size typically includes 16″, 18″ and 24″ length. All are perfectly practical, and the choice really comes down to aesthetics. Sawn shingles have a smooth surface on both sides. Split and re-sawn wood shingles are initially split, rather than sawn. The split shingle is then sawn to give one smooth side and one textured side. This type of roofing shingle is more expensive than the simple sawn version, but gives a very traditional rustic look – ideal for country properties.
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