All About Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are so common on roofs today that it is hard to imagine roofing before these shingles became popular. However ubiquitous they are today, asphalt shingles didn’t begin to be widely used for roofing until the early part of the 19th century. Let’s take a look back at the history of the development and evolution of asphalt shingles.

Asphalt ShinglesThe style of asphalt shingles that are used today actually evolved from an earlier, mid-19th century style of roof coating. Around 1840, a roofing material was developed that used layers of felt saturated with coal tar. This material was produced as a rolled sheet, as the Canadian Asphalt Shingle Manufacturers’ Association notes, and the surface of the tar-soaked felt was covered with ground shells or sand to form a protective layer.

Around the turn of the 20th century, this rolled felt roofing material began to be cut into strips to form individual shingles. Cutting the tar-saturated felt into shingles made it easier to handle and install.  This development was the predecessor to today’s asphalt shingles.

Through the early part of the 20th century, the process for manufacturing shingles continued to evolve. The coal tar that was originally used to saturate the felt was replaced with asphalt, and throughout the middle of the 20th century, various attempts were made to improve the wind resistance of these asphalt shingles. The first attempt used a diamond cut pattern, which later evolved into shingles designed to be placed in an interlocking configuration. By the 1950s and ’60s, the original rag felt was replaced with a cellulosic felt, while additional color options and single strip shingles started to appear on the market in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Modern asphalt shingles continue to build on this history that dates back to the 19th century. Today, asphalt shingles are offered in two primary styles. These are dimensional or architectural shingles and the more traditional three-tab shingles. Another modern development is that the organic felt that was used as a base for asphalt shingles for several decades is being replaced with a fiberglass base, while new laminate shingles are offering even greater protection and waterproofing.

Modern shingles are more durable and reliable than ever, and today’s three-tab shingles may last 15 years or longer, while architectural shingles may last 30 years or more. Of course, a professional installation is essential for a roof to perform as expected. At Roofing by Bruce, we are experienced in installing roofs that will hold up to winter in the Poconos. We use a Nor-Eastern nailing pattern that provides additional resistance to the sever ice, snow, wind and rain that’s common in this part of the country, helping ensure your roof lasts through anything that nature throws at it. Contact us today at 570-424-7250 to learn more or to request a quote for a roof repair or replacement.

Best Roofing Materials for Snowy Climates

Metal RoofWinter has officially reared its ugly head, and we know what comes next – more freezing temperatures, heavier falling snow and gustier winds. When these elements make an appearance, you want to be sure that your home is protected with a stable and reliable roof. So what type of roofing materials are the best choice for winter climate? Let’s look at three of the leading options to consider for your roof to stay safe and warm during the winter season and all year long.

Metal Roofs

If you want a roof that will stand the test of time and be able to hold off even the toughest winter weather, then metal roofs are a sure thing. These roofs can withstand the weight of heavy snowfall and stand up to high winds. Many metal roofs also include snow guards and some modern options can be fitted with heating cables for extra protection against snow.

Metal roofs are also known to last years longer than traditional shingle roofs. The only downside is that not all homes can accommodate a metal roof into their aesthetic looks, but if you can make it work then they can be incredibly beneficial.

Asphalt Shingles

A vast majority of homes are covered with asphalt shingles and for a good reason. These shingles are incredibly affordable which makes them the go-to choice for many homeowners. They are also durable and versatile, and they hold up to just about every type of weather, including snow, wind and even small hail. Best of all, they actually cost the least to repair and maintain. However, the lifespan for shingles is much shorter than some other roofing options – 20 to 30 years, typically – which can mean needing to replace the roof more frequently than when using other roofing materials.

Slate Roofs

Although you may not see them all too often, slate roofs have been historically proven to withstand harsh winter conditions. The first slate roofs were used in born in Colonial New England, and some are even still in use today, notes Roofing Tutor. They have remained a favorite option for homeowners looking for different roofing options that are durable and capable of withstanding years of use. Slate roofs are also a more attractive option, especially for larger or older homes, so you can create a great look while adding excellent protection.

Get Your Sturdy Roof With Roofing by Bruce

A roof is only as tough and sturdy as the team that installs it, and with Roofing by Bruce, you are hiring the best. We can do it all. We install new roofs, make repairs on existing roofs, and even do inspections to ensure that your roof is in good condition. If you know a new roof is in your future or you have an issue with your roof this winter, let our experts help. Call us today at 570-424-7250.