Architectural Asphalt Shingles
If you need a durable, cost effective, easy to install new roof, fiberglass shingles may be the way to go. After all, fiberglass is lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and offers a wide range of styles to suit just about any home design. The type of shingles you select for your home should last a reasonable length of time – and be attractive, weather resistant, and fire resistant as well. For these reasons, you’ll find fiberglass shingles an excellent roofing choice.
History of Fiberglass
Fiberglass roof shingles are an outgrowth of insulating material made as early as the 1930’s. Fiberglass is created from slim glass fibers formed with the silica which is contained in glass is extracted as slender threads and then bound together.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Fiberglass Shingles
You’ll find a number of benefits as a homeowner when using fiberglass roof shingles. First, they’re versatile, available in many different styles and colors, some offering the look of wood, tile, or stone. Unlike wood, fiberglass shingles are fire resistant and rot resistant. Most fiberglass roofs come with warranties for thirty to limited lifetime.
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Fiberglass shingles are also considerably less weight than tile or slate; so they are easier to employ than a heavy roof on some structures. Tile roofs can weigh in at as much as twelve hundred pounds per square foot, whereas fiberglass roofs weigh in at around three hundred and fifty pounds per square foot.
And fiberglass shingles are easy to install and fix, which saves money and time for both materials and installation.
Disadvantages are primarily wear and tear issues, such as thermal splitting, a problem which occurs if a fiberglass shingle becomes brittle from temperature extremes or sun exposure.
Also, composed of a mixture of fiberglass, asphalt, and other materials, there are different grades of fiberglass shingles, and as a homeowner, you should select the durability carefully. Look at the longevity, design, and lamination of fiberglass shingles when making a decision as to which to purchase for your home.
Fiberglass shingles often have a longer life span in colder climates than in hotter ones. When exposed to heat and sun for extended periods the hydrocarbons in the fiberglass can soften, and wash out of the shingles in the rain. Losing hydrocarbon oils eventually makes the fibers in the shingles shrink, particularly around nail heads. This can cause water seepage around the nail head, creating potential for leaks or rot beneath the roof surface.
Materials Used in Fiberglass Shingles
What composes fiberglass shingles? Fiberglass shingles are created from mats of wet laid fiberglass cut into small shingles. Fiberglass shingles are often mixed with asphalt to create a sturdy and efficient, as well as cost effective, roofing alternative. They’re fire resistant, too.
Before fiberglass became the main component in this type of shingle, standard asphalt shingles were created by utilizing felt mat, which had tearing issues with wear. Fiberglass is substantially more durable.
Today’s fiberglass shingles coat fiberglass mats with asphalt, making them incredibly water and wind resistant. They are also exceptionally flexible and lightweight, as well as being resistant to mold. High end fiberglass shingles can be created to look just like slate or shake roofing materials.
Maintenance for Fiberglass Shingles
And speaking of durability, as with any roof, as a home owner, you’ll need to make repairs from time to time, whether from average wear and tear, the brittle condition of thermal splitting, or simply from age. One factor in increasing the longevity of fiberglass shingles is to make certain your installer nails and places shingles carefully.
A newer type of fiberglass shingle is the laminated variety that utilizes two separate layers bonded with sealant. Heavier and more expensive, they are also more durable than standard fiberglass shingles.
Installation of Fiberglass Shingles
Careful installation of shingles also means that old roofing material and any rooftop debris are cleared, allowing a clean work surface for installing fiberglass shingles. Make sure installers patch holes and repair any necessary roof boards – boards that are worn, damaged, or sag.
Installers should also take care with drip edge overlap, venting of the roof to allow hot air to escape from the home as necessary.
Click here to learn more about how to install a shingle roof.
Cost, Energy, and Savings of Fiberglass Shingles
In short, fiberglass shingles are relatively inexpensive, sturdy, and simple to install. Long term warranties and a variety of appearance selections make fiberglass a good choice for homeowners.
From carriage style with scalloped edges to slate look and period designs, fiberglass is very a very versatile look. Fiberglass shingles are also available in a full rainbow of colors, and can be chosen to create the look of other materials for enhanced visual appeal.
Fiberglass is energy efficient too, keeping homes cool in summer and warm in winter.
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