When you think about replacing shingles on a roof and they happen to be of a particular type, most consumers probably wonder what actually goes into the makeup of a shingle. With asphalt shingles being the predominant roofing shingle in use today, their fabrication is basically a standard procedure that involves a webbing process that consists of several key materials, which are not all asphalt.
What Are Roof Shingles Made Of?
Asphalt shingles have varying compositions that depend on the particular manufacturer. Most of their content consists of mineral related fibers and fillers that have cement like properties. A majority of asphalt shingles actually contain a small percentage of asphalt, which is identified as Asphalt Containing Material or ACM.
In the manufacturing process, the design platform for an asphalt shingle is one of an ongoing web or sheet that serves as a backing or foundation on which the other materials and asphalt are affixed. The shingles are then strengthened with a fibrous fiberglass mat that has a certain length and diameter, which is bound and further fortified with binders and resins.
Asphalt is the ingredient in shingles that is resistant to water and is derived through an oil refining process. The asphalt ingredients themselves are processed to the point that they are extremely tough and resilient. Once they are reinforced, the shingles are then oxidized through injecting air through the hot asphalt that further boosts the firmness and flexibility of the shingles. The air insertion procedure is one of the most important aspects, as it must be done precisely in order to prevent brittleness, softness and scuffing of the shingles. Increased weather resistance is bolstered through the mix of mineral powder in the asphalt, which also helps with fire resistance. This final mineral fortified coating is spread on the fiberglass mat that is on the upper and lower part of the shingle.
Granule surfacing on shingles is what is most noticeable with asphalt shingles. These surfacing materials are made of crushed stones that have been sized to meet exact standards. Most of the granules that are adhered to the underside of shingles are in their natural color, while granules on the outer or exposed side of the shingles are offered in a number of colors. They are processed through a firing process that preserves color and the value of the shingles. Other types of granule coatings are designed to resist algae growth and reflect the heat of the sun.
Bonding is what adheres the shingles to a roof through an asphalt sealant. The sealant is placed on either the top of a shingle or on its bottom surface. If a shingle is made up of several layers, which most shingles are today, laminates are used to adhere them together at the time of their production. The top layer shingle, which is laminated, is identified as the dragon tooth (tooth-like appearance), while the bottom layer is identified as the shim. The adhesives used are temperature activated in order to maintain their hold throughout the shingle installation process as well as through any kind of windy weather event or other roof stress issues.
With the sticky asphalt coating on roofing shingles being an obstacle during manufacturing, packaging and storage, backsurfacing is utilized to keep the surfaces from sticking together. It is a powder that is made from sand or limestone related rock. Another material, called release film, which is a plastic like tape, is also added to the back of shingles in order to prevent the chance of any of the sealant or coating from activating in a hot setting. The release film is not designed to be removed during the installation process.
Shingles are made up of a limited number of materials that are important to their development and performance. All the various layers from the top down utilization of granules, asphalt, fiberglass, more asphalt and sealant are important components that are configured in such a way as to produce shingles that are of lasting and affordable value to home and business owners. Should you have more questions concerning the makeup of the shingles used on your roofing job, or just have questions in general about shingles, complete the contact form information and a representative will get back to you with the answers you need.