Schenectady Roofing: Article About Shingle Construction
When most people think about shingles, all they see are flat pieces of asphalt, cut into tabs. However, there are many layers that add up to a well constructed shingle. Knowing the differences in shingle construction before contacting a Schenectady roofing professional allows homeowners to ask appropriate questions about the quality of shingles they will be purchasing for their home.
The first layer of shingle construction is the base mat. The mat can be made of either organic felt or fiberglass. The mat is formed into strips, put on rolls and then cut to size. Organic felt mats are made of recycled wood and plant material, and offer sufficient waterproofing for most applications, but they are typically very heavy. On the other hand, newer fiberglass mats offer the same or better waterproofing, in addition to fire resistance, and are significantly lighter.
The mat is then impregnated with asphalt to provide a strong shell. The asphalt is heated and mixed to add tiny air bubbles and a catalyst is added to allow the surface to remain soft and pliable for roofing purposes. Then some form of ground up mineral stabilizer is added to provide a stronger weather proof barrier that makes the material more durable. This is usually limestone or fly ash, and gives the asphalt its grainy appearance.
The expert roofers at Ideal Construction of Schenectady NY can answer any questions you have regarding insurance claims or windows.
The mat is either sprayed or soaked in asphalt, which fills the holes between the felt or glass fibers, and fully saturates the mat material. It is then rolled out flat to dry.
A final layer of ceramic coated granules completes a shingle. These granules can be colored to change the appearance of the shingles, but they also serve to provide a higher level of fire resistance and UV resistance from the sun's rays. In addition, some shingles also have small copper granules mixed in, which helps prevent the growth of algae in places where high humidity is a problem.
Once the shingles have cured and dried, the back side of the mat is coated with talc powder or another releasing agent to prevent the shingles from getting stuck together while they are stored on pallets. Small strips or dots of tar are also added to the corners or edges of the shingles so that once they are installed, the sun's heat will activate the tar and it will seal each course of shingles to the one below it to provide greater wind resistance, and prevent curling and cracking at the corners.