Shingles 101

Posted on Wednesday, 27th May 2015

Shingles 101

Roof shingles are not to be confused with their unsightly medical counterpart, shingles. In fact, these two entities bearing the same name could not be more diametrically opposed. Shingles on roofs are guardians of the roof’s base, and defenders against the elements; shingles on the body are an unwelcomed parasite. Every homeowner should at least be familiar with the basic virtues of roofing shingles.

The word shingle comes from the German shindle which means roofing slate. Shingles can be comprised from wood, slate, flagstone, metal, asphalt, and other various materials. The type of shingles roofers utilize typically depends on the environment. For instance, in Arizona, most roofers will utilize clay shingles, due the readily available access to clay in the desert, and clay’s inherent ability to withstand extreme summer temperatures. On the east coast, however, many homes will use asphalt shingles for their low cost, or wooden shingles in order to create the Cape Cod styled home.

The shingle type that builders use also depends on the roof pitch and construction method. Some shingles can be installed using lath, or other types of shingles requiring solid sheathing on roof’s deck. But regardless of the pitch, properly laying shingles necessitates working from the bottom up.

It is also common to plaster the roof before laying shingle. This will prevent against leaks and erosion from the scorching, Arizona sun. Some roofs may be layered with felt paper, or asphalt before shingling.

As previously mentioned, Arizona tends to utilize Spanish clay for to meet its shingle needs. Clay is extremely resistance to the decay of the sun, and it also forms natural irrigation channels in the rare event that it rains in the desert. Lastly, however, clay shingling tends to look spectacular when the sun is beating violently upon it, in the vast, broad, desert sky.

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