Roofing 101: Asphalt Shingle Layers
Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing materials in Kansas City. They’re inexpensive but very durable and provide a lot of style and color options. But unlike other roofing materials, it’s not immediately clear what they are made of. For example, it’s obvious that wood shakes are cut from wood and that clay tiles are from clay but what about asphalt shingles? What makes them the favorite roofing material of Kansas City roofers?
Here are the layers that make up asphalt shingles:
- Matting. Asphalt shingles are also call composite shingles, but what are they composite of? Asphalt shingles have base mat layer made either of organic or fiberglass. Paper and felt mats are made of cellulose fiber from wood or recycled waste paper. Fiberglass matting is made of fine glass filaments that have been ground and formed into a pulp before laid out into a thin sheet. 90 % or more of all shingles have fiberglass matting.
- Asphalt adhesive. Asphalt is a thick hydrocarbon substance. The type often used today is a byproduct of refining crude oil. To be fit for roofing, asphalt undergoes an oxidation process called blowing where air is bubbled through hot asphalt to soften it to the right consistency. The softened asphalt is applied over the matter as a coating material for adhesive and waterproofing. Not all adhesives are the same. Some have a very wide strip seal some are solid strip. With the wind we get in Kansas City area a good adhesive is a MUST!
- Ceramic mineral granules. To protect the shingles from the sun, a top coat of ceramic-coated mineral granules are layered over the adhesive asphalt. These contribute to fire-resistance, protect your roof from UV rays, and add a textured, attractive finish. The back of asphalt shingles are usually coat with sand or fine mica to keep them from sticking in storage.
At the International Roofing Expo last week there was a new granule that was reflective with color pattern. If you looked at shingle from the ground it looked black. If you was on top of roof looking down as the sun would hit roof, it looked white. Very NEW and interesting idea. Nothing in manufacturer yet, but sure something will come out soon!
Want to talk more about asphalt shingles and your roofing options? Contact us to talk to one of our expert Kansas City roofers for more information on this roofing material.