Home Masterbuilder Roof Shingles: The Durable Alternative

Roof Shingles: The Durable Alternative


World demand for roofing materials is forecasted to grow at 3.7 percent annually through 2016 to 11.8 billion square meters. Market gains are typically expected in developing areas like China and India. The roofing industry in India is driven by growth in the construction industry. Rise in disposable incomes and willingness to spend on better roofing standards due to rising aesthetic sense among consumers has increased demand for high-quality roofing materials like shingles.

Roof shingles are roof coverings that are flat and rectangular shaped arranged over the roof area in overlapping manner. The materials are laid in rows from the bottom to the edge way up into the top of the roof. Over 90% of residential roofs in USA are with shingles, and they are being increasingly perceived as high-quality roofing material in China and Asia Pacific.

Types of Shingles

Roofing shingles are of many types such as asphalt, metal, wood and concrete. The latest to venture into the market are solar shingles.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular of shingles due to their relatively easy installation and low cost. They are also lighter and resistant to high-wind situations like storms and winter weather. Another advantage of these shingles is their availability in a wide variety of designs and colors. Asphalt shingles have a long life span and are suitable for virtually all sloped roof pitches, from shallow rise to vertical.

There are two types of asphalt based shingles – the organic shingles and the fiberglass shingles. For organic shingles, they are mostly made of waste paper soaked in asphalt to make it water proof. Then adhesive asphalt is coated, and after this application, ceramic granules are embedded.

Fiberglass based asphalt shingles have become more common than paper-based shingle. These shingles are very light in weight, and it is fire resistance. The manufacturing process for fiber glass asphalt shingles starts with a tough reinforcing “membrane” or “fabric. The membrane used in fiber glass shingles is called a “mat.” A mat is made of fiber glass, a “mineral”-based material. Several materials are added to the reinforcing fabrics as the shingles are being manufactured. Fiber glass shingles use only the stabilized coating asphalt. Finely pulverized minerals, called stabilizers or filler, are added to the asphalt to give the shingle more “body” and “toughness,” which ultimately increase the life of the shingle.

Metal Shingles

Metal shingles come in aluminum, lead, copper, zinc and tin. Due to their long life spans and resistance to hair, fire and wind, metal shingles are more popular in commercial buildings. Metal shingle roofs will not chip, rot, or crack due to harsh environmental conditions. The shingles are also relatively easy to install and can be installed right over-top the existing asphalt shingle roof. Installation costs may be higher than asphalt shingles, but it is justified by their longer life spans. Coated with cool-roof rated and energy star qualified metal roofing colors, metal shingles are considered to be more energy-efficient than asphalt shingles. Aluminum is one kind of metal shingle that has a long life-span but the only disadvantage it has is it is much more expensive than other types of shingle materials.

Solar Shingles

Solar shingles look and are installed similar to other shingles. Solar shingles can also use as a backup source of electricity. While solar shingles are a relatively new concept, the emphasis on energy conservation, energy efficiency, and sustainability is expected to boost the demand for solar shingles in the near future.

Dow Solar’s Powerhouse solar shingle systems are being sold as part of a three-part solar roofing system, which includes an array of shingles, an inverter and an energy monitoring system. Dow uses a type of solar cells and design that are quite different from the vast majority of the solar panels that sit on residential rooftops today. Instead of using silicon cells, which are thicker and could crack under heavy weight, Dow opted for ultra-thin and more pliable cells made with a mix of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS). Global Solar Energy in Arizona is supplying the CIGS cells to Dow, which then assembles them into shingles at its factory in Michigan. A knotty problem that Dow had to solve involved hiding the electrical wires for connecting the shingles to one another. The wires must fit within the thin profile of the shingles or else the solar shingles will stick out next to the regular shingles. Dow buried the wires within each shingle and created a connector at each end to string the shingles together.

Landmark Solaris™ from CertainTeed Roofing is a brilliant energy-saving breakthrough that puts cool roof technology to work. Landmark Solaris is a steep-slope, solar reflective asphalt roofing shingle, which contains advanced colored granules that reflect the sun’s rays and can reduce a roof’s temperature by as much as 20% in the summer. As an advanced hybrid roofing material, Landmark Solaris combines the traditional beauty of asphalt shingles with the ecological benefits of cool-roof technology.

Concrete Shingles

Concrete roof tiles most often last the lifetime of a house. These are Class A fire rated and resistant to damage from hail and high winds, typically achieving a minimum of a Class 3 hail resistance rating. Concrete tiles can sustain winds in excess of 125 miles per hour that would strip off most other roofing materials. Testing has also shown concrete tile roofing systems, when in-stalled according to building code standards, exceed current seismic load requirements for building materials. Concrete tiles have grown more competitive in price, due in part to the rising costs of petroleum based products such as asphalt shingles. Concrete roof tiles offer an affordable and economical alternative, especially when considering their life cycle cost. Modern concrete tile designs can simulate the appearance of traditional clay tiles, wood shake, slate and stone. Like clay, concrete tile surfaces can be textured or smooth, tile edges can be uniform or ragged, and architects may select tiles of all one color, blended colors or combinations of two or more shades placed in a uniform or random pattern. Lightweight concrete tiles are also available in some regions of the country for re-roofing applications where the roof structure is insufficient to support standard weight concrete tiles.

Wood Shingles/ Cedar Shingles

The texture and colour of the wood shingles and shakes has the ability to create an individual building and enhance unusual properties. They are also light in weight, have a low rate of expansion and contraction, and have the added benefit of being easy to install and maintain.

Wood shingles and shakes can have high natural durability. Resistance to rot is one of the most important properties to consider when using wood shingles and shakes. However, erosion may occur due to weathering, and there-fore, it is necessary to protect them for effectiveness and longevity. But using good-quality wood shingles and shakes, and installing them correctly, should re-sult in a roof covering that will last over 20 years. In some cases, with preservative treated shingles and shakes, this can be increased up to 40 years.

Slate Shingles

Although expensive, slate shingles are one of most popular shingles due to its aesthetics and durability. These shingles are available in kinds of textures, colors, features and styles. This makes the slate roofing to be most sophisticated. They also provide better safety against insects, fire and water rejection.

Rubber Shingles

These are the newest type of material to be used in roofing. It is equally reliable with the usual roofing shingles and also simulates the natural look off traditional roof shingles. It is easy to install, less expensive, resistant to fire, protects the roof from extreme elements and is environmentally beneficial since they are remodeled from used tires.

Market Scenario

As of 2011, roofing tiles covered an area of 73 million square meter of roofing area in India. Concrete roofing is the most popular form of roofing in India accounting for 55% of roofing in the country while asphaltic roofing has only 0.70%.

However, the increase in the number of gated communities with villas and bungalows and resorts is expected to increase the market potential for shingles in the country. Some of the global leaders in the roofing shingles industry who  have a presence in India are GAF, CertainTeed, IKO and Owens Corning.

CertainTeed entered into India in 2004. A Saint-Gobain company, Certain Teed specializes in asphalt based roofing shingles that are waterproof, break resistant, flexible and come with a lifetime warranty making them sustainable and innovative products. They are suitable for retrofitting too. CertainTeed’s  Landmark Solaris range of roofing shingles can reduce roof temperatures up to 20% in summers. Solar reflectivity and Thermal Emissivity values attained by Landmark Solaris shingles have ac-corded it Energy Star certification. Another significant advantage of Landmark Solaris shingles is that it substantially reduces the ‘heat island’ effect.

Mumbai based, Shibam Ventures is an authorized distributor and installer of GAF in India. The company’s shingle for pitched roofs is waterproof and gives a beautiful finish to the roof. The product adapts with technical efficiency and aesthetically to all roofs, from a 20% slope to a vertical surface. The shingles are resistant against fire, atmospheric aggressions (heavy rain, sudden temperature changes) and snow load. The product is available in a varied weather-resistant colour range. This maintenance-free product has adhesive points among sheets that guarantee resistance to the wind.

Made to Australian Standards, Boral terracotta and concrete tiles are manufactured to withstand harsh climatic conditions and marine environments. All Boral roof tiles are salt-safe and frost resistant, making them suitable for any location, including coastal areas. The extensive range and unique design of individual tile profiles mean enhanced flexibility in roof design to complement a wide range of architectural styles and specifications. The density of tiles helps reduce external sound, such as aircraft and road noise and particularly rain and hail. A tiled roof has a sound reduction potential of 30 decibels compared to only 12 decibels for steel sheeting. Further, there is none of the creaking that come with the expansion and contraction of steel. Terracotta and concrete roof tiles are non-combustible materials and proven performers in the face of fire, providing superior protection against radiant heat from bushfires.

The life of shingles is contingent on following the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer, which can be different from one manufacturer to another. The main criteria are proper ventilation, underlayment and installation procedures. While the quality of fasteners, clip-on systems, hardware fixings and trimmings has increased considerably allowing easy and seamless installation of shingles with the least on-site time, manufacturers also provide training, support and guidance to their dealers and distributors.


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  2. Some from the most common roofing matwrials include – rubber, metal, slate, concrete,
    along wioth the most favored asphalt shingles that aren’t only simple to install but additionally include firee retarding prooperties foor tha maximum protection person plus your house.
    It has corrosion-resistant properties and hence, is a lot more durable than other forms.
    Do not gett ripped-off on the roof or rof repairs during hard economical times.


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