16 Jan Shingles: How Are They Made?
On first glance, the concept of an asphalt shingle seems relatively simple. Start with a fibreglass mat (previously they were made from organic material), coat it in hot liquid asphalt, pour granules on it and get them out to distributors! However, the science and technology behind asphalt shingles has come a deceptively long way since their first inception to give you, the homeowner, the absolute best product possible.
Initially, the concept of asphalt roofing consisted of gooey asphalt rolls similar to some flat roofing solutions available today. In the early stages, there weren’t even any granules used! Manufacturers stumbled on that innovation accidentally when they were trying to make the product more resilient to physical abuse such as walking, hail and tree branches and discovered serendipitously that granules posed the added benefit of protecting the material against deterioration due to ultraviolet.
Today, they have improved on the formula for granules using various types of rock for various benefits. Today’s asphalt shingle granules consist of slate, schist, quartz, vitrified brick, stone, and ceramic granules. The back of the shingles is manufactured with sand, talc or mica so that the shingles won’t stick to each other before they are installed.
One of the biggest improvements to shingle technology is the advancement of self-sealant strips. It wasn’t until 1965 that the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent for the first ever self-sealant shingle, and it wasn’t until the 70’s and 80’s when it became ubiquitous in manufacturing and allowed for the lighter-weight fibreglass mats to take over from the organic mats (which was a good thing since old trees don’t make for the greatest fire retardants, you see 😉 ). Prior to this, asphalt roofers had to execute the time consuming and unreliable practice of smearing every layer of shingles with tar. Shinglers are as grateful for these advances as homeowners!
With 40 million bundles of shingles being produced annually in Canada and the US market expected to rise by 3.5% for the next two years, the roofing industry is bigger than ever before and growing. Not only that, but homeowners are the benefactors of the best roofing technology to ever exist thanks to 100 years of refining the science, technology and installation practices for asphalt shingles! For your free estimate call 905-746-5792 or e-mail [email protected] today!