Fiberglass asphalt shingles are made from a fiberglass base mat and layered with a waterproof coating. The fiberglass is made by overlapping wet fiberglass and using a urea-formaldehyde adhesive to properly bind it all together. The mat then receives a coating of asphalt blended with a variety of mineral fillers to make the shingles waterproof. There are actually two different kinds of asphalt shingles: fiberglass, and another called organic shingles. Organic shingles are not as common, but you can still find them on homes throughout the USA.
Facts about Fiberglass Shingles
- Longer warranty
- Not as expensive as other roofing materials
- Resistance to UV rays
Life expectancy of Fiberglass Shingles
The average lifespan of asphalt shingles ranges from 20 to 37 years depending on the manufacturer, although many warranties only guarantee between 15 and 25 years. Fiberglass shingles are more expensive, but can last more than 50 years in some cases.
Architectural or 3-Tab
Asphalt Shingles come in two design options: Architectural Shingles, and 3-Tab Shingles. 3-Tab are essentially flat simple shingles with a uniform shape and size. They use less material and are thinner than Architectural Shingles, and are therefore lighter and lower cost for both the material and the installation. They also do not last as long or offer Manufacturer’s Warranties as long as good architectural asphalt shingles. 3-Tab are still the most commonly installed in lower-value homes, such as those used as rental properties.
However, they are declining in popularity in favor of the architectural style. Dimensional, or architectural shingles are thicker and stronger, vary in shape and size, and offer more aesthetic appeal; casting more distinct, random shadow lines better mimics the appearance of traditional roofing materials such as wood shake shingles.
Cycles of wet and dry environmental conditions, as well as organic growths such as algae and foliose lichen and woody debris which remains on the shingles, will cause premature deterioration through both chemical and physical processes. Performed regularly, physical removal of debris, and physical or chemical removal of organic growth (for example, using a copper sulfate, zinc chloride, or other solution carefully applied and thoroughly rinsed), can prolong the life of asphalt roofing materials. Algae and moss growth may be prevented through installation of zinc or copper strips or wire at the ridge and every four to six feet down the roof;black algae growth can be removed with a bleach solution,