All about Composition shingles

When buying shingles you’ll purchase them by the square. A square contains enough shingles to cover 100 square feet at the recommended exposure. There are typically 80 shingles to the square, though larger shingles come 64 to the square. Each square is made up of bundled blocks of shingles. Most squares are made up of three bundles, but heavier squares are made up of four.

Shingle durability used to be rated by the weight of the square. The heavier the square, the thinker and longer-lived the shingle. Contemporary shingles are given lifetime ratings of 15, 20, and 25 years. Prices rise as the estimated lifetime of the shingles increase. Colors include white, black, and shades of brown and green and blue. Pressed texture and granule coloration combine to produce shingles that resemble wood shingles and shakes. Have a look at composition shingles  for more info on this.

When choosing which color shingle you’ll use on your roof keep in mind that your roof will can last up to 20 years which if much longer than any current fashion trend. Neutral blacks, whites and grays remain the mos popular colors.

Composition shingles can put on any roof that has slope of 4 in 12 or more. If your roof has a double felt underlayment, they can be applied with a slope as low as 2 in 12; however, the shingle tabs must be sealed down.

Deciding to Re-roof
Composition shingles are incredibly versatile and can be used to cover almost anything that accepts a nail. You may not need to replace your whole roof because of some problem areas. Below are tips on how to re-roof depending on whih shingles you decide to use for your project.

Composition shingles. Nail down warped shingles and fill voids. Usually only three layers of shingles are allowed; check you local codes.

Wood Shingles. Add a thin beveled strips to fill the voids between courses, and notch in 1x4s at the rakes and eaves to create a smooth platform for a new layer of roofing.

Roll Roofing. If the slope is at least 4 n 12, roll roofing makes a smooth bed for a new layer of composition shingles. Remove all loose nails before re-roofing.

Tile and Slate Roofs. Tile and slate roofs, as well as metal and fiberglass panels, are impossible to nail through and therefore cannot be re-roofed with composition shingles. Shakes are too uneven to take new roofing and must be removed as well.

Different Types of Composition Shingles
Composition shingles come in a variety of styles and colors to complement the style and color of your home. The three most common composition shingle styles you will find on the market include Standard Three-Tab, Shadow Line Three Tab, and Mock Wood Shakes.

Standard Three-Tab Shingles.
These are the most common style in North America today. They typically are sold 80 shingles per square, three bundles per square.

Shadow Line Three Tab Shingles
The illusion of thickness is created by a line of darkened granules. These too come 80 shingles per square, three bundles per square.

Mock Wood Shakes.
Added thickness and the clever use of color give mock wood shingles their wood-like appearance. Because they are thicker and heavier they are sold on 64 shingles per square, four bundles per square.

Having a secure and weather proof roof depends on choosing quality shingles that are appropriate for the job. Make sure you take the time to pick the best shingles for your home or contact a roofer for their opinion.

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A Note on Roofing shingles prices

Ordering roof shingles just based on the roof area means you will way short of what you need. Several bundles of extra shingles are needed as starter shingles along the eaves of the roof especially to use on large roofs. Starter shingles main purpose is to shed water that accumulates between the joints of roof shingles. Sometimes you will need extra for the rakes too. If you are making your own ridge caps then order extra shingles to use on ridges and hips.

To save some money you can order 3-tab shingles to be used as starter courses or if you have left-over shingles from previous roofing jobs that can also be used. Check with your roofing contractor. Many use starter course for the rake edges too in order to create a neat looking edge. You should not use laminated shingles rake edges as they are too thick. To determine the number of shingles needed as starter courses measure the edges of the roof and rakes and divide by 3 which is length of each shingle.

Shingles need to be cut to fit to size, so waste will be generated and cannot be avoided. Roofing contractors will be cutting shingles to fit near the ridges, walls, valleys, around chimneys and other roofing features, etc. Some cut-offs are big enough to be reused others will need to be discarded as they are too small.

Simple gable roofs generate the least amount of waste. For simple roofs factor one percent as wastage, for complex roofs plan 5 percent as wastage in materials. Complex roofs are those with lot of hips, valleys, chimneys, skylights, dormers and other vents.

3-tab shingles generate the most waste while laminated shingles are nearly not as wasteful. But, as it is difficult to estimate by what factor your waste is reduced it is better to buy the same extra number of shingles as you would buy with 3-tab shingles. You can tell the supplier that you will return any extra un-opened bundles. Laminated shingles have no cutouts, so you have to just seal the shingles by pressing it down and nailing them.

When transporting shingles some of them will be damaged as they are dropped or banged against hard surfaces. Some may be salvaged. During installation some of the shingles are damaged during the nailing process. Newbie workers tend to waste more so do careless crew. So, factor extra bundles for these kinds of workers. While really good workers may use maximum one extra bundle for the same job.

Factor in extra shingles as shingles will be laid to overlap each other. You need to remember that on the roof at every location – ridges, valleys, on plain surfaces, starter courses, around chimneys and protruding features, around dips and skylights you need to overlap the shingles for proper sealing off all gaps. This prevents leakages. So, you need extra for overlapping and this will be usually factored in when purchasing roof shingles. Over the ridges and hips the shingles are cut and placed on top to cover the ridge tops. Some of the cut-offs shingles from previous use can also be used to be as ridge cap shingles. You will need length of all ridges and hips divided by 35 to determine the number of bundles of shingles needed.

Else, you can order ridge caps, hip caps air vents, and other companion pieces that come with roof shingles. Many companies insist that you buy three or more of these companion pieces in order for their warranty on the shingles to be valid. If you purchasing these pieces then you can reduce the number of shingles needed accordingly. For some types of shingles like patterned shingles you have to buy the accompanying pieces as otherwise the look of the roof is spoiled.

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August 2021