What are Roof Shingles?

A roof covering that is composed of individual elements that overlaps one another is called roof shingles. The word “shingle”, etymologically speaking, is a corruption of a German word “schindle”, which roughly translate to “roofing slate”. “Shingles”, particularly outside the US, is a term that was originally and historically used to refer to roofing tiles made of wood only. Within the US, the term today applies to any roofing tiles of any materials. Speaking of which, shingles can be made out of wood, asphalt, fiber cement, plastic, metal, flagstone, or slate. Typically, each shingle is flat and rectangular in shape and is laid one atop the other from the roof edge to the top.

Some Basic Things to Know about Roof Shingles

As they are oftentimes visible, shingles are considered one of the most important part in a building’s esthetic. Patterns, colors, and textures are the most common spectrums that shingles put forward upon their installation. And as shingles are typically made out of the materials that are widely available locally, determining the shingle’s type needs to be done prior to a building’s construction.

Upon construction, roof shinglesare installed beginning at a starter course (The edge of the whole roof) at the bottom upward. Each successive row of shingles are laid offset of the row directly below it. This system is designed to redirect rainwater straightly downward without a chance to seep through the seams of the shingles. Some installations incorporate a layering material below the shingles to prevent leak as rainwater could be swayed through the seams by the wind. The underlayment also serves as a material to seal the interior from cold temperature. Today, fire hazard increases significantly, which leads to wood shingles and organic asphalt shingles being less commonly used. In their place, asphalt shingles that are fiberglass-based become much more accepted for installation.