Thanks to their durability, longevity and aesthetic appeal, asphalt shingle roofs are the most popular roofing material among homeowners in the U.S. Asphalt shingles provide top-quality protection from harsh weather conditions and other elements. Despite their popularity and widespread use, however, many people don’t know much about them.
For this reason, it’s easy for misinformation to spread. These misconceptions may discourage homeowners from choosing asphalt shingle roofs and enjoying their benefits. Even worse, these may cause them to make poor decisions about their roof’s maintenance, leading to costly issues in the long run.
As a responsible homeowner, you need to separate fact from fiction. Today, we debunk common myths about asphalt shingles.
Myth #1: Asphalt Shingles Contain Asbestos
Fire safety codes have dictated that building materials used for the home’s exterior, including roofing materials, should have a certain level of fire resistance. As such, some shingle manufacturers in the past promoted fire-resistant asphalt shingle roofs that were made using asbestos fibers. However, in the 1960s, shingles containing asbestos were phased out because of their health risks.
Today, modern asphalt shingles are made fire-resistant using safer, inert mineral stabilizers. Nevertheless, if your home was built between the 1950s and 1980s, you should let your roofer know as some of the old materials may still contain asbestos.
Myth #2: Hand-Nailing Is More Effective Than Using a Nail Gun
In the early days, staples were used for pneumatic shingle attachment. However, they were prone to crooked installation, reducing the roofing system’s wind resistance. As a result, many homeowners believe pneumatic equipment is not effective and prefer hand-nailing as the superior method.
Nevertheless, take note that it doesn’t matter what method you use to attach your shingles. As long as your roof installers make sure that the nails are in the correct location and are installed with the shingle surface and not over-driven, rest assured that either method will suffice.
Myth #3: Dark-Colored Roofs Are Not Energy-Efficient
Whether you have asphalt shingle or flat roofing, it’s believed that light-colored roofs are naturally reflective, which means they help reduce radiant heat absorbed through the roof. This led some homeowners to assume that the reverse is true: dark-colored roofs absorb heat and make your home hotter, causing your air conditioning bills to rise significantly.
However, this is far from the truth. While darker shingles do absorb heat, they don’t contribute to your indoor temperature. If you have a dark-colored roof, the best way to prevent excess heat from entering your home is by investing in proper attic insulation and ventilation.
Myth #4: Asphalt Shingles Lose Their Granules After Installation
Asphalt shingles are coated with granules. These granules protect the asphalt layer from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In addition to that, they provide asphalt shingles color and other features, such as solar reflectivity. During manufacturing, these granules are pressed onto the asphalt layer.
If you notice granules on your gutters or downspouts after a heavy rainstorm, you may think you need to repair or replace your roof. However, if your roof is fairly new, it doesn’t indicate excessive granule loss. In fact, it’s only normal to expect a few loose granules every now and then.
Myth #5: Asphalt Shingle Adhesive Cures Right Away
Asphalt shingles have adhesives that ensure the system’s effectiveness in providing good wind resistance. However, sealant on shingles doesn’t work like a peel-and-stick material. While some adhesives may cure right away, others, especially those used on asphalt shingles, require sufficient solar heat to activate the sealant.
The exact duration is unclear as the time it takes for the adhesive to work depends on many factors. These include the location of your home, the orientation of your roof relative to the sun, and the climate conditions of your area.
Myth #6: All Asphalt Shingles Are Created Equal
Although asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials on the market, many homeowners hesitate to install this type of roof. This is because of the preconceived notions that asphalt shingles are all plain, cheap and unappealing, reducing the curb appeal of any home.
In reality, asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and protection levels. They are even the most customizable roofing material on the market. If you choose asphalt shingles as your roof replacement, you can easily design your roof that matches the aesthetic of your home. There are some shingles that mimic the look of other roofing materials like wood shakes and slate. You don’t have to worry about limiting your choices to a plain black roof.
Myth #7: Quality Shingles and Cheap Shingles Have No Difference
The quality of your shingles is not just a marketing trick. Keep in mind that the quality of your shingles plays a key role in the durability and weather resistance of your roof. Standard asphalt shingles may only last 20 years, but higher-quality shingles can last even longer.
If you are working with a tight budget, cheaper shingles may seem the best option. However, this may result in premature damage. When it comes to choosing a new roof, be sure to consider the quality of the materials as well as the additional features to help you maximize your return on investment. For instance, you may want to opt for trustworthy brands such as GAF products.
Myth #8: Asphalt Shingles Are Not the Same as Fiberglass Shingles
Some homeowners may not know that fiberglass shingles are the same as asphalt shingles. The shingles may be called “fiberglass” because it refers to the reinforcement fabric that holds the shingle together. They can also be referred to as “asphalt” because they contain asphalt, which is a weatherproofing and water-resistant material. Therefore, you may use either term. Furthermore, in some regions, roofing contractors call them “composition shingles” since they are “composed” of a combination of a few raw materials.
Myth #9: It Doesn’t Matter Who Performs Roofing Work
You may think that it doesn’t matter who inspects, repairs or replaces your roof. However, your roofing contractors must have the proper qualifications and experience. Otherwise, they are more likely to make costly errors, such as using the incorrect style and length of nails, which can contribute to the poor performance of your asphalt shingle roof.
So, when it comes to roofing work, trust the experienced roofers at Done-Right Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd.! Whether you have an asphalt shingle or metal roofing, our team of expert roofers is determined to assist you with your needs. Call us today at (905) 875-2888, or fill out our online contact form to set an appointment.