COMPOSITION ASPHALT SHINGLES

What You Need To Know

Composition Asphalt Shingles are a beautiful, low cost, low maintenance, highly efficient roof that is the most common roof in the United States of America.  They are made to function in the heat, cold, snow, rain, wind, etc.  The flashing details are industry standard and excellent.  Use Brazil to get the most out of your Shingle installation.

Certainteed Landmark TL being installed over 30lb felt paper and Certainteed Starter strip at the eave line.

Certainteed Landmark TL being installed over 30lb felt paper and Certainteed Starter strip at the eave line.

Cosmetics:

The most popular shingle types today are the Dimensional Fiberglass Composition shingles.  (Certainteed Landmark Series / GAF Timberline Series / Owens Corning Oakridge Pro & Duration Series)  Each series has a Premium or Ultra line of shingles that offer thicker shingles with “Max Def” or “HD” colors.

The other popular style of shingles is many times referred to as “Luxury” or “Architectural” shingles which are very thick offset patterned shingles.  They all have a special starter, and require extra labor to install etc.  They are very beautiful and popular.(Certainteed – Presidential Series / GAF Grand Sequoia & Canyon Series / Owens Corning WoodCrest & WoodMoor Series)

“Luxury” Presidential style shingles installed on a home in Sacramento.

“Luxury” Presidential style shingles installed on a home in Sacramento.

Tips: 

As simple as “follow the directions” sounds, it is the best tip we can offer.  Most of the repair calls we are asked to go on; and dry-rot we find are from improper installation.  Follow the instructions on preparing the roof deck, installing underlayment’s, starter material, proper roof jack flashings, roof to wall metals, nosing metals, valley metals, course layout, spacing, nailing, painting, maintenance, etc… and you will have a quality roof.  This may sound overwhelming, but these are standard items to a quality contractor.  Get everything in writing in a legal contract. 

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Did you know that in California your deposit check can only be 10% of the job or $1,000.00, whichever is LESS.

Underlayments:

Comp shingles need to be installed over a solid deck with a quality moisture barrier or underlayment.  Most manufacturers allow one (1) layer of 15lb (ASTM) roofing felt paper as a minimum underlayment for standard slopes.  Any roof slope UNDER a 4:12 down to a 2:12 requires two (2) layers of 15lb (ASTM) roofing felt paper as an underlayment.  Some shingles require other special underlayment applications on slopes less than 4:12 or in snow/ice areas, or in class A fire areas designated as “Wildlife Urban Interface” areas.

What about synthetic felt papers and underlayments?  Our Estimators can give you the facts “behind the sales tactics” regarding underlayments.

Major Brands & Links:

The major brands in the Sacramento Area are Certainteed, GAF, Owens Corning, etc.  All these companies are large national/global manufacturers that have been in business in some instances for 300+ years.  (Pabco is more of a regional shingle, but is excellent and well known in this area.)

Warranty:

Warranties traditionally range from 30-50+ years.  NOTE: All manufacturers now claim that all their shingles are “LIFETIME” shingles.  Read the fine print.  Look at the history of the shingles.  It was only a few years ago (This changed around 2011) that these same shingles were rated 30, 40, 50 year shingles.  The roofing industry is full of sales gimmicks based on insurance actuary tables.  Our professional estimator will answer all your questions regarding the warranty of these “lifetime” shingles and which shingle is best for your house, your needs, etc.  (Read the section below titled: “How are Asphalt Shingles Made?” to get some good information on how to choose a quality shingle.)

Extended Warranties: Some manufacturers only allow certain qualified roofing contractors to sell Extended Warranties. In the roofing industry these extended warranties can be an excellent purchase.  Each Brand of Shingle has their own costs and different levels of coverage for extended warranties.  Some of the features that are worth looking into are:

  • Non-prorated coverage. If the shingle fails 20 years into a 30 year roof… they will cover the cost 100% as opposed to the coverage being pro-rated.
  • Workmanship coverage. Many warranties only cover the cost of the materials if their shingles fail leaving you with the bill to pay for all the labor (many times the most expensive part of the roof!).  This workmanship coverage essentially purchases a guarantee that the shingle manufacturer will cover all costs with no out of pocket expenses.

Weigh the costs, but many of our customers have found some peace of mind by having an extended warranty on roofing which is typically a larger home improvement project. These warranties are backed by national/global multi-billion dollar companies.

Did you know that Brazil Quality Construction, Inc. can offer Extended Roof Warranties?

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Maintenance:

Comp roofs are typically a very low maintenance roof, partly due to the way the shingles integrate with the flashings.  However, any areas where debris can collect needs to be cleaned out regularly.  Areas of special care include: Gutters, valleys, behind fireplaces/skylights, in large flashing, behind roof jacks, etc.  A regular maintenance program is required on ALL roofing.  Maintenance regularity depends upon the amount of debris that accumulates on your roof specifically.

Comp roofs should not be walked on when it is very hot outside to avoid scuffing the asphalt. We always recommend using a roofing professional to maintain your roof who has the proper insurance, license, ladders, tools, safety gear and fall arrest equipment etc.

Repairs:

One major question that should be asked with all roofing applications is: “How easily is it repaired?”  Stuff happens.  Trees fall on houses, massive hail storms can damage roofs (mostly in the South, Midwest etc.), and Vehicles have landed on roofs. I’ve seen delivery trucks back into houses, fires, and I know a roofer who has a collection of bullets that he has pulled out of roof shingles from 4th of July and New Year’s Eve celebrations.  Having a roof that can easily be repaired is a big money saver if any unfortunate event were to befall your home.  Comp roofs can easily be repaired with other shingles by removing some nails, sliding out the damaged shingle, and sliding in and re-nailing the new shingles.

In Short: Comp Roofs are easily repairable in comparison with other roofing products.

Did you know Brazil Quality Construction, Inc. offers Roofing Maintenance, Inspection, and Repairs?

Energy Efficiency:

Composition Shingles are not the optimum choice when looking for energy efficiency.  The reason for this is that the comp shingles fasten directly on the roof deck and as they heat up the heat is transferred directly into the roof deck and into the attic.  (This is as compared to roof tiles that sit off the deck and allow for an air space between the tile and the roof deck.)  However, this isn’t all bad news, because the #1 ways to improve energy efficiency is typically not through your roofing material.

What can you do to improve Energy Efficiency? Go to the “Services Page” and click “Energy Efficiency” to see full write up’s on each of these options.  These are the options that should be investigated for an asphalt composition shingle roof:

  • Ventilation
  • Insulation
  • Radiant Barrier
  • Cool Roof Color Shingles

Did you know that in order to obtain a Re-Roof Permit in California you are required to comply with California Title 24 Energy Codes?  (Go to our FAQ page to learn more about California Title 24 Energy Codes.)

How are Asphalt Shingles Made?  Certainteed describes the process of making their shingles as follows:

1) The manufacturing process for fiber glass asphalt shingles starts with a tough reinforcing “mat”. The mat is made of glass fibers and a special binder.  Several materials are added to the reinforcing mat as the shingles are being manufactured:

2) The first material put on the mat is asphalt that makes the shingle tough and water-resistant.

3) The amount of asphalt used gives the shingle its thickness and much of its weight, and adds to its strength.

4) Up to a point, the more asphalt used, the longer the shingle will last.

5) However, the quality of the asphalt is even more important than the quantity.  Low quality asphalt can be brittle and cause the shingle to have a shortened life.  High quality asphalt keeps the shingles more flexible.

6) Finely pulverized minerals, called stabilizers or filler, are added to the asphalt to give the shingle more “body” and “toughness” which ultimately increase the life of the shingle.  When too little stabilizer is used, the shingles become soft and “gooey” and they scuff easily.  However, scuffing in high heat is not a sign of a poor shingle….

7) Next, small opaque granules are adhered to the asphalt to protect the shingles from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.  Made from crushed and screened rock, these granules receive a ceramic color coating which gives the shingle its color.  Sometimes, a layer of copper is added for algae resistance.

8) A crushed mineral called “backsurfacing” is applied to the back of the shingles.  The backsurfacing is added to keep the shingles from sticking to the manufacturing machinery and from sticking to each other when they are stacked and wrapped in bundles.  Some manufacturers use a heavy bascksurfacing that gives the shingle more weight.  NOTE: The extra weight created in this way does not make the shingle stronger.

9) Solid or broken strips of sealant adhesive may be applied to the face or back of the shingles to seal and hold them down under severe wind conditions.

10) Release tape prevents shingles from sticking together while packaged.

(See “Certainteed Shingle Applicator’s Manual Tenth Edition, page 13.”)

 

Our goal at Brazil is to provide education on our roofing systems and installation methods. Hopefully this section gave you some valuable information regarding composition shingles.  This gives you the advantage when choosing a quality contractor.  You may ask yourself: “What can I expect when I request a FREE Re-Roofing Estimate?”  Click the link to go to our FAQ page.

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