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Atlanta Roofing: Article About Asphalt Shingles For Roofing Material

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A homeowner planning for a roof installation faces many different decisions. One of the first and most important decisions is what type of roofing material will be used. An Atlanta roofing contractor will assist in choosing the material that fits the homeowner's style and budget. For many residential uses, asphalt shingles are still the most popular choice.

There are two types of asphalt shingles. Traditional organic asphalt shingles have a base of recycled waste paper that is saturated with asphalt. Salt and ceramic granules are then embedded on top of the shingle. Fiberglass shingles, which became available more recently, consist of a base of fiberglass covered with asphalt. The asphalt makes the shingle waterproof.

A homeowner faces a trade off between organic shingles and fiberglass shingles. Organic shingles are more durable than fiberglass shingles. However, fiberglass shingles are more fire resistant than asphalt shingles.

The primary feature that prompts many homeowners to choose asphalt shingles is cost. Asphalt shingles are the least expensive option of all of the roofing materials available, although that comparison does not include costs of repair and frequency of replacement over time. Asphalt shingles are generally expected to last 15 years.

Another advantage of asphalt shingles is the ease of installation, which contributes to their low upfront cost. Any reputable roofing contractor can install asphalt shingles. Also, due to their relatively light weight, asphalt shingles generally do not require any of the structural reinforcement sometimes required for heavier materials such as slate and clay tile. Due to the ease of installation, a roof replacement using asphalt shingles can usually be completed in a matter of days.

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Manufacturers have expanded the style and color options of asphalt shingles. By paying a little more than for basic asphalt shingles, a homeowner can achieve a look that resembles wood shake or slate tiles by using laminated asphalt shingles, also known as architectural shingles. Asphalt shingles are no longer limited to the traditional gray and brown colors. Asphalt shingles come in many colors, including red, blue and green.

Like any other product, asphalt shingles have their disadvantages. Asphalt shingles are not generally environmentally friendly. Both types of asphalt shingles contain asphalt, a petroleum based product that uses a lot of energy to produce. Asphalt shingles are also generally not recyclable and end up in the landfill.

Asphalt shingles are also susceptible to weather and climate conditions. Extreme heat causes asphalt shingles to crack and fades their color. Extreme variations in temperature, in either direction, cause asphalt shingles to expand and contract, often resulting in damage that requires repair. Due to their light weight and the method of installation, some three tab shingles are easily blown off by a strong wind.

Asphalt shingles will not be the right choice for every roofing job. Researching the various options is important. However, with the styles and colors available now, homeowners in Atlanta, Brookhaven, East Point and Redan may find an asphalt shingle roof to be perfect for their home and their budget.

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