What Is a Shingle Roof? Find Out in Our Complete Homeown

What Is a Shingle Roof? Find Out in Our Complete Homeowner’s Guide!

Before you start looking for a roofing services company, you need to learn some basic stuff about the key elements of a roof. What are house shingles? What popular style and material do I need? Will this shingle model exceed my budget?

These are frequent and relevant questions, and we decided to answer all of them in this comprehensive article. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about what a shingle roof is and how to choose the adequate shingle material for your home.

What Are Shingles for Roof?

A roof shingle is a flat piece of material with a system of fastening onto similar pieces in order to create a solid and watertight roof. The purpose of shingles in roof architecture is to seal it off from the world outside and make sure that the building stays dry and warm during the cold season.

A shingle flat roof can match the architecture and style of your home, enhancing its appeal

After the thatched roof, the shingle flat roof is probably the oldest system of capping a house. Although other modern roof systems are currently available (such as metal sheet) these are usually used for commercial buildings. Residential homes continue to be covered by a roof with shingles. 

Types of Shingle Roofing You Can Choose From

Now that you know what are shingles on a house, the question is: what are they made of? Traditionally, the roof shingles meaning was restricted to wood and slate. However, newer, more affordable and better performing materials were invented. This means that you can choose from six different materials. The choice depends on the house style and the purpose of shingles depending on the climate in your area.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt is a popular material for shingle flat roof. Easy to produce, available in various colors and textures and lightweight, asphalt shingles are also very affordable. This makes them a top choice for homeowners. Also, when you ask what do roof shingles do, asphalt shingles are notable for several properties:

  • Waterproof
  • Fireproof
  • Flexible and resilient to impact

However, an asphalt shingle roof also has quite a short lifespan and is vulnerable to temperature fluctuations.

Metal Shingles

A metal shingle roof is usually made of aluminum, steel, copper or an alloy, and is an energy efficient option for areas with a hot climate. The purpose of shingles in a metal roof is to reflect the sunlight and heat away from the house. This helps homeowners save a lot on the energy bill – something that everyone is considering at the present.

However, you need all the information before ordering a shingle flat roof made of metal. You will have to face higher upfront costs to purchase and install a metal roof. Yet, comparing it to its benefits and its long lifespan, you will definitely recover your investment over the years.

Wood Shingles

When asking what is a shingle, most people actually picture a wood shingle roof. This is because it is one of the oldest roofing materials known to man. Wooden shingles give a rustic look to any house and are a good option for environmentally conscious homeowners, who want to recycle their old roof.

A wooden shingle flat roof has a lifespan of around 20-25 years and is affordable to purchase and install. However, this material is vulnerable to fire and there are areas in the US where fire codes prohibit the installation of wood shingles.

Slate Shingles

The slate shingle roof has a key detail: it is very heavy. Slate is a natural and very durable material, but it is also the heaviest. For this reason, it is not adequate for all homes, because the structure of the building cannot bear its load. 

Thus, even though you consider long durability as the main purpose of shingles, slate (with a lifespan of around 100 years) may not be a feasible choice for you. You should let an experienced roofing contractor recommend the best types of shingles to choose from.

Rubber Shingles

A rubber shingle roof or a composite shingle roof is the best choice if you want to replicate the look of natural materials (such as wood or slate) and enjoy the benefit of a modern, durable and fire resistant roofing material.

However, as it is one of the most recent types of shingles, you need to find an experienced roofing contractor who knows how to install this type of roof. Moreover, this is a high-end type of shingle flat roof, so you have to consider all the pros and cons before ordering it.

Clay Shingles

The clay shingle roof also gives homes a rustic look and has the added benefit of being fire resistant. These shingles are also energy efficient and are available in a wide variety of colors. The downside is that, just like slate, clay is a heavy material. Thus, a clay shingle flat roof may not be the right choice for your home.

The Most Important Shingle Roof Benefits

Knowing what are shingles for roof already gives you an idea of the main benefits of having this type of roofing material over your home. However, we will detail the purpose of shingle from a homeowner’s point of view:

A Wide Range of Colors and Textures

Leaving aside the roof shingles meaning from a technical point of view, they are a very visible part of a house – right at the top of your home. So, you want the roof shingles to match the general style and architecture of your home. Both traditional and modern shingle materials offer a large variety of colors and textures to choose from. 

The purpose of shingles is to protect the home from water, fire and hail, and maintain their look

Durable and Lightweight Shingle Roofing Material

Metal, asphalt, and composite shingle flat roof options are lighter than other roofing materials, but offer the same level of safety and insulation. You can find the ideal roof for the structure of your home, without causing any damage to its structure by overloading it.

Easy and Durable Roofing for All Homes

Everyone can find products meeting the purpose of shingles and their budget. Professional contractors will find the ideal solution for your home. In a short time, you will have a safe and durable roof over your head.

Call us to get a free estimate: 512-717-5852!