Asphalt shingles need proper handling. Choosing, maintaining and reusing them is something worth considering carefully. The shingles were invented in 1900. Since then, they have grown into the most sought after roofing material for all types of buildings in the North American region. Its popularity is because of many factors that include affordability, durability and easy installation where it performs better compared to other roofing materials such as tiles, slate, and wood among others. Asphalt shingles are worth installing on your building.
How to Choose Asphalt Shingles
Choosing asphalt shingles need careful consideration, plenty of research and patience in case you do not get what you want the first time. The shingles are in two categories – organic and fiberglass. Organic are shingles made from materials that were once alive. Such materials include cellulose, paper and wood fiber. These materials are then made waterproof by coating with asphalt. On the other hand, fiberglass shingles have a base comprising mostly glass fiber, which is then bonded with resin. Fillers from minerals are then applied to make it waterproof.
The main drawback of installing or choosing fiberglass asphalt shingles is the possibility that they could contain asbestos – especially if they were made before 1980. Fiberglass shingles are also likely to grow more brittle earlier compared to organic shingles, more specifically when the temperatures are quite low and the weather cold. Organic shingles, for their part, are stronger, thus last long despite exposure to storms. The drawback with organic shingles is their flammability hence making fiberglass a better fit for homes located in fire-prone areas.
Proper Asphalt Shingles Maintenance
The next issue worth looking into is asphalt shingles maintenance. It is possible for these shingles to last longer than you’ve ever anticipated. This only happens with proper care and regular maintenance. Often, maintenance includes clearing off the debris as a way of preventing early decay. Clearing the shingles off the moss growing and thriving on it also helps in preventing early rotting. Apply a topical solution on the shingles too, to ensure they do not succumb to rotting too. The two topical solutions worth applying for the best results are zinc chloride and copper sulfate.
Asphalt shingles maintenance should mostly revolve around the following:
- Clearing moss, algae and all types of debris
- Checking flashings for corrosion, damages, and holes that need to be repaired or replaced
- Fixing loose or damaged asphalt shingles
- Checking the downspouts and gutters for debris, blockage, and clogging
- Checking the caulking and sealants
Proper Use and Reuse of Asphalt Shingles
An issue worth looking into too is how to use and reuse asphalt shingles. The shingles have become integral parts of most homes in the United States. Nevertheless, they need proper disposal, use, and reuse. This roofing product is responsible for generating more than 11 million tons of waste in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Asphalt shingles are reusable in many ways instead of disposing of them in the landfills where they are likely to cause more damage. When reusing the asphalt shingles, be careful to avoid exposure to asbestos.
The best ways of reusing them include:
- Converting into mix asphalt
- Cold patching
- Cement kiln fuel
Therefore, follow the recommendations published here to help you with choosing, maintenance, and reusing asphalt shingles. Do not forget there is a right way of doing all these three tasks. Avoid shortcuts, as they are likely to lead to more mistakes and damages that prove extremely costly to fix. Use and reuse asphalt shingles instead of disposing them into the local landfills where they have a higher chance of damaging the environment further. Speak with a roof expert to help you choose, maintain and reuse asphalt shingles.