Parts of a Roof: Shingles

men working on roof

So far in our Parts of a Roof series, we’ve covered the roof deck and underlayment and edging. This topic is a more well-known topic and is typically the thing that comes to mind when you hear “roofing.”

The visible, durable, exterior of your roof. The star of the show.


What are shingles?

Shingles are an asphalt roofing material that overlap and seal onto each other, creating a water-shedding barrier that looks great and lasts for years.

They’re the go-to roofing material in North America for buildings with sloped roofs, and they’re only getting better with time.

What should I know about shingles?

Not all shingles are created equal.

If the last time you reroofed your home was fifteen or twenty years ago, you’re probably starting to think about a new roof again, and with good reason. Back then, that was the expected lifetime of a shingle roof.

Today, improved shingle manufacturing technology has created an expectation that shingles will last more than twice that long.

Our friends over at GAF warranty their shingle roofs for 50 years. These powerful, modern shingles will keep your home safe, dry, and worry-free. With shingles like GAF’s on the market, there’s no reason to settle for a roof that’s not going to stand the test of time.

How Things were 50 Years Ago, and Where They Will Go

Fifty years ago, it was 1968. Lyndon B. Johnson was president, The Beatles were topping the charts, and gas cost 34 cents a gallon. Times have changed.

There’s no way to predict what things will be like 50 years from now, in 2068, but we can predict one thing: the roofs we put on today will be going strong.

It’s Not Just About the Product

Shingles have come a long way, and that’s great, but that doesn’t mean much without old-fashioned quality workmanship.

Shingles have to be installed with an attention to detail that ensures the nails are placed correctly and the overlap of the shingles is perfect.

Finding a roofer that has great reviews is important, and if you’re looking for a manufacturer warranty, you’ll need a contractor that’s authorized to offer it.

What About Shingle Color?

lifetime hickory shingles

Choosing a new color of shingles is a tough decision for a lot of our customers. It makes sense – if you’re going to be looking at them for fifty years, you want to make the right choice.

If you’re getting a new roof and aren’t sure what color works best with your home, we recommend checking out GAF’s Style Guide for shingle-picking tips.

You can even use their Virtual Home Remodeler to see different shingle colors and designs on your own home.