Longmont Roofing: Article About The History Of Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular and affordable roofing materials available. They can be applied to just about any residential or commercial area, with enough customization options available to make them stand out as a durable and reliable product. Longmont roofing professionals provide all types of asphalt roofing options, made through a state of the art manufacturing process. These shingles have not always been made the way they are now, and there is a rich history behind them, leading to their current efficient creation process.
Though many people associate asphalt with modern applications, it has been used as a primary building material for thousands of years. Records show that ancient Babylonians first used asphalt as a mortar for clay brick buildings. They also used it to waterproof liners in canals. From that point on, asphalt has remained a common building material, used in some form by many civilizations.
The material's applications grew with the times, and the practice of using asphalt continued up to the modern day. It was first used in roofing in the 19th century. Roll roofing, which consisted of long strips of felt coated in asphalt, was first made in the United States in 1893. From these strips, Henry M. Reynolds began to hand cut shingles, having since been credited with first creating asphalt shingles through this process.
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By the 1920s, the roofing material became so popular that it was commercially available through mail order catalogs all over the country. By the 1950s, the cutting process was perfected and has remained mostly unchanged to the modern day.
In order to keep up with environmental and safety concerns, the materials comprising asphalt shingles began to undergo inspection in the late 1950s. Many manufacturers sought to create an inorganic base material that would provide homeowners with an alternative to the common organic felt. These inorganic bases were much more desirable because, in addition to their environmental benefits, they were also much more fire resistant than their organic counterparts. Inorganic bases also absorb less asphalt while maintaining the same structural integrity, resulting in shingles that weighed less and cut down on manufacturing resources. For a while, asbestos was commonly used in the production of inorganic shingles until its health risks became more widely known.
Fortunately, improvements in fiberglass production have made this material the most popular inorganic base for asphalt shingles. Since the late 1970s, fiberglass has been the most common option, and now many professionals believe that organic shingles are on their way out to make room for the more advantageous fiberglass variety.