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Longmont Roofing: Article About The Properties Of Asphalt Shingles

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Asphalt is a naturally occurring substance found at the bottoms of lakes and rivers and occurs naturally in places where large numbers of prehistoric algae were compressed into the soil. It's also sometimes called tar or pitch, and it has been used for sealing leaks on boats, waterproofing homes and canals, and lining baskets to make them water tight. Today, asphalt, a byproduct of the petroleum industry, is used in the United States to pave roads and manufacture shingles.

Asphalt is closely related to petroleum, and although the natural petroleum oils in asphalt make it an effective water repellent, it isn't dangerously flammable. When discussing shingles with a Longmont roofing specialist, it's a good idea to ask about the fire safety rating of various brands. Composite shingles were invented to replace wood roofing cover, which is extremely flammable and banned in most neighborhoods. However, improving fire safety was never the intention of Henry M. Reynolds, the person who adapted an earlier invention to produce the familiar rectangular shingles used on 80 percent of U.S. homes today. He simply wanted to create an economical, convenient and attractive roofing cover that could be sold through mail order catalogs.

Many people think of asphalt as the kind of cement used to pave roads, but this cement is a mixture of asphalt and various gritty substances such as sand or gravel.

The roofing contractor experts at Colorado Roof Toppers of Longmont CO can assist you with questions about industrial roofing or flashing.

To make shingles textured so that they would have the ideal surface friction, many gritty substances were added to the bitumen mixture before compressing it over a felt substrate. Materials such as crushed brick and oyster shells were used when they were cheap to acquire, but other than preventing people from slipping while on the roof, these innovations didn't improve shingles' energy or safety performance.

It wasn't until the 1950s that manufacturing technology caught up with safety standards, and inorganic materials, such as fiberglass and asbestos, were substituted for combustible wood or cellulose felt to give shingles the high safety rating they have today. Still, many areas could be improved such as the system components used to make shingles waterproof and sturdier under heavy ice dams. Leaps in shingle technology came steadily throughout the 20th century, and soon after they became fire resistant, they received a cosmetic update to make them more visually appealing. The modern interlocking tabbed style prevents repetition in shingle arrangements, giving them a more natural look. Other innovations include mineral granules mixed with the asphalt to reflect solar radiation and zinc and copper content to prevent algae growth.

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