Asphalt Shingles Made to Be More Flexible and Durable
There’s a saying in Michigan that “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” While we Michiganders see plenty of nice, warm, sunny days in a typical year, the weather in our fair state is known for being changeable. Sunny skies can quickly become stormy, complete with strong wind gusts, pelting rain and hail. Or a beautiful winter day can cloud up, bringing in a big snowstorm with howling winds.
A major part of any roof is the shingles, and the shingles on a Michigan roof take a beating. Shingle quality can vary greatly, and that quality will affect the durability and life of your roof. The top roof shingles for Michigan weather, and the most popular shingle choice for roofing in the U.S. is asphalt shingles. Most homeowners choose asphalt roofing shingles because of their performance and cost-effectiveness. They’re also available in a wide variety of styles and colors.
The Importance of Asphalt in Top Roof Shingles
Asphalt shingles are made of three basic components: the mat, usually fiberglass; the asphalt; and the ceramic granules. That asphalt component of the shingle has several important functions.
- Asphalt enables a shingle to remain flexible in cold temperatures and withstand harsh weather.
- The asphalt acts as an adhesive that holds together all of the shingle’s components.
- Asphalt is heavy and adds weight, so the shingle will lie flat on your roof.
Those ceramic granules not only give shingles their color, they protect the asphalt’s coating and the fiberglass mat from deteriorating due to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Otherwise, the sun will bake the shingle and it will become brittle too quickly, compromising its durability and its ability to resist water. There may also be algae-resistant granules embedded to help prevent those ugly black streaks you often see on a roof.
Asphalt comes in different grades. And if the asphalt is of poor quality, the granules will come off faster.
The Top Roof Shingles Have Greater Impact Resistance
Even though shingles are covered by manufacturers’ warranties, they aren’t covered for hail damage. And hail can be very damaging to shingles. That’s why GAF, the top seller of shingles in North America, now makes asphalt shingles that can stand up even better to impact.
The shingle industry’s toughest test is Underwriter’s Laboratories L 2218 Class 4 IR, for impact resistance. That means the shingle can withstand greater force. GAF makes 3 types of shingles that have passed the tough Class 4 IR test– Timberline ArmorShield II, Grand Sequoia IR & Glenwood — making them the highest rated shingles in America.
GAF’s Timberline shingles are their most popular shingle in this category. And there’s even an ArmorShield II SBS Modified IR shingle. What does that mean? It has a polymer modification. During the manufacturing process, a product known as Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS) is added to the asphalt, giving the shingle a rubberlike flexibility and increasing impact resistance. In recent testing, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety concluded that polymer modified IR shingles performed better than traditional IR shingles by up to 50%!
More Benefits of Choosing the Top Roof Shingles
Why is shingle impact resistance so important? Shingles that have greater impact resistance are more likely to prevent your roof from leaking.
Some of the other benefits of GAF’s Timberline ArmorShield II SBS shingles are:
· Highest rating for wind performance (Class F, Underwriters Laboratories)—the highest rating
- Better ceramic granule retention
- Flexibility for freeze & thaw cycles and easier to work with in cold weather installations and
- Greater overall durability
- A limited lifetime warranty, with non-prorated warranty coverage for the first 10 years
· StainGuard® protection to deter algae growth
And there’s potential insurance savings! Homes with shingles that pass the Class 4 Impact Test may qualify for insurance discounts. So be sure to ask your insurer.
Call us. We’d be happy to come out to your home and show you how flexible this shingle really is. You can even give it a bend yourself!