The History of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

The History of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

You may have noticed that homes built before the 20th century have roofs made from a wide range of products, from wood shakes to ceramic tiles. However, if you were to travel to the past, there would be one noticeably absent roofing material. While many modern homes and commercial properties use asphalt shingles, they are a relatively recent invention. At CMR Construction & Roofing, we provide roofing installation, repair and replacement services for home and business owners across the United States of America. We take pride in helping our clients improve the quality and condition of their roofs, and we want you to enjoy the same great results as well. Are you curious how asphalt shingles became so commonly used? Here is a short summary of the history of asphalt roofing shingles.

The Introduction of Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles were first used in America at the very beginning of the 20th century. While the first asphalt roof was built in 1901, it only took a few years for others to catch on to the new trend. By the end of the 1930s, millions of shingles were being manufactured throughout the USA. In the beginning, shingles were produced using organic base materials such as cotton rags, manila, jute, wool or wood pulp. In the 1950s, people began using adhesives and the development of self-sealing shingles began. The 60s brought many advancements to the asphalt shingle industry, as companies were able to create flexible fiberglass shingles, though the quality of these early varieties was nowhere near modern standards.

Formation of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association
In 1990, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, or ARMA, began conducting research on the wind resistance of asphalt shingles, and by the late 90s had partnered with various organizations to create a classification system for roofing materials. This had a tremendous impact on the roofing industry as a whole, as new standards were created for impact resistance.

Evolution of Asphalt Shingle Varieties
Organic shingles were still frequently used through the second half of the 20th century and were made from natural components such as wood fibers, waste papers of fabrics which is then coated with asphalt and covered in durable granules. They require 40% more asphalt than fiberglass shingles, and had difficulty standing up to extreme weather. Fiberglass reinforced shingles are more fire resistant than organic felt shingles and weigh significantly less. These benefits caused the widespread replacement of organic shingles in the 1980s and 90s. Modern asphalt shingles are available in a wide array of colors and styles, but most fit into one of two categories, Architectural and 3-Tab. 3-Tab are basic, lighter weight shingles, while architectural or dimensional shingles are stronger and designed to withstand more wear and tear.

Do You Need an Asphalt Shingle Repair or Roof Upgrade? Call CMR Construction & Roofing
Are you interested in a professional asphalt roof repair or premium roof upgrade? Then call CMR Construction & Roofing today. Our experienced specialists are ready to help create a customized solution that fits your unique needs, design preferences and budget. Contact our office for more information about our wide range of commercial and residential roofing services or to schedule a time to meet with a qualified roofing technician in your area.