Shingles are measured and sold in Squares. A square will cover a 10’x10’area, or 100 square feet. Shingles are packaged in Bundles. Depending on the weight of the shingle material, a Square will consist of 3, 4 or 5 bundles.
Shingle materials vary in durability. Check before you buy on the lifetime guaranteed by warranty for the shingle material you choose (typical warranties start at 20 years; the stronger products offer guarantees up to 50 years or more).
Composition – Asphalt-impregnated fiberglass or paper covered on one side with colored stone granules. The granules are designed to reflect the UV rays of the Sun to protect the composition material. This is the lightest and least expensive shingle material. Up to 90% of homes in the US have composition shingles. These come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and cuts. Three-Tab is the simplest and cheapest. Weight varies from 220 to 350 lbs. per square. Cost varies from $20 to $200 per square.
Slate – Real slate comes mostly from Vermont, and it’s very expensive (real slate weighs 500 lbs. per square and costs $500 per square). Our segment featured samples of imitation slate made of cement fiber and sand. The imitation slate weighs 350 lbs. per square and costs less than $200 a square.
Clay or Concrete Tile – The samples we featured in our segment look like what most people call Spanish Tile. The clay weighs 600 or 700 lbs. per square and costs $200 per square. The concrete weighs 900 or 1000 lbs. per square and costs $150 per square.
Flex Shake – this is a new product; the shingles are made of the steel belts of old steel-belted radial tires (the steel belts are the only part of a radial tire that cannot be ground up and re-used). They are coated with ground slate to achieve different color schemes. These rubber shingles weigh 350 lbs. per square and cost $200 per square. Check with local fire and building codes about the prospect of using a rubber roofing material in your community.
Each shingle material comes in a virtually unlimited range of colors.
Shingle Installation - Most composition shingles are 10 or 12” tall and 36” long. Shingles are nailed through felt paper onto the wood decking to form a roof system. Shingles are overlapped to provide an extra layer of protection against the elements. The composition shingles have a self-adhesive strip of tar that seals two overlapping shingles together once the sun heats the tar strip. This seal helps prevent shingles from flipping back or folding over in intense wind or weather conditions.