A shingle roofing is described as a kind of roof covering that consists of individual overlapping elements. The elements in roof shingle are laid in courses from the edge of the roof going up, with every successive course overlapping the joints beneath it, and these elements are usually flat and rectangular in shapes. You will find shingles in different materials, from wood, slate, flagstone, metal, plastic, and composite materials like fibre cement and asphalt shingles. Ceramic roof tiles, or simply called tiles, are the dominant materials that are used in Europe and other parts in Asia.
Because roof shingles are the most visible aspect of a building, its patterns, textures and colors are very important features that contribute to the aesthetics of the building. The materials of roof shingles are usually available in your locality, just like other building materials on vernacular buildings. Since the material affects the pitch of the roof and its construction method, the type of shingle is being considered before construction begins. While other shingles can be installed on lath, some would need sheathing that is solid on the roof deck. To avoid leaks, all shingle roofs are installed from the bottom going up, and it begins with a starter course with the edge seams offset. It is beneficial for many shingle installations to place them on top of an underlayment material like asphalt felt paper, and this method would further prevent leakages due to wind, rain, snow and ice dams. Be aware that some building codes do not allow for use on some types of buildings those roof shingles that are less than class-A fire rating, thus it is good to be aware that some roof shingles are non-combustible and have better fire rating than the others. Wood shingles and organic based asphalt shingles have become less common in use compared to fiberglass-based asphalt shingles because of the increased fire hazard. It is not a characteristic of shingles to be water-tight, thus it has a recommended roof pitch of a minimum 4:12 without additional material for underlayment.
In a country like the United States, the most common roofing by far is fiberglass-based asphalt shingles as being used for residential roofing applications. Much less common in use are the bitumen roof shingles or tile strips as called in Europe, and these shingles are less expensive, easy to install and can last 20 to 50 years.
The protection of paper and fiberglass asphalt shingles comes from the long-chain petroleum carbons, while it is the natural oils in the cellulose structure that protects the wood shingles, and the are important characteristics to take note when choosing your roof shingles.
Other kinds of roof shingles are stone shingles, fiber cement shingles, metal shingles, plastic shingles, and cedar shingles.