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Colorado Springs Roofing: Article About How Asphalt Shingles Are Rated

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Asphalt shingles have been around since the late 1800s, and they've undergone several changes throughout their history. At first, they were made from organic materials, such as cotton or wood pulp, but as these materials became more expensive or were found to pose too much of a fire hazard, they were replaced by inorganic materials, the most common substance being fiberglass matting. The way shingles are made is by coating a durable substrate with asphalt and other protective materials, such as copper, zinc, ceramic brick and special reflective granules that block solar radiation. In the past, many materials have been tried to see which worked best, including quartz, stone and ground-up oyster shells. By the 1950s, the modern version of the fiberglass asphalt shingle was in circulation, and by the 1980s, most homes had fire-resistant inorganic shingles instead of the more hazardous wood pulp variety.

A Colorado Springs roofing specialist can describe the various options available for protection from ultra-violet rays, rain and ice dams, and in general, good shingles should offer protection from all the elements. Unfortunately, it's not possible to prevent shingles from deteriorating over the span of about 20 years, and this aging of the materials is accelerated by the changes in seasonal temperatures. In climates where the weather is relatively consistent year-round, shingles tend to last longer than in places where winters are much colder than summers.

The roofers from Avalanche roofing & Exteriors of Colorado Springs can answer any questions about exterior painting or water damage restoration.

This heating and cooling of the fiberglass and asphalt causes them to become brittle and worn, and as they age, they lose their protective long-chain petroleum hydrocarbons to storm runoff, particularly around the eaves and storm drains where water flow is heaviest. These oils wash into the ground around the house, but they don't harm plants and are generally considered non-toxic to the environment.

The American Society of Testing Materials has developed a rating standard for the different types of shingles, including organic and inorganic varieties. They use technical terminology to describe shingle wind or sun resistance, such as ASTM D 225-86, and most people don't use these terms in conversation, unless they're in the roofing business. However, the most important rating is perhaps the fire rating, and fiberglass shingles are given a Class A rating in this category. In contrast, organic shingles are given a Class C rating for fire resistance. Asphalt shingles are relatively inexpensive because they use byproducts from other industries, including the petroleum industry, which is why they're installed on 80 percent of the homes in the United States.

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