How Asphalt Shingles Have Evolved Over The Years

September 30, 2021

How Asphalt Shingles Have Evolved Over The Years

The beautiful architectural structures with varying colors and designs of shingles that you see nowadays were not always like this. Asphalt shingles used on houses and other structures have undergone years of evolution.

The first Asphalt roofing structure was introduced in Canada by GAF roofing in the 1840s. Back then, coal tar was used to saturate layers of felt to produce a rolled sheet. To protect the surface of the sheet, it was coated with sand and ground shells. At the time, no one expected the rolled sheets to transform into one of the most used products for roofing.

To learn more about how our modern-day asphalt shingles came to be and evolved over time, keep reading.

Ready To Lay Asphalt Roofing

Until 1892, asphalt roofing structures were manufactured by saturating felt in coal tar and covering it with sand or shells to ensure waterproofing. In 1892, the first ready-to-lay asphalt roofing was developed. This changed the way roof manufacturers operated. The new product was very much similar to rubber. Hence, all the manufacturers had to do was place the rolls on the roof and set them in place.

Colored Granules

In 1904 colored granule coating for asphalt rolls was introduced. The Standard Paint Company (now known as GAF) had perfected the method of adding colored granules to their ready-to-lay asphalt rolls. This revamped the aesthetics of structures in Canada. Instead of boring black asphalt rolls, manufacturers were using all sorts of colors to improve the way a structure’s roof looked. This method of coloring asphalts is still used today.

Individually Cut Shingles

In 1912, the first individual-cut asphalt shingles were introduced to the market. They were made using rag felt dipped in an asphalt solution. The process was not automated though and the rags were hand-cut and hand-dipped in asphalt. This made the cut shingles much more expensive than asphalt rolls.

Change of Shape

In the 1920s, the durability of hand-cut shingles was improved by introducing a diamond cut shape to increase resistance to wind uplift. These shingles were dipped in pliant asphalt derived from petroleum.

Interlocking Asphalt Shingles

Almost after two decades of introducing cut shingles, shingle manufacturers introduced interlocking shingles as attractive yet inexpensive alternatives to the more expensive roofing options. Moreover, the shingles provided a better wind resistance due to the locking configuration.

Cellulosic Felt

In the 1960s, the rag felt was replaced by cellulosic felt. This exploded the available color selection. In addition to this, GAF engineer Phil Bottoli laminated two strip shingles together to create a shingle of extraordinary strength and aesthetic.

This eliminated the need to manually add adhesive to the shingle at the time of application on the roof. This improves installation time, and the size of shingles was increased./

By the ’80s, the asphalt shingle had become the dominant roofing material in Canada and across North America for residential steep slope roofing.

Modern-day Shingles

Although shingles keep evolving, their structure has remained the same for the last three decades. Manufacturing technology, raw material upgrades, and design innovations have resulted in the production of shingles that provide a more distinctive aesthetic to rooflines.

GAF’s Timberline Roof shingles are North America’s best-selling shingles. They combine the maintenance-free quality of asphalt shingles with the beauty and grace of wood.

Over the years, GAF has had a huge role to play in the advancement of asphalt shingles. The core material of modern asphalt shingles is a fiberglass base sheet instead of organic felt, adding to the durability of the shingles.

About AKRoN Roofing

AKRoN Roofing offers cost-effective and resilient roofing solutions in Calgary. We provide a wide range of the best roofing materials in the market and hold the highest installation standards on all our roofs. AKRoN Roofing is a proud member of the Alberta Allied Roofing Association.

We offer various products for sloped roof replacements with a Class 4 rating from UL, including SBS modified architectural shingles, Euroshield recycled rubber shingles and F-wave Synthetic shingles. Our other services include, but are not limited to, residential re-roofing with asphalt shingles, TPO membranes for flat roofing, roof repairs, and inspections of all types of roofing material by our qualified team.

AKRoN Roofing is proud of its A+ rating with BBB plus other certifications and accreditations. You can check out our accreditations and certifications here. Contact us here for more information.

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