Shingle Roofs

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What is a Shingle Roof?

A Shingle roof is a roof that is covered with a type of material called shingles. One of the elements or factors that organizes this type of roof into its own category is the shape and functionality of the shingles themselves. Shingles are generally flat and rectangular and they are applied from the base or bottom of the roof upwards. As they are applied the previous sheet or section of shingles is overlapped. This process of overlapping continues until the entire roof has successfully been covered from base to top.

Benefits of Shingle Roofs

Having a shingle roof can have many great benefits. Some of these benefits manifest themselves right away, and others become more evident as time passes. Here is a list of the greatest benefits of having a shingle roof.

Cost Efficient

The cost efficiency is one of the many benefits of having a shingle roof. Asphalt shingles are manufactured and purchased in bulk. Because of this, these shingles come cheaper than other roofing materials.


Shingle installation takes much less expertise than installation of other materials, so that makes them more cost efficient as well. Shingles have been named as the easiest material to install for roofs, so labor of installation does not cost as much as it would for other roofing materials.


Asphalt shingles are some of the lighter roofing materials as compared to slate, tile, and some metal. The structure of your home will determine how heavy your roofing material can be, homes can handle asphalt shingles well because they don’t impose much weight on the structure of the home.

Look, Color and Texture

Shingles can come in almost any different color! This makes choosing a color for your home easy, because the colors are versatile and work well with any home. Asphalt shingles also come in a variety of different textures/styles or designs. These different textures allow them to look like different materials such as shake, slate, or tile. It can be fun choosing your shingle design because there are so many to choose from!


Asphalt shingle roofs last a long time. Most shingle roofs can have a lifespan anywhere between ten and thirty years! These roofs are easy to repair if there is ever a leak. The durability of shingle roofs make them a great choice for any new roof.

History of Shingle Roofs

The asphalt shingles that cover most homes in the United States spawned from the wooden shingle. The wood shingle or shake has been used for thousands of years throughout the world. The process of manufacturing the wood shingle traditionally was done by hand. Not until the 19th century was the process dramatically improved with the invention and use of steam-powered saw mills. Although this new advancement moved the shingle forward in being a preferred roofing material, it still wasn’t quite like the asphalt shingles we have today.

We first started to see signs of homes being covered with a type of composite roofing material in the 1840s in the New England area. These first roofs were covered with a fabric or felt type material that was later coated in a tar sand mixture. Within no time this new way of roofing began to evolve. The next step was to apply an asphalt saturated fabric or material to the roof and then apply a granulated material on top of it.

The Asphalt Shingle Takes Shape

It wasn’t until 1903 that the composite tarp like roofing product began to shrink in size. The credited father of taking the large roll roofing and cutting it into individual shingles has been given to Henry Reynolds. Henry was a professional in the industry and innovator of his day. This idea of individually cutting shingles was later pushed forward with the help of many others. One such group was the NBFU (National Board of Fire Underwriters). This board pushed to get rid of the fire hazardous wood/shake shingles. With this push to promote asphalt shingles and other factors caused by World War I and increased manufacturing capabilities the asphalt shingle began to emerge as a leading player in residential roofing materials.

The Shingle Took On Many Different Sizes, Shapes, and Designs

From 1915 to about 1930 the shingle was really in the experimental age. The original size that the first shingles were cut into went from a 8″ x 16″ to a 8″ x 12″ 1/2″ shingle. Along with the shingle size changing, so did the colors and shapes. In the beginning the most common colors for the surface material on the shingles were green and black.

The next big change in shingles was the introduction of tabs. This innovation turned the asphalt shingle into a dimensional look, much like the wood shingles that had been used for so long but the shingle didn’t stop there. By the 20s shingles really began to change shape. Many different shapes and styles were tried. Some of these were diamonds, squares, rectangles, shingles that seemed to be thatched, and so forth. It wasn’t until 1930 that the shingle began to slow down due to the Great Depression. After the Great Depression and Word War II the shingle began to evolve yet again.

The Shingles We Have Today

Comparing the asphalt shingles we have today vs those of the past reveals some major differences. Below is a basic table or list comparing our modern day asphalt shingles to their ancestors.

The Shingle of the Past The Modern Day Asphalt Shingle
Fabric Mats Fibrous Glass Mats
Roll Roofing Individually Cut Shingles
Black and Green Colors Wide Array of Color Selection
No Tabbed Shingles Tabbed Shingles & Architectural Shingles

List of Shingle Manufacturers



Bio: Atlas Roofing Corporation started out manufacturing roofing products in 1982 in Meridian, MS. In the beginning Atlas simply manufactured asphalt shingles and roll roofing products. Now, over 30 years later Atlas has multiple manufacturing facilities inside and outside of the United States and are one of the leading manufacturers of both residential and commercial roofing products.

Headquarters: 802 Highway 19 North Meridian, MS 39307

Contact Information: Toll Free: (800) 388-6134

Logo: atlas-logo


Bio: CertainTeed started out in the year 1904. The company was originally named The General Roofing Manufacturing Company. It was started by George Brown in St. Louis, Illinois. Now the company’s name is CertainTeed and is a sumsidiary of Saint-Gobain. CertainTeed currently employs thousands of people and has facilities scattered through the U.S. and Canada.

Headquarters: 750 East Swedesford Road Valley Forge, PA 19482

Contact Information: Phone: (610) 341-7000

Logo: atlas-logo


Bio: The company was officially founded in 1886 as The Standard Paint Company. Based on The Standard Paint Company’s success in the asphalt shingle industry it changed its name to Ruberoid Company in 1921. This name however didn’t stick because the company merged with GAF and took on its new name. GAF continues to immerge as a leader in the roofing manufacturing industry. “GAF has become North America’s largest manufacturer of commercial and residential roofing.”

Headquarters: 1361 Alps Road Wayne, New Jersey 07470

Contact Information: 1-973-628-3000

Logo: GAF_Logo_jpg


Bio: IKO is a leading manufacturer of roofing materials throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. With his experience in his father’s roofing manufacturing business in Poland, Mr. Koschitzky set out on his own after World War 2 to start IKO in Calgary, Alberta in 1951. Since its creation, IKO has remained a family owned business. IKO currently manufacturers shingles, commercial roofing materials, and many other roofing/construction products.

Headquarters: IKO Calgary 1600-42nd Ave. S.E. Calgary Alberta T2G 5B5, Canada

Contact Information: 403-265-6022

Logo: iko-logo


Bio: In 1956 Malarkey was founded by Herbert Malarkey. Soon after starting his business Malarkey began manufacturing shingles. Ever since then Malarkey has continued to be innovative. As of, July 2013, Malarkey is still a family owned business with locations in the United States.

Headquarters: P.O. Box 17217 Portland, OR 97217

Contact Information: (503) 283-1191

Logo: Malarkey-roofing-logo

Owens Corning

Bio: Owens Corning is a building materials manufacturer. They have successfully managed to maintain their fortune 500 status for 59 years (As of 2013). The company was founded in the 1930s and today is a common name among contractors and builders.

Headquarters: 1 Owens Corning Pkwy Toledo, OH 43659

Contact Information: 1-800-438-7465

Logo: owens-corning-logo


Bio: PABCO is a building products manufacturer. One of the main products that this company produces is asphalt shingles. In fact, PABCO began manufacturing asphalt shingles in 1984. PABCO continues to manufacturer shingle roofing products for homes throughout the United States.

Headquarters: 1718 Thorne Road Tacoma, WA 98421-3207

Contact Information: 1-800-426-9762

Logo: PABCO-logo

Sherriff-Goslin Co.

Bio: The Sherrif-Goslin Company has been in the United States for more than 100 years. The company started in 1906 by a Mr. W.E. Polhemus. The company proved to be innovative with their diamond shaped asphalt shingles for residential homes. This new innovation helped the company succeed into becoming a prominent roofing company. Today the company continues to both manufacturer asphalt shingles and install them through their professional Sherriff-Goslin contractors.

Headquarters: 10 Avenue C Battle Creek, MI 49037

Contact Information: 269-962-4036

Logo: Sherriff-Goslin-Logo


Bio: TAMKO building products has been around since 1944. Its founder, E.L. Craig, started the company as a 69 year old man. His company would later be continued on by his wife, daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. The TAMKO name is a well known roofing and building products manufacturing name in the United States.

Headquarters: 220 West 4th Street P.O. Box 1404 Joplin, MO 64802

Contact Information: 1-800-641-4691

Logo: TAMKO-logo

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