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Rockville Roofing: Article About Historical Advances In Roof Technology

Seneca Creek Home Improvement: Professional Roofers Rockville MD
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When shingles were invented in 1903, they were a revolutionary product that caught on quickly. They provided inexpensive roofing cover for homeowners and could easily be sold through mail order catalogs. The idea came from a prototype, called roll roofing, that was developed about 10 years earlier in the United States. Roll roofing is still available today, and it resembles large rolls of asphalt shingles that are cut into strips and fastened to roofs in layers. From this concept, Henry M. Reynolds created the familiar rectangular asphalt shingle that is currently used on 80 percent of the homes in the U.S. Advances in shingle technology have produced a wide variety of options, and a Rockville roofing contractor should be able to offer homeowners a selection of long lasting shingles with excellent resistance to fire, rain, ice, hail and UV light.

The first shingles were simple rectangles made from asphalt pressed onto an organic substrate, such as wood pulp, cellulose or cotton rag. Because they were made from organic materials, they didn't improve the fire safety of earlier wooden shingles, but by the 1950s, shingle makers had begun using inorganic substrates to reduce the risk of fire.

A roofing expert from Seneca Creek Home Improvement of Rockville MD would be happy to answer any question you have about siding or doors.

Another improvement made around this time was the modern tabbed style that makes shingles easier to install and prevents repeating patterns in the arrangement. However, a problem introduced during this time was the use of asbestos felt as a substrate for the outer layer of asphalt. No one knew at the time that asbestos is a natural carcinogen that can cause cancer.

The safe, durable material used today is fiberglass felt, which is made by pressing finely spun filaments of glass into a mat and gluing them together with a heat resistant adhesive. Fiberglass is much less flammable than wood, cellulose or cotton. These materials can be made safer by installing an aluminum fire barrier beneath the upper layers of shingles. Other improvements in shingle technology include the use of zinc and copper to prevent algae growth and the use of reflective granules to reduce summer rooftop temperatures.

Cool roofs have been around for thousands of years, and until recently, they had to be light colored to reflect solar radiation. Cool roof shingles are still lighter colored than ordinary asphalt shingles, but the reflective granules in the outer layer allow them to be somewhat darker than the bright white roofs that have discouraged homeowners from buying them. By reflecting rather than absorbing sunlight, shingles can stay about 50 degrees cooler in the summer, significantly reducing cooling bills.

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