Roofing shingles or more commonly known as asphalt shingles, are still the top option for homeowners in the US and other countries. Aside from being the most affordable roofing material on the market, it is also easy to install and maintain. Amidst its low price, you could still enjoy a durable roof for up to 30 years. So how is this roofing material made? Below, we discuss the process of making roofing shingles.
The foundation material of shingles could either be fiberglass or organic felt. An organic felt is made of recycled wood and waste paper. The base material is placed in a machine where it is made into a large roll of organic felt or fiberglass mat.
The organic felt or fiberglass mat is then mounted into the roofing machine. The mat first enters a dry looper. Then, it goes through a pre-saturation chamber. In this chamber, one side of the mat is sprayed with hot asphalt. This process eliminates any moisture that is present. It then enters a saturator tank filled with hot asphalt. Soaking in hot asphalt covers all parts of the mat, which makes it impermeable.
Continuing The Explanation of Making Roof Shingles
Next, it goes into a thicker asphalt coating made of powdered limestone. This coating is applied both on top and at the bottom of the mat. It creates an excellent barrier to various harsh weather. And while the coating is wet, a machine sprays colored ceramic granules to add color to the shingle. Aside from adding color, it makes the shingles resistant to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. In this process, there are granules that do not stick to the surface of the mat. These granules go back into the machine for reuse.
The next process involves adding a protective strip at the back of the surface so that the shingles won’t stick to each other when packaged. Then this back portion is showered with powdered stone to prevent shingles from sticking to each other.
At this point, the coating of the shingles is still very hot. The following process involves cooling it off. In the cooling section, a cooling roller and water jet are used to bring down the temperature. Then, it goes to a machine where strips of adhesive asphalt are applied. These strips are activated when hit by the sun, which keeps the shingles stuck to each other.
The last process will be cutting the shingles into various sizes. The machine in the cutting section has a counter which keeps track of the production of the various sizes of shingles. It also stacks the shingles ready for packaging. Each bundle of shingles is wrapped with paper treated with polyethylene to prevent water penetration. Then it is packed with plastic that is water and UV-resistant.
With modern technology and machinery, there is less human intervention in making shingles. Each process above involves careful inspection to ensure it passes quality control standards. And the finished shingles are inspected to ensure that it is of good quality and have the proper weight, size, and exact color that they should be.