In order to understand how asphalt shingles work, we must first understand where they came from.
Slate shingles were the norm for centuries. In fact, slate IS the perfect shingle. However, slate shingles have certain problems; expense and weight, and rusting nails over time, being the three most prevalent problems.
In the late 1800’s, an industrious inventor experimented by soaking felt paper with tar and sprinkling crushed slate particles on top. The asphalt shingle was born.
Lighter, cheaper, and quicker to install, this was something unique. They worked, albeit with a 70-80 percent shortened life expectancy.
Weather proved to be the enemy once more. The tar dried and cracked with expansion and contraction. The crushed slate particles would become dislodged with the expansion and contraction and the roof began to leak.
While the first versions of asphalt shingles may have failed, they peaked the interest of roofing professionals around the world, and a number of companies picked up on the design. Over time the technology improved. And today asphalt shingles are a cost effective means of protecting your roof!