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How Roofing Shingles are Manufactured

Have you ever wondered — however briefly — where the word shingles originated? The original German word means something like “slate”, and roofing shingles are exactly that; overlapping slates or tiles that together secure a home from the elements and help keep heat in. Roofing shingles can be made from a surprising variety of materials, including wood, metal, and ceramic.

In the United States, however, three-tab asphalt roofing shingles are the industry standard. Modern asphalt roofing shingles are strong, durable, and fire-resistant — they’ll generally last up to three decades. Although these asphalt shingles come in a broad range of styles and colors and may have varying properties, such as different levels of fire and algae resistance, the basic manufacturing process is similar across the board.

A thin but ultra-strong fiberglass and resin mat that will help the shingles last longer and protect them from fire forms the core of the shingle. Layers of weather-resistant asphalt, mixed with mineral dust, are applied on either side using incredibly high temperatures, to create long rolls. Rock or mineral granules of almost any color are added to the top of the shingles, while sealants help to protect the roofing shingles from windy conditions, thereby prolonging their lifespans.

The roofing shingles are then ready to be cut into their intended dimensions, after which they’re ready for packing.