Most houses with traditional, sloped roofs
use asphalt shingles. Fiberglass reinforced
shingles are the most popular choice (the
other choice is organic shingles, which consist
of an organic, cellulose-fiber base).
In addition to keeping water out of your
house, shingles should provide some degree
of fire protection. The fire resistance of
asphalt shingles is rated as Class A, B,
or C, with Class A signifying the most fire-resistant.
Generally, fiberglass shingles have Class
A fire ratings, and organic shingles have
Class C ratings.
Shingle life varies with materials,
and weather conditions. Generally,
manufacturers will claim a life
decades, but holding them to
may be difficult. Instead, look
that are certified to meet the
(there are different standards
and organic shingles). In general,
shingles, the heavier (and thus
the shingle, the more wear it
Getting a good shingled roof requires attention
to detail to ensure the shingles appear orderly.
When hiring a roofing contractor, always
check references; and don't just drive by
-- make sure your potential contractor is
taking credit for a roof he actually did.