A Guide To Shingle Materials


Shingle materials are integral to creating a long-lasting roof. Without shingles, we would have nothing but plywood on rafters defending our homes from the elements. As a form of engineering that took thousands of years to cultivate, modern roofs offer diverse shingles made from various materials. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. Learning about them before purchasing new roof shingles for your home is a good idea.

Ask us about roofing choices and installations. We have a range of qualities and types; economical 3-tab, architectural, and laminated shingles to fit your needs and budget.

Lifespans of Different  Shingle Materials 

Other than protection, consumers’ primary focus on roof materials is its longevity. Large-sum investments, such as roof building, are meant to build structures that endure and provide value. The ancients thought of this when they created systems with shingles that still exist today, and modern homeowners should feel the same.

3-Tab Asphalt Shingles


Slate is also known as a shingle material





Wood Shakes

Energy Efficiency of Shingle Materials

All shingle materials are meant to protect your roof. Some also perform the duty of increasing energy efficiency for the rest of your home. Since shingles are regularly exposed to UV rays, their ability to absorb or reflect UV light considerably reflects the price on your utility bill. This ability has a scientific term called ‘albedo,’ defined by an object’s ability to reflect or absorb light. 

Generally, materials with lighter colours, like white, are the most reflective. When exposed to direct sunlight, these materials have a high albedo and retain a cold surface. On the contrary, dark surfaces that are black absorb UV energy and become two times as hot. 


In most circumstances, roofs with higher albedo are preferred since they prevent heat from staying in your attic.

Extra warmth and humidity added to a home can increase air conditioner use and even accelerate mould growth problems. In cases where the surrounding environment is cold and dark, black roofs are a bonus. This is because the low-albedo roofs will absorb heat and provide extra comfort in a cold environment. 


The following shingle materials are considered to be the most energy-efficient:

Asphalt shingles are placed last because they are typically darker in colour despite their ability to reflect some UV light with their embedded granules. Thus, asphalt shingles will always be more challenging to compete in albedo. 

How Ventilation Affects Energy Efficiency

Going hand-in-hand with albedo is ventilation, another intelligent technology used to facilitate airflow and prevent hot air build-up. A roof and a house with no ventilation are just a box. Continual exposure to heat will cause the top to heat up, transferring heat inward. The trapped hot air dwelling in attic spaces will magnify the house’s temperature with nowhere to escape. This is not good. 

The addition of roof vents allows all that trapped air to be pushed out. Consequently, flowing air removes built-up heat, meaning less need to run the air conditioner. Just like water, stagnant air is destructive. 


There are different types of roof vents. All are used with all shingle materials, each varying in size and installation method. 

Static Vents

Gable Vents

Ridge Vents

Turbine Vents

Shingle Damage



The following are weather-related damages that can be inflicted upon a roof.

High-winds and Debris

An enemy to all shingles alike is high-speed winds. Regardless of how well nailed down or heavy a shingle may be, high-speed winds can find a way to cause some damage. Most asphalt shingles can withstand wind speeds of 90km/hr. However, it is noted that losses will appear at only 50km/hr. Since wind operates like a fluid, it can slide under tiles and slowly rip them away. Additionally, high-speed winds often hurl debris, which can crack shingles. Asphalt shingles, in particular, use sealants to prevent his; however, the bond strength does fade over time. 

Water Damage




Mould, Algae and Fungus Growth



Roof Insurance


Forest City Roofing provides financing so you can fix your roof now and pay later.

October 17, 2020

Request A Free Roofing Quote

Simply call our office or fill out this form to request a free on-site visit from one of our professional consultants.

Mon - Fri: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Sat: By appointment only

Sun: Closed

Request A Free Estimate

    Do you own the building at this address?

    What is this quote for?

    When do you need your roof?