One of our previous blogs discussed the different asphalt shingle types and the popularity of this roofing material. When thinking of a typical American home, you may even picture the familiar overlapping pattern of asphalt shingles. But how much do you know about the material that protects a majority of U.S. homes from the outside world? Here’s a bit of history behind asphalt roofing shingles.

When Were Asphalt Shingles Invented?

Asphalt shingles were actually invented right here in Michigan! Henry Reynolds, a Grand Rapids roofing contractor, is to thank for our modern-day shingles. In 1903, he started cutting asphalt saturated rolls that had stoned surfaces into individual, 8” x 16” pieces. After twelve years, this process had become automated and individual shingles were being produced by machines. Eventually, by the 1950s, standard 12” x 36” shingles were being produced in a three-tab format.

Before Asphalt

Prior to asphalt, it was common for roofs to be made of clay or wood. However, these materials have a few downsides. Clay can be quite costly and heavy on top of a home. Wood, on the other hand, has a short shelf life and can warp, decay, or mold when faced with rain or other moisture. Asphalt was the revolutionary (and cost effective) solution! Its lightweight, waterproof, sun resistant design allows it to last for around 25 years, even through severe weather.

Modern Asphalt Shingles

It’s not surprising that technology has only aided in the endurance of shingles. Asphalt remains a fan favorite for its durability and cost effectiveness. There are numerous different types of asphalt shingles alone, including the classic three-tab style. Keeping with its lightweight and element-resistant nature, some of these shingle types can be customized and even last up to 50 years! From humble Michigan beginnings to the national standard, asphalt shingles are your best bet when it comes to protecting your home. If your asphalt roof has experienced damage recently or is just due for its yearly inspection, be sure to give us a call or fill out this form. Our licensed roofing contractors can help with any of your roofing needs!