A shingle roofing is described as a kind of roof covering that consists of individual overlapping elements. The elements in roof shingle are laid in courses from the edge of the roof going up, with every successive course overlapping the joints beneath it, and these elements are usually flat and rectangular in shapes. There are several different materials that made up the shingles, and these are wood, slate, flagstone, metal, plastic, and composite materials like fiber cement and asphalt shingles. Ceramic roof tiles, or simply called tiles, are the dominant materials that are used in Europe and other parts in Asia.
Because roof shingles are the most visible aspect of a building, its patterns, textures and colors are very important features that contribute to the aesthetics of the building. Generally, the materials of roof shingles, just like the other materials on vernacular buildings, are available locally. Since the material affects the pitch of the roof and its construction method, the type of shingle is being considered before construction begins. Other shingles would need solid sheeting on the roof deck, while some can be installed on lath. Beginning with a starter course and edge seams offset to avoid leakings, note that all shingle roofs are to be installed from the bottom upward. Especially in cold climates when snow, ice dams, wind and rain would occur, it would benefit shingle installations to be placed on top of an underlayment material such as asphalt felt paper to prevent leaks. Note that one feature that would influence the use of roof shingles are its fire rating, where some are rated non-combustible over the others, thus building codes do not allow the use of less class-A fire rating of shingles on some kinds of buildings. Compared to the fiberglass-based asphalt shingles, wood shingles and organic-based asphalt shingles are less commonly used due to its fire hazard possibility. The minimum recommended roof pitch of shingles is 4:12 with no underlayment material under it since shingles are not water-tight.
Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles are by far the most common roofing used for the applications in residential roofing like in the country of the United States. There are the tile strips or bitumen roof shingles, which are less commonly used in Europe, and these are relatively affordable, can be installed easily, and can last 20 to 50 years.
The protection of paper and fiberglass asphalt shingles comes from the long-chain petroleum carbons, while it is the natural oils in the cellulose structure that protects the wood shingles, and the are important characteristics to take note when choosing your roof shingles.
Other kinds of roof shingles are stone shingles, fiber cement shingles, metal shingles, plastic shingles, and cedar shingles.