Shingles for roofing Revived Exteriors

Shingles for roofing

Are you looking to decorate your rooftop facade, but unsure what options are out there?  Don’t worry any further as you are in the right place. Utilizing Shingles for residential roofing Arlington Heights IL is the most common roofing material choice in America.

Shingles are the outer covering for your roof to provide protection and aesthetics of your home sweet home. These are usually flat, rectangular-shaped tiles like panels that are installed horizontally from bottom to top in an overlapping fashion. There is a variety of materials available on the market that you can choose from depending on your budget, requirement and other circumstantial needs, such as climate, etc.

Varieties of Shingles for roofing

Asphalt Shingles

Utilizing asphalt shingles for roofing has been around for over a century now. Organic and fiberglass are two base materials used in making asphalt shingles. There inexpensive up-front cost and simple installation make them the most commonly used roofing option in North America.


These are made with fiberglass mat used as the base. They are very practical and popular for residential houses. They were initially introduced to replace asbestos, which is a banned material, but later on, began to replace its organic counterpart as well when it was realized they don’t last as long as intended. These shingles come in two popular styles.

  • 3-tab shingles for roofing are simply 3 separate tabs in one shingle with a small space between each tab. When these shingles for roofing are installed, the entire roof is blanketed with what appears to be tiled. 3 tab shingles are often installed wrong and relatively difficult to install since they take more time for preparation.
  • Architectural shingles for roofing are intended to look like a cedar shake roof. Many advancements have been made by manufacturers to improve these shingles. Including lifetime warranties on the material as well as offering enhanced warranties for labor, material, and workmanship. Huge nailing lines help ensure proper installation. Common bonds have better adhesion to ensure they don’t blow off while new enhancements found on the rear of the shingle include the industry’s only mechanical fastening bond. GAF recently released a video where they introduced the roofing industry’s first limitless lifetime wind warranty. Another video demonstrated that these shingles (although not recommended or considered proper install) can withstand category 3 winds with no nails. Additional videos show hot ambers being shot at their own roof to demonstrate its power to withstand fires. GAF pours thousands of gallons of water displaying its resistance to penetration of extream wet weather.   This type of shingle is the most installed shingle type in the US. There are many different palates of color designated for each region based on popularity.


These shingles use cellulose, waste paper, and wood fiber, and other variety of material as a base material. Asphalt adds the waterproof characteristic of the shingles. These shingles are known to be defective and typically demonstrate cupping or curling of the edges when exposed to the sun. Most are now discontinued due to poor performance. In fact there have been class action lawsuits for this poor performance with 


If you are looking at bold, decorative shingles for roofing on your home, then the wood shingle is one of the most economical options. Wood shingle is usually made of white oak, black locust, honey locust, redwood, and cedar. The most widely used in the Midwest happens to be cedar. There are two types of wood shingles, which are shingles and shakes. Shakes are thick rectangular wooden tiles; they are typically longer than shingles. Shingles are thinner as they are tapered on all sides. Make sure that you opt for treated wood shingles, as untreated wood can be a fire hazard, especially if you live in hot climates.

Stone Shingles

These are also more commonly known as slate tiles. They are expensive but provide a high quality aesthetic and premium looks to your roof. The high-end costs also offer a whopping 80 to 400 years of durability to your home. They are recyclable, which means you can reuse them in another building. They are highly sensitive and expensive to maintain, as they are prone to cracks and hard to install and can be easily broken during placements. They offer a good variety of decorative designs and come in attractive color options. Flagstone shingles for roofing are the most common and traditional ones seen across the country. A regular check for maintenance can help your stone shingles last a lifetime and more.

Metal Shingles

If your priority is durability, resistance to external factors such as mold, mildew, high winds, and fire hazards, then metal shingles for the roof are an ideal solution for your roofing. They are costly to install but may provide returns on investment as they are reusable, which means you can move them to a new home or roof. Plus, they rarely require any maintenance, and their resistance to other threats such as fire may help you get lower premiums on your home insurance. So if you are living in an area with high temperatures, then using metal shingles will provide you peace of mind; they are installed with an airspace between the metal and roof deck. This airspace prevents the transfer of heat absorbed by the metal to your attic.  

Synthetic Shingles

This is the most popular alternative to slate tiles shingles and cedar shake shingles. Quality synthetic shingle or shake style products utilize pure virgin resins with advanced UV blockers safeguarding your home for a longer period when installed properly.

Another fantastic benefit of newer and more advanced synthetic roofs means you don’t have to spend massive amounts every few years to maintain the quality of the roofing structure like you would with real cedar. Synthetic shingles for roofing are now proven to withstand our harsh changes in climate and are often seen on higher-end homes. Big advancements have improved fire ratings (Class A Fire) while also topping durability ratings (class 4 hail impact resistance) to withstand large hail.

As synthetic shingles are lightweight, they save you money by rectifying the need to install any additional structural support to your home for what would be a ton of extra weight. It would also save you on the costs of hiring a structural engineer to ensure your home can carry the heavyweight of slate. It is also a good preventive barrier against extreme weather, such as strong winds, larger hailstones, and rain. They are also resistant to mold, mildew, fungus, rotting, and infestations. They usually come with a 50-year warranty.

Fiber Cement Shingles

Fiber cement shingles for roofing are produced by a combination of wood fiber, cement, sand as their main components. They can be shaped and designed to produce the premium look wood or masonry. Once installed, they look like horizontal boards overlapping each other and imitate the look of wood shingles. Fiber cement shingles are popular to be durable and can last for up to 50 years. You may need maintenance every few years, like fresh paint, to rejuvenate the appearance of your façade. Their industrial name is ‘Eternit’ or ‘transite’

Ceramic Shingles for Roof

Ceramic is an ideal installation for areas with raining weather. These shingles are laid in an overlying pattern, which helps create a water channel with a very appealing aesthetic design. They are also known as roof tiles outside of the United States and are most popularly in Europe. They are highly expensive in comparison most shingles for roofing options. You will notice terracotta clay roofing commonly used historical properties and homes. They are also popular because they are energy efficient and provide a durability timeline of anything between 50 to 100 years.

Maintenance in all cases

Shingles are the best way to uplift the appearance of your home, but choosing the material is not the only thing to consider when it comes to choosing shingles for roofing. No matter which material you use, it will require a professional like Revived Exteriors to inspect and maintain the longevity of your roof. After you have installed the shingles on your roof, inspect now and then if there is any sealant required due to cracks. Inspect for rust if you have used metal as the base, or metal shingles. Clean the gutters so the water does not accumulate on your roof; this will damage your shingles as well as cause leakage through your roof. The bottom line is routine roof maintenance will be vital to ensure that your roof stays in perfect shape and appearance.

infographic in Arlington Heights, IL

1) Lack of Insulation

Snow begins to melt due to the heat escaping through the attic from a lack of insulation. This causes moisture to build up in the attic space when it heat and cold mix. The moisture is usually evident if you look at the nails. Nails will typically show water gathering on the tip and many times this drips down and although it’s not a roof leak, it may feel like it is when you see a stain on your ceiling.

2) Insulation Covering Intake Vents

It’s important to keep the heat in your home to reduce energy costs and ensure a comfortable temperature in the bitterly cold winter. However, covering the intake is a common mistake.  Energy Star agrees and states on their website the following: “The most common mistake homeowners make when installing insulation is to block the flow of air at the eaves. NEVER COVER ATTIC SOFFIT VENTS WITH INSULATION — use rafter vents and soffit vents to maintain airflow.” The goal is to have your attic space as close to the same temperature as the outdoors. The roof needs to breathe in that air from the outside. It’s the equivalent of covering your mouth and nose while trying to breathe in. Just like a lack of insulation, it may appear there is a roof leak but it is not.

3) No Baffles or a limited amount of baffles

Baffles are typically made from plastic or Styrofoam and shaped in a manner to allow air to flow over the insulation at the eaves of your home

If you have insulation pushed into the eaves and don’t have baffles, use a rake to pull it away at a minimum.

Again, a roof leak won’t be the root cause of your water-stained ceiling, but it will appear to be at first glance.

4) Lack of Exhaust Vents

Just like intake, the exhaust is equally important. Using the same analogy when breathing, you have to release the air that you breathe in. Since warmer air rises, the cold air comes in through the intake and then rises when warm which naturally forces it to leave through the exhaust vent. This reduces the likelihood of a roof leak caused by ice dams while also increasing the lifespan of your residential roofing system.

The ideal conditions for an attic space is to have a balanced airflow.  This can be done by having 50% of air coming in from the eaves through intake vents and 50% through exhaust vents. More on this topic and additional reasons for a roof leak can be found in our post “Roof Leaks With No Rain Or Snow”

5) Uninsulated Furnace Vents

This causes heat in the winter to buildup in the attic which leads to an increase in condensation. This causes ice or moisture to build up on the inside of the plywood sheathing and mimics a roof leak across the entire span of the roof. This may lead to many leaks showing up in your home.

What About Ice Dams?

Ice dams are where any of the 5 conditions listed above cause snow to melt and it ends up freezing at the end of your roof near the gutters. This builds up over time and pushes its way under the shingles. When it starts to thaw, water penetrates the inside and is, in fact, a roof leak.

What can be done to prevent an ice dam roof leak

A simple tool can be used called a telescoping roof rake. These are sold at most big box remodeling stores. They cost roughly 50-$60 and help keep you safe by doing this from the ground.

Make sure you are not standing directly under the area you are removing snow from since it can be heavy and possibly bring ice down with it.

This is a preventative measure that doesn’t correct the root of the problem. Having a roofing or insulation contractor inspect your attic space will provide you with a better understanding of the cause of your ice dam problem and ideally provide you with a solution on how to reduce the likelihood of it happening again.

Installing a leak barrier (commonly referred to as Ice and Water Barrier) like GAF’s WeatherWatch® can help prevent the water from penetrating through your plywood sheathing beneath the shingles. In Chicago and most the midwest, it’s required a minimum of 24 inches past the warm wall of your home. The easiest way to see where your leak barrier should be installed up your roof is to have one person measure 24 inches from your interior wall (at the eave side of your home) and another person to watch through a window and mark this on the exterior of your home. Another common way is to measure from the home’s exterior corner and add about 6-9 inches for your wall. Going above 24 inches is a safer bet to ensure you don’t get a roof leak.

What can be done to remedy an ice dam roof leak

There are many companies that also offer ice dam steaming. This would be a great option if preventative measures weren’t done or, there is an excessive amount of ice already built upon the eave which caused immediate leaks.

However, if you have a leak from an ice dam and you steam it, brace yourself for an excessively larger amount of water to breach at a rapid pace. Drill a small hole where you see the current leak coming through and have a large bucket ready to catch most of it. It would also be a good idea to have dry towels handy at this point.

Additional reasons why your roof may leak can be found in this video

Call Revived Exteriors today!


© Copyright | Revived Exteriors | *DISCLAIMER: Revived Exteriors, Inc. is neither a broker nor a lender. Financing is provided by third-party lenders unaffiliated with Revived Exteriors, Inc., under terms and conditions arranged directly between the customer and such lender, all subject to credit requirements and satisfactory completion of finance documents. Any finance terms advertised are estimates only. Revived Exteriors, Inc. does not assist with, counsel or negotiate financing, other than providing customers an introduction to lenders interested in financing Revived Exteriors customers.