Roof shingles consist of a series of individual overlapping components, that when laid together in rows (or courses) – starting at the bottom edge of a roof – form a barrier designed to repel water, snow, and ice.
Roof shingles are installed in such a fashion that each seam or joint is overlapped by a shingle further up the roof.
As water runs down the roof surface, it flows over each shingle till it reaches the eaves where it drips over the edge into your gutters (or falls straight to the ground).
The Function of Roof Shingles
Roof shingles form a waterproof barrier to protect the integrity of the entire structure of your home.
If water leaks under your shingles, you’ll eventually have rotted wood, interior ceiling leaks, mold, etc.
In addition to rainwater protection…
Roof shingles serve several other functional and aesthetic purposes.
Roof Shingles Affect Looks
The entire look or style of your home will be influenced by the type of roof shingles selected.
If you live in a neighborhood where HOA covenants or restrictions dictate what type of roof shingles are to be installed on each home, your options may be limited.
But if you have a blank slate to decide what shingles you want, you can pick the shingle type that best fits your goals and roofing budget.
Roof Shingles Affect Utilities
Different types of roof shingles also offer differing levels of energy efficiency for attic spaces and roof deck surface temperatures.
The color of your selected shingle makes a difference as does the material type. A “cool” roof may, in general, be lighter in color to help reflect heat away from the roof surface.
However, each type of roof shingle material also has different heat transfer properties that can affect how much heat is absorbed into the home.
Roof Shingles Affect Longevity
The quality and type of roofing materials used to roof your house will affect the total lifespan of your home over time.
If the roofing shingles are cheap, then other parts of your roof will suffer and deteriorate faster.