Roof shingle

Roof shingles are a roof covering consisting of individual overlapping elements. These elements are typically flat, rectangular shapes laid in courses from the bottom edge of the roof up, with each successive course overlapping the joints below. Shingles are made of various materials such as wood, slate, flagstone, metal, plastic, and composite materials such as fibre cement and asphalt shingles. Ceramic roof tiles, which still dominate in Europe and some parts of Asia, are still usually called tiles. Roof shingles may deteriorate faster and need to repel more water than wall shingles. They are a very common roofing material in the United States.

A shingle roof in Zakopane, Poland. With an area of 6000 m² it was one of the largest wooden shingle roofs in Europe.


Shingle is a corruption of German schindle (schindel) meaning a roofing slate.[1] Shingles historically were called tiles and shingle was a term applied to wood shingles,[1] as is still mostly the case outside the US.

Shingles are laid in courses usually with each shingle offset from its neighbors. The first course is the starter course and the last being a ridge course or ridge slates for a slate roof. The ridge is often covered with a ridge cap, board, piece, or roll[2] sometimes with a special ridge vent material.


Roof shingles are almost always highly visible and so are an important aspect of a building's aesthetics in patterns, textures and colors. Roof shingles, like other building materials on vernacular buildings, are typically of a material locally available. The type of shingle is taken into account before construction because the material affects the roof pitch and construction method: Some shingles can be installed on lath where others need solid sheathing (sheeting) on the roof deck. All shingle roofs are installed from the bottom upward beginning with a starter course and the edge seams offset to avoid leaks. Many shingle installations benefit from being placed on top of an underlayment material such as asphalt felt paper to prevent leaks even from wind driven rain and snow and ice dams in cold climates. At the ridge the shingles on one side of the roof simply extend past the ridge or there is a ridge cap consisting of boards, copper, or lead sheeting. An asphalt shingle roof has flexible asphalt shingles as the ridge cap. Some roof shingles are non-combustible or have a better fire rating than others which influence their use, some building codes do not allow the use of shingles with less than a class-A fire rating to be used on some types of buildings. Due to increased fire hazard, wood shingles and organic-based asphalt shingles have become less common than fiberglass-based asphalt shingles. No shingles are water-tight so the minimum recommended roof pitch is 4:12 without additional underlayment materials.[3]

Roof shingles of Fitzroya came to be used as money and called "Real de Alerce".

Asphalt shingles

Left: Example of faster asphalt shingle wear along eaves due to channeled water running down the roof. Right: Severe shrinkage resulting in tearing away of entire tabs. Note the exposed nail heads. Water running down the roof can seep around the nails into the interior space.

Faster wear of asphalt shingles along eaves
Failure of asphalt shingles allowing roof leakage

In the United States, fiberglass-based asphalt shingles are by far the most common roofing material used for residential roofing applications. In Europe they are called bitumen roof shingles or tile strips, and are much less common.[4] They are easy to install, relatively affordable, last 20 to 60 years and are recyclable in some areas. Asphalt shingles come in a large number of styles and colors.

The protective nature of paper and fiberglass asphalt shingles primarily comes from the long-chain petroleum hydrocarbons, while wood shingles are protected by natural oils in the cellulose structure. Over time in the hot sun, these oils soften and when rain falls the oils are gradually washed out of the shingles. During rain, more water is channeled along eaves and complex rooflines, and these are subsequently more prone to erosion than other areas.

Eventually the loss of the oils causes asphalt shingle fibers to shrink and wood shingles to rot, exposing the nail heads under the shingles. Once the nail heads are exposed, water running down the roof can seep into the building around the nail shank, resulting in rotting of underlying roof building materials and causing moisture damage to ceilings and paint inside.

Wood shingles

Heinolan pitäjänkirkko 04 paanukatto
Heinola Rural Parish church, in Heinola, Finland. It was completed in 1755 and built most likely by August Sorsa. Close-up of the wooden shingle roof. The patterning is said to originate from Islamic architecture.

Two basic types of wood shingles are called shingles and shakes. Wood shakes are typically longer and thicker than wood shingles. The main difference is in how they are made, with shingles always being sawn and shakes normally being split, at least on one side.[5] Untreated wood shingles and shakes have long been known as a fire hazard and have been banned in various places, particularly in urban areas where exterior, combustible building materials contribute to devastating fires known as conflagrations. Modern pressure-impregnated fire retardant treated wood shakes and shingles can achieve a Class B fire rating, and can achieve a Class A rating when used in conjunction with specially designed roof assemblies.[6]

The use of wooden roof shingles has existed in parts of the world with a long tradition of wooden buildings, especially Scandinavia, and Central and Eastern Europe. Nearly all the houses and buildings in colonial Chiloé were built with wood, and roof shingles were extensively employed in Chilota architecture.

Stone shingles

Slate shingles are also called slate tiles, the usual name outside the US. Slate roof shingles are relatively expensive to install but can last 80 to 400 years depending on the quality of the slate used, and how well they are maintained. The material itself deteriorates only slowly, and may be recycled from one building to another.

The primary means of failure in a slate roof is when individual slates lose their peg attachment and begin to slide out of place. This can open up small gaps above each slate. A secondary mode of failure is when the slates themselves begin to break up. The lower parts of a slate may break loose, giving a gap below a slate. Commonly the small and stressed area above the nail hole may fail, allowing the slate to slip as before. In the worst cases, a slate may simply break in half and be lost altogether. A common repair to slate roofs is to apply 'torching', a mortar fillet underneath the slates, attaching them to the battens.[1][3] This may applied as either a repair, to hold slipping slates, or pre-emptively on construction.

Where slates are particularly heavy, the roof may begin to split apart along the roof line. This usually follows rot developing and weakening the internal timbers, often as a result of poor ventilation within the roofspace. An important aspect to slate roofs is the use of a metal flashing which will last as long as the slates. Slate shingles may be cut in a variety of decorative patterns and are available in several colors.

Flagstone shingles are a traditional roofing material. Some stone shingles are fastened in place but some simply are held by gravity so the roof pitch cannot be too steep or the stones will slide off the roof. Sandstone has also been used to make shingles.

Gallery of stone shingles

Meerbusch - Lank - Hauptstr 19, Van-Haags-Hof - Detail Dach (3)

Slate roofers guild emblem as an ornament made with slate roof shingles, Meerbusch, Germany. Note the hip shingles act as a ridge cap.

Kastanitsa roof

A typical flagstone roof in Kastanitsa, Greece.


A dry laid stone roof in Switzerland

Fibre cement shingles

Fibre (fiber) cement shingles are often known by their manufacturer's name such as eternit or transite. Sometimes the fiber in the cement material was asbestos which has been banned for health reasons since the 1980s. Removal of asbestos shingles requires extra precautions and disposal methods.

Metal shingles

Metal shingles are extremely fire resistant, so are used in fire prone areas.

Exterieur ZINKEN LEIEN OP KERKDAK - Tzum - 20307447 - RCE
Metal shingles on St, Johns Church, Tzum, Netherlands 20307447 - RCE

Plastic shingles

Plastic has been used to produce imitation slate shingles. These are lightweight and durable, but combustible. Also, they are very lightweight and are one of the cheapest shingles to have installed.

Cedar shingles

Cedar shingles are resistant to rot and commonly available in 18” and 24” lengths. These fade gradually from natural wood colored to a silver-like tone. Types include hand-split resawn shakes, tapersplit shakes or tapersawn shakes.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Shingle" def. 1. Whitney, William Dwight, and Benjamin E. Smith. The Century dictionary and cyclopedia. vol 7. New York: Century Co., 1901. 5574. Print. Accessed 1/11/2014
  2. ^ Passmore, Augustine C.. Handbook of technical terms used in architecture and building and their allied trades and subjects,. London: Scott, Greenwood, and Co.;, 1904. Print.
  3. ^ Kang, Kaffee, and Rob Thallon. Graphic guide to frame construction. Student ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1998. 177. Print.
  4. ^ "The Bitumen Roofing Industry – A Global Perspective: Production, Use, Properties, Specifications and Occupational Exposure" (PDF). March 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Installation, Care, and Maintenance of Wood Shake and Shingle Roofs" (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture.
  6. ^ "Mastering Roof Inspections: Wood Shakes and Shingles, Part 1 - InterNACHI". Retrieved 2018-06-14.
Asphalt shingle

An asphalt shingle is a type of wall or roof shingle that uses asphalt for waterproofing. It is one of the most widely used roofing covers in North America because it has a relatively inexpensive up-front cost and is fairly simple to install.

Brown Chapel United Methodist Church

Brown Chapel United Methodist Church, is a historic African American Church located at 13893 Dayton Meadows Ct in Dayton, Maryland.

The building was constructed in 1875.

Daisy United Methodist Church

Daisy United Methodist Church, is a historic African American Church located at 2685 Daisy Road in Woodbine, Maryland. The building was constructed in 1890.

First Baptist Church of Elkridge

First Baptist Church of Elkridge, is a historic African American Church located at 5795 Paradise Ave in Elkridge, Maryland.

The building was constructed in 1877.


Flagstone (flag) is a generic flat stone, cutting regular rectangular or square in shape and usually used for paving slabs or walkways, patios, flooring, fences and roofing. It may be used for memorials, headstones, facades and other construction. The name derives from Middle English flagge meaning turf, perhaps from Old Norse flaga meaning slab or chip.

Flagstone is a sedimentary rock that is split into layers along bedding planes. Flagstone is usually a form of a sandstone composed of feldspar and quartz and is arenaceous in grain size (0.16 mm – 2 mm in diameter). The material that binds flagstone is usually composed of silica, calcite, or iron oxide. The rock color usually comes from these cementing materials. Typical flagstone colors are red, blue, and buff, though exotic colors exist.

Flagstone is quarried in places with bedded sedimentary rocks with fissile bedding planes.

Around the thirteenth century, the ceilings, walls and floors in European architecture became more ornate. Anglo-Saxons in particular used flagstones as flooring materials in the interior rooms of castles and other structures.Lindisfarne Castle in England and Muchalls Castle (14th century) in Scotland are among many examples of buildings with surviving flagstone floors.

Flagstone shingles are a traditional roofing material, a type of roof shingle commonly used in the Alps, where they are laid dry, often held in place with pegs or hooks. In the Aosta Valley, Italy, stone shingles are mandatory to cover buildings in historical areas.

Hopkins United Methodist Church

Hopkins United Methodist Church, is a historic African American Church located at 13250 Highland Rd in Highland, Maryland.

The building was constructed in 1882. Operated as the Hopkins Chapel Colored School by order of the Howard County Public School board on December 5, 1883.

Källa Old Church

Källa Old Church (Swedish: Källa gamla kyrka, also Källa ödekyrka) is a former church on the Swedish island Öland, in the Baltic Sea. It was abandoned by its congregation during the 19th century but is still used occasionally during summer.

Locust United Methodist Church

The Locust United Methodist Church is a historic African-American church in Columbia, Maryland. (Once Simpsonville, Atholton and Freetown)

The building was constructed in a predominantly African-American community known as Freetown.

Mount Gregory United Methodist Church

Mount Gregory United Methodist Church is a historically black United Methodist Church located at 2325 Roxbury Mills Road in Cooksville, Maryland. The building was constructed in 1898.

Mount Zion United Methodist Church (Ellicott City, Maryland)

Mount Zion United Methodist Church, is a historic African American Church located at 8537 Main Street in Ellicott City, Maryland.

The building was constructed in 1874.

Port Lands

The Port Lands (also known as Portlands) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada are an industrial and recreational neighbourhood located about 5 kilometres south-east of downtown, located on the former Don River delta and most of Ashbridge's Bay.

Approximate geographical borders are the Gardiner Expressway/Don Valley Parkway ramps to the north and west, Lake Shore Boulevard to the north, Lake Ontario on the three remaining sides: the Inner Harbour to the west, Ashbridges Bay to the east and the open waters of Lake Ontario to the south. Landmarks include the Portlands Energy Centre, Cherry Beach, Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the now out of service Hearn Generating Station.


Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. It is the finest grained foliated metamorphic rock. Foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering, but instead is in planes perpendicular to the direction of metamorphic compression.The foliation in slate is called "slaty cleavage". It is caused by strong compression causing fine grained clay flakes to regrow in planes perpendicular to the compression. When expertly "cut" by striking parallel to the foliation, with a specialized tool in the quarry, many slates will display a property called fissility, forming smooth flat sheets of stone which have long been used for roofing, floor tiles, and other purposes. Slate is frequently grey in color, especially when seen, en masse, covering roofs. However, slate occurs in a variety of colors even from a single locality; for example, slate from North Wales can be found in many shades of grey, from pale to dark, and may also be purple, green or cyan. Slate is not to be confused with shale, from which it may be formed, or schist.

The word "slate" is also used for certain types of object made from slate rock. It may mean a single roofing tile made of slate, or a writing slate. They were traditionally a small, smooth piece of the rock, often framed in wood, used with chalk as a notepad or noticeboard, and especially for recording charges in pubs and inns. The phrases "clean slate" and "blank slate" come from this usage.

Slovak language

Slovak ( (listen)) or less frequently Slovakian is a West Slavic language (together with Czech, Polish, and Sorbian). It is called slovenský jazyk (pronounced [ˈslɔʋɛnskiː ˈjazik] (listen)) or slovenčina ([ˈslɔʋɛntʃina]) in the language itself.

Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by approximately 5.51 million people (2014). Slovak speakers are also found in the United States, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Serbia, Ireland, Romania, Poland, Canada, Hungary, Germany, Croatia, Israel, the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Ukraine, Norway and many other countries worldwide.

Slovak should not be confused with Slovene, or Slovenian (slovenski jezik or slovenščina), the main language of Slovenia.

Solar power in Michigan

Solar power in Michigan has been growing in recent years due to new technological improvements and a variety of regulatory actions and financial incentives, particularly a 30% federal tax credit, available for any size project. Although among the lowest U.S. states for solar irradiance, Michigan mostly lies farther south than Germany where solar power is heavily deployed. Michigan is expected to use 120 TWh per year in 2030. To reach a 100% solar electrical grid would require 2.4% of Michigan's land area to host 108 GW of installed capacity.Michigan had over 113 MW of solar capacity in 2017. According to the Michigan Public Service Commission, the state had an estimated 27 MW of solar capacity as of the end of 2014, counting utility and distributed generation.

Solar shingle

Solar shingles, also called photovoltaic shingles, are solar panels designed to look like and function as conventional roofing materials, such as asphalt shingle or slate, while also producing electricity. Solar shingles are a type of solar energy solution known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

There are several varieties of solar shingles, including shingle-sized solid panels that take the place of a number of conventional shingles in a strip, semi-rigid designs containing several silicon solar cells that are sized more like conventional shingles, and newer systems using various thin-film solar cell technologies that match conventional shingles both in size and flexibility. There are also products using a more traditional number of silicon solar cells per panel reaching as much as 100 watts DC rating per shingle.Solar shingles are manufactured by several companies but the three main manufacturers of solar roof shingles are RGS Energy, SolarCity, and CertainTeed. Other active companies in the US include SunTegra Solar Roof Systems, and Atlantis Energy Systems (asphalt and slate systems).

St. Stephens African Methodist Episcopal Church

St. Stephens African Methodist Episcopal Church, is a historic African American Church located at 7741 Mayfield Ave, Elkridge, Maryland.

The building was constructed in 1874.

Tobelo people

Tobelo people is one of the northern Halmahera peoples living in eastern Indonesia, in the northern part of the Maluku Islands and in the eastern side of North Halmahera Regency.

West Liberty United Methodist Church

West Liberty United Methodist Church, is a historically black United Methodist Church located on Sand Hill road in Marriottsville, Maryland.

The building was constructed in 1890.

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