Roof made of bituminous shingles. Is it good?

19 of April '24

What to cover the roof of a newly built house with? Ceramic tile, sheet metal roofing, or maybe bituminous shingles? Shingle roof is as durable, looks just as good and can be considerably cheaper than a tile roof. Bituminous shingles are often advised by experienced roofers because of their light weight and universal applicability. Find out if this type of roofing will work for your project!

What is a bituminous shingle?

Bituminous shingles, also known as bituminous roof tile or roofing felt shingles, are a durable and lightweight material used for roofing. It is made from fiberglass, industrial asphalts, mineral sprinkles, as well as a number of additives that modify its properties.

Bituminous shingles have a form of flexible sheets. They are protected from underneath by a layer of thermoactive adhesive and a film. In the production process, the bitumen mass is subjected to pressing and forming with heat, as well as extrusion. These procedures have a positive effect on the durability of the shingles, their insulating properties and their final appearance. The colors of the shingles are created by various types of mineral sprinkles.

Gonty to trwałe i efektowne materiały dachowe. Ich kolor i forma może imitować dachówkę ceramiczną lub drewno

Shingles are durable and impressive roofing materials. Their color and form can imitate ceramic tiles or wood

Photo: Mehmet Yasin Kabakli © Pexels

How many years will a bituminous shingle roof last?

A roof is an investment for years, so the durability of its covering is crucial and there is no room for compromise. It is estimated that under a bituminous shingle roof you can sleep comfortably for at least 30-40 years. Some bituminous shingle manufacturers provide even a lifetime warranty on their products!

Of course, a prerequisite for the good condition of a roof covered with bituminous shingles is the high quality of the materials and proper installation. It is also important to regularly clean the roof coating with products that eliminate moss and lichen spores. A bituminous shingle roof, like any other, will require regular inspection and ongoing repair of damage caused by weather and time.

Pod dachem z gontu bitumicznego można spać spokojnie nawet przez 30-40 lat. Warunkiem jest wysoka jakość i prawidłowy montaż

If you use high quailty materials and instal them properly, you can sleep comfortably under a bituminous shingle roof for up to 30-40 years

Photo: Nikolaeva Nastia © Pexels

How to prepare the roof for shingle installation?

Installation of bituminous shingles should be preceded by meticulous preparation of the roof. The bituminous material has a form of rather thin sheets, so it is important that the roof surface is as rigid, clean and smooth as possible. How to do it?

  • It is worth starting with an assessment of the condition of the roof and repair of all damage,
  • leaves, branches, sand, etc. should be removed from the roof, so that its surface is clean and smooth,
  • before lying bituminous shingles, install all necessary roof accessories — ventilation, gutters and others,
  • it is necessary to use a special primer under the bituminous shingles, which will increase the waterproofing and durability of the roof, you can use an insulating felt, special films under the shingles or roofing membranes.

In each case, the roof preparation process will be slightly different, but the main goal is always to level the roof surface and provide effective insulation.

Is installation of bituminous shingles really that simple?

Shingle roofing felt is considered an easy material to install. However, is it really so? Roofing with bituminous shingles is a relatively efficient process, but one that requires a great deal of accuracy and precision.

Here are installation instructions outlined in a few key steps:

  • proper installation of bituminous shingles begins with gluing the sheets to the roof surface,
  • some manufacturers cover the underside of the shingles with thermal adhesive, in other cases you should use a special adhesive or cement for bituminous materials,
  • the air temperature during installation should be higher than 5⁰C — this allows the adhesive to work optimally,
  • the next step is to fix the shingles in properly marked places with galvanized roofing nails,
  • installation of bituminous shingles begins from the eaves, advancing towards the gable part of the roof,
  • the edge of each module should be placed in the middle of the previous one,
  • if the shingle modules unnecessarily overlap or protrude, they should be trimmed with an upholstery knife and underlaid.

To make the roof from bituminous shingles look aesthetically pleasing, it is worth using material from one batch. Only in this case we are guaranteed a uniform shade of shingles.

Montaż gontów bitumicznych jest stosunkowo prosty. Jednak uzyskanie estetycznego efektu wymaga dokładności i precyzji

Installation of bituminous shingles is relatively simple. However, achieving an aesthetic effect requires accuracy and precision

Photo: Jonni Lundy © UNSPLASH

Can every roof be covered with shingles?

Shingles are a reliable roofing material in almost any situation. Bituminous shingles are widely used in free-standing buildings, both residential and public. Bituminous shingle works well not only in new construction, but also in the renovation of old roofs. What's more, it's a recommended material especially for multi-pitched roof structures with numerous bays, bends, corners and narrow planes. Roofs covered with bituminous shingles should have a pitch between 12 and 75 degrees.

To fully appreciate this type of roof finish, it is worth summarizing its main advantages:

  • shingles are attractively priced
  • they are sold in sheets that are easy to cut and glue - they don't generate losses during installation,
  • they are distinguished by its high flexibility,
  • they are are lightweight and easy to transport,
  • roofing made with bituminous shingles provides good insulation against moisture, weather and UV radiation,
  • shingles are very good sound insulators, so they will work well in buildings with an adapted attic.

If you have doubts whether bituminous shingles will work on your roof, you can use them on other types of buildings. Roofing with bituminous shingles is a popular solution for garden sheds, summer houses, garages and all kinds of outbuildings.

Want to learn more about similar solutions? Check out our roofs and roof accessories section for more tips on making a durable and functional roof covering.

Dachówka bitumiczna jest doskonałym rozwiązaniem na dach garażu, altany lub domku letniskowego

Bitumen tile is an excellent solution for the roof of a garage, gazebo or summer house

Photo by Vicky Sim © UNSPLASH

Types of bituminous shingles – which one to choose?

The basic division of bituminous shingles includes single-ply, two-ply and three-ply shingles. The number of layers of bituminous compound affects the longer life of shingles and their resistance to mechanical damage. For this reason, the thinnest shingles are mainly used to cover temporary buildings.

High-quality bituminous shingles have an underlayment and a surface layer with mineral sprinkles. It is the finish of the shingles that determines their additional properties and varied appearance. The most popular option is basalt mineral sprinkle, and the most expensive one is copper sprinkle, which further protects the roof from moss and lichen growth. In addition, the grains covering the shingles contain different colored dyes, which is why roofing felt is available in so many shades.

In addition to a wide range of colors, bituminous shingles have cutouts of various shapes: honeycomb, plain, diamond, palace pattern. This allows for many interesting effects and adaptation of the roof to any architectural style. The full effect of the applied shingles will be best seen only after laying several modules, so it is a good idea to make a visualization of the entire project.

Gonty bitumiczne pokryte są posypką mineralną, która odpowiada za ich bogatą paletę kolorystyczną

Bituminous shingles are covered with mineral sprinkles, which are responsible for their rich color palette

Photo by Andrew Ridley © UNSPLASH

How much does a shingle roof cost?

Prices for bituminous shingles are always attractive compared to other types of roofing materials. However, this does not mean that they are uniform! The huge selection of shapes, colors and quality of bituminous shingles is perfectly evident in the spread of their prices.

Roofing shingle prices refer to 1 m² and can start from as little as a dozen PLN at wholesalers and outlets. However, good quality three-layer shingles cost around PLN 50-60/m².

The price of shingles is affected by their shape and color. Simple forms in popular shades will be cheaper. You need to pay the most for  bituminous shingles covered with copper sprinkles, which has a beneficial effect on their properties and durability.

When planning a shingle roof, you also need to keep in mind the cost of underlayment, tools, additional accessories and installation. On the other hand, the good news is that you don't have to buy much more shingles than the roof area

The ability to cut the modules and their flexibility means that you don't loose a lot of material.

Dach bitumiczny to ekonomiczne rozwiązanie dla niemal każdego budynku, a sprawny montaż jest jego dodatkowym atutem

bituminous roof is a cost-effective solution for almost any building. It's efficient installation is an added advantage

Photo by David Dvoracek © UNSPLASH

bituminous shingle roof is an option that is certainly worth considering. Bituminous shingles are modern products of decent quality with very attractive price. If you are looking for quick and efficient roofing or roof restoration - bituminous shingles are the solution for you.

Are you building a house? We have more tips about roofs and roof accessories for you

Compiled by:MAŁGORZATA URBAŃSKA

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