Shingle Rating Systems and Their Importance
Understanding Shingle Rating System
How They Are Rated and Why it Matters
Did you know that the shingle roof in your Atlanta home has a rating? You may have seen or heard about shingle rating systems, but do you understand what they actually mean or why we have them in general? In short, a shingle rating system is a government-regulated program that tests and rates the performance of asphalt shingles. They exist to ensure that you, the customer, know the strengths and weaknesses of a product before it is installed in your home. As a homeowner, it is important to be aware of the rating, durability, and stability of your shingles, especially as weather conditions change and become more severe. In this blog, we will discuss some of the ways that shingles are tested, what metrics they use to determine the strength of a roof shingle, and the different types of shingle certifications (yes, there are a few). We hope you enjoy reading, and as always if you have any questions that we don’t answer here please feel free to connect with us here!
How Are Shingles Tested?
Asphalt shingles are tested in a laboratory by simulating real-world conditions. This is often done as a part of quality control during the production method, and only once a batch has cleared QC can it go out for sale.
For wind resistance, shingles are typically nailed to a board and placed in a large cylindrical device called a wind tunnel. The board with the nailed-on shingles is then rotated rapidly, and high-speed fans create wind speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. This tests how well the nails stay in place and how well the shingles resist being ripped off the board.
For fire resistance, samples of the asphalt roofing material are placed on a table and set on fire using a Bunsen burner. The time it takes for the flaming edge of the sample to travel up the slope of the asphalt material is measured. A longer time means greater fire resistance, and a better rating overall.
For overall durability, samples of the material are subjected to intense heat and sunlight in order to simulate years of exposure to the elements. They are flexed repeatedly to test how well they withstand wear and tear over time. After they have been taken through these processes, they are given a general toughness rating that reflects their capabilities. When shopping for asphalt shingles, it’s important to keep in mind that not all shingles are created equal. Shingle quality can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase.
What Are Shingle Rating Systems?
A Deep Dive
Shingle rating systems are a tool used by manufacturers to rate the performance of their products under specific conditions. These ratings provide consumers with valuable information about a shingle’s wind resistance, fire resistance, and overall durability. By understanding what these ratings mean, you can choose the type of shingle roof that is best suited for your home and climate in Atlanta. Rating systems are often also composed of different ratings for unique hazards like fire, wind, and hail.
Here are a few of the most common rating systems:
UL (Underwriters Laboratories)
UL is a global safety organization that provides certification for a wide variety of products, including roofing materials. In order to receive UL certification for roofing, shingles must undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they meet certain safety and performance standards.
Factory Mutual Insurance Company
FM is another organization that provides certification for roofing materials. In order to receive FM certification, shingles must pass a series of testing that evaluate their resistance to fire, wind, hail, and other weather conditions.
American Society for Testing and Materials
ASTM is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of products and services. ASTM has developed a set of standards for asphalt roof materials, which includes requirements for physical properties such as thickness, weight, and flexibility.
When choosing a shingle roof for your home in Atlanta, it’s important to consider the climate conditions in your area and choose a shingle that is rated accordingly. For example, if you live in an area with severe weather conditions like high winds or hail storms, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a shingle with a high UL or FM rating. On the other hand, if you live in an area with milder weather conditions, you may be able to get away with choosing a shingle with a lower rating.
The Importance of Shingle Rating Systems
How and Why it can impact your choice of Shingle roofs in Atlanta
Shingle rating systems provide an unbiased way to compare different types of shingles. This allows homeowners and shingle roof installers to make informed decisions about the type of shingle they use on their homes in Atlanta. Without these systems, it would be difficult to know whether one type of shingle is best suited for application.
The key here is that a single shingle style may have multiple ratings for different hazards such as wind, fire, and hail damages. Depending on where you live, one or multiple of these may be a source of concern. Make sure to consider the shingle roof ratings associated with the weather conditions most applicable to your situation in Atlanta or your area code.
How Do Shingle Rating Systems Help You Choose the Right Shingle?
In addition to helping you choose the right type of shingle for shingle roofs in Atlanta, this system can also help you identify which products are best suited for your climate. For example, if you live in an area that experiences a lot of snowfall, you’ll want to choose a shingle that has a high rating for snow load capacity. Likewise, if you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, you’ll want to select a fire-resistant shingle. By taking into account the conditions common to your region, you can ensure that your Shingle roof is able to withstand anything Mother Nature throws its way.
Can Shingle Rating Systems Save You Money?
In short, yes! By choosing a shingle that is designed for the conditions common to your region, you can avoid roof repairs or roof replacements down the road. For example, if you live in an area with severe weather conditions, investing in a wind-resistant shingle can save you thousands of dollars in repairs should your roof suffer damage from high winds. In addition, by selecting a fire-resistant shingle, you can receive discounts on your homeowner’s insurance premium. These savings can quickly offset the initial cost of upgrading to a higher-quality shingle.
Looking For the Best Shingle roof in Atlanta
KTM Roofing Can Help
We hope this has been a helpful and informative article for you. If you have found any of this helpful, we can help and assist you even more about shingles, and which type may be most applicable for your shingle roof in Atlanta. If you’d like to discuss it with one of our experts, connect with us here! Our KTM Roofing team will be happy to help you.