Organic Shingles

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Today we have many types of roofing materials to choose from, from shingles and cedar roofs to metal and composite roofing. Asphalt shingles, however, are still the most popular type of roofing on the market. 

The asphalt shingle that’s currently most installed is the architectural or 3d shingle. While architectural shingles are the most popular shingles on the market today, that wasn’t always the case. Other shingle types such as three-tab and organic shingles were once just as popular. 

What are Organic Shingles?

Organic shingles are a type of three-tab shingle made from cellulose fibers soaked in asphalt. They were first manufactured in the 1960s and produced until around 2010. For the time that they were manufactured, organic shingles were among the most technologically advanced shingles on the market. However, because of their weaknesses, they were replaced by architectural shingles. 

The cellulose fibers, such as paper, wood fiber, and other organic materials, were soaked in asphalt until they swelled up to around 170% of their existing weight and then covered with ceramic granules. This manufacturing process made them heavier than traditional three-tab asphalt shingles, which was both a pro and a con. While they were heavier to carry and heavier on the roof structure, they were stronger than regular three-tab shingles and less likely to blow away. 

Because of the amount of asphalt they contained and their weight, they were designed to stand up to hail, strong winds, and other weather extremes. Organic shingles were a staple in the Midwest and Northeast because of their durability in harsh climates compared to regular three-tab shingles.

One trade-off was fire resistance since they were made of paper materials. They also didn’t last as long as shingle manufacturers had hoped. Unfortunately, organic shingles disintegrated over time due to their organic materials, which decompose naturally. They tend to roll up on the edges, which makes them easily identifiable. 

Are Organic Shingles Discontinued?

Yes, organic shingles are discontinued. They are no longer produced due to advances in shingle technology. While the principle of an organic shingle seemed to be helpful, the truth was that they decomposed too soon, making them not as successful as other, newer roofing products. 

What Do I Do If I Have Organic Shingles?

If you still have three-tab organic shingles, you may want to consider having them replaced with modern architectural shingles. Signs that your shingles need to be replaced include curling, granule loss, blistering, and cracking. 

The Future of Asphalt Shingles

Architectural and high-definition shingles have surpassed organic shingles in their construction and functionality, making organic shingles obsolete.  

Volpe Enterprises, Inc. can replace your damaged or degrading organic shingles with a new roofing system.  Contact us today for a free roofing evaluation and attic inspection. 

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