Since there have been buildings, there have been roofs on those buildings and the primary purpose of the roof has been to keep rain out and protect the inside of the building. Over time the roof has been made of a variety of materials. Mud and grass, thatch, cedar shakes, clay tiles, steel sheets, and asphalt shingles are a few of these.
Just like every other industry, technology is always moving forward, leading to various product improvements. The roofing industry is the same, with constant upgrades to make roofing solutions last longer, look good, and work better. Recent changes to the residential roofing product line are causing trends throughout the industry as people learn more about them.
Energy Saving Shingles - During the summer, especially in the southern part of the country, some people run their air conditioner almost every day to keep their homes comfortable. Traditional asphalt shingles in dark browns and grays serve to collect rays from the sun all day long and transfer this heat into the house. This results in more need for air conditioning and higher electric bills. Some exciting new advances in roofing materials include the use of reflective gravel to help the sun's rays reflect off of the roof instead of being absorbed as heat. Also, shingles are being manufactured in "cool" colors that naturally absorb less heat, such as white, tan, and light grey. Less absorbed heat equals smaller utility bills.
Energy Producing Shingles - In addition to saving money by helping a homeowner use less energy, new shingle technology actually has them producing energy. Photovoltaic shingles are an upgrade to the traditional solar panels placed on many homes. These shingles are designed as individual tiles that not only look more like regular shingles but can also be installed in overlapping patterns much like traditional roofing materials. Now not only is the roof no longer causing higher energy bills, it produces its own electricity that can be used or sold by the homeowner.
Longer Lasting - One thing about asphalt shingles is that they don't like wind. This has become even more evident given the recent hurricanes and tornadoes that severely damage homes and roofs. To help increase the wind resistance of the shingles, developments have been made that widen and reinforce the nailing strip on asphalt shingles. This allows them to not only be installed easier and quicker, but it also allows them to be more securely fastened to the roof.
As a result of advancing technology, there are even more residential roofing options than ever before.