Roof repair vs. replacement

How Roof Shingles Work (Your Guide)

New York home (1)Roof shingles are an essential part of any roofing system, providing a protective layer against the elements.

They are typically made of asphalt, wood, metal, or slate, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

But how do they actually work to keep your home safe and dry?

This is the topic we’ll explore in this article! 

Fundamentals of Roof Shingles

If you own a house, you are likely familiar with roof shingles. 

You may have heard…they are important! 

In this section, we will discuss the fundamentals of roof shingles, including their materials and composition, as well as their design and types.

Materials and Composition

Roof shingles can be made from a variety of materials, including: 

  • Asphalt
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Clay
  • Slate

Not surprisingly, asphalt shingles are the most commonly used type of shingle in New York and New Jersey.

They are made from a fiberglass mat that is coated with asphalt and covered with granules.

Wood shingles are another popular option. They are made from cedar, redwood, or pine and offer a natural and rustic look.

Metal shingles are durable and long-lasting. They are made from steel, aluminum, or copper and come in a variety of colors and styles.

Clay and slate shingles are the most expensive option, but they are also the most durable.

They are made from natural materials and offer a unique and elegant look.

Design and Types

Roof shingles come in a variety of designs and types. The most common design is the three-tab shingle, which is made to look like three individual shingles.

Other designs include architectural shingles, which have a three-dimensional look, and interlocking shingles, which are designed to interlock with each other.

In addition to design, roof shingles also come in different types, including strip shingles, which are the most basic type of shingle, and premium shingles, which offer additional features such as impact resistance and energy efficiency.

When choosing roof shingles, it’s important to consider the materials and design that best suit your needs and budget.

Installation and Functionality

Shingle Installation Process

When installing roof shingles, it is important that your roofing contractor follows the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper installation.

The first step is to prepare the roof surface by removing any old shingles, nails, or debris.

The roof should be clean and dry before the new shingles are installed.

Next, the starter strip is installed at the bottom of the roof edge.

This provides a secure base for the first row of shingles. The shingles are then installed in rows, starting at the bottom and working towards the top of the roof.

Each shingle is nailed down securely to prevent it from lifting or blowing off in high winds.

The final row of shingles is capped with a ridge cap, which provides a finished look and helps to protect against water penetration.

Proper installation of roof shingles is essential for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of the roof.

Weather Protection and Insulation

Roof shingles provide a layer of protection against the elements, including rain, snow, and wind.

They also help to insulate the roof, which can improve energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs.

The quality and type of shingles used can have a significant impact on the level of weather protection and insulation provided.

It is important to choose shingles that are appropriate for the climate and weather conditions in our area.

Your local roofing company should be able to provide you options. 

If you are a homeowner in Rockland County, NY, Westchester County, NY, or Bergen County, NJ, call our team at (845) 364-8200 and we’ll provide you a list of options for any budget! 

Ventilation and Water Drainage

Proper ventilation and water drainage are essential for maintaining the health and longevity of a roof. 

Ventilation helps to regulate the temperature and moisture levels inside the roof space, which can prevent damage from moisture buildup and reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth.

Water drainage is also important for preventing water damage and leaks.

Roof shingles are designed to allow water to flow off the roof and into the gutters or downspouts.

Proper installation and maintenance of gutters and downspouts is important for ensuring effective water drainage.

Why Most Homeowners Go With Asphalt Shingles

Bergen County RoofersWhen it comes to roofing materials, asphalt shingles are the most popular choice among homeowners. Here are a few reasons why:


Asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable roofing options on the market.

They are significantly cheaper than other materials like metal or slate.

This makes them an attractive option for homeowners who want a durable and reliable roof without breaking the bank.


Despite their affordability, asphalt shingles are surprisingly durable.

They can last up to 20 years or more with proper maintenance.

They are also resistant to a variety of weather conditions, including wind, rain, and hail.

This makes them a great choice for homeowners who live in areas like the northeast where we experience harsh weather.


Asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of colors and styles, making it easy to find a look that complements your home.

They can mimic the look of more expensive materials like slate or wood, giving homeowners the aesthetic they desire without the high price tag.

Easier Installation

Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install, which can save homeowners time and money on labor costs.

They are also lightweight, which means they can be installed on most roofs without additional reinforcement.

Overall, asphalt shingles are a popular choice among homeowners for their affordability, durability, variety, and ease of installation.

If you would like a free estimate, contact our team and we’ll provide you with a cost and details of your next project! 

Rockland County, New York

  • Airmont, NY, 10901, 10952
  • Bardonia, NY, 10954
  • Blauvelt, NY, 10913
  • Chestnut Ridge, NY, 10952, 10965, 10977
  • Congers, NY, 10920
  • Monsey, NY, 10952
  • Nanuet, NY 10954
  • New City, NY 10956
  • Nyack, NY  10960
  • Orangeburg, NY 10962
  • Palisades, NY  10964
  • Pearl River, NY, 10965
  • Pomona, NY, 10970
  • Spring Valley, NY, 10977
  • Stony Point, NY, 10980
  • Suffern, NY, 10901
  • Tappan, NY, 10983
  • Thiells, NY, 10984
  • Tuxedo Park, NY, 10987
  • Valley Cottage, NY, 10989
  • West Nyack, NY, 10994
  • Wesley Hills, NY, 10952, 10977

Westchester County, New York

  • Ardsley, NY, 10502
  • Bedford, NY, 10506
  • Bronxville, NY, 10708
  • Dobbs Ferry, NY, 10522
  • Eastchester, NY, 10707, 10709
  • Harrison, NY, 10528
  • Irvington, NY, 10533
  • Larchmont, NY, 10538
  • Mamaroneck, NY, 10543
  • New Rochelle, NY, 10801, 10802, 10804, 10805
  • Pelham, NY, 10803
  • Rye, NY, 10580
  • Scarsdale, NY, 10530, 10583
  • Tarrytown, NY, 10591
  • Tuckahoe, NY, 10707
  • Valhalla, NY, 10595
  • White Plains, NY, 10601, 10602, 10603, 10604, 10605, 10606, 10607, 10610

Bergen County, New Jersey

  • Allendale, NJ, 07401
  • Belleville, NJ, 07109
  • Bergenfield, NJ, 07621
  • Bloomfield, NJ, 07003
  • Cedar Grove, NJ, 07009
  • Clifton, NJ, 07011, 07012, 07013, 07014, 07015
  • Dumont, NJ, 07628
  • Emerson, NJ, 07630
  • Englewood, NJ, 07631, 07632
  • Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 07632
  • Fair Lawn, NJ, 07410
  • Glen Rock, NJ, 07452
  • Harrington Park, NJ, 07640
  • Hillsdale, NJ, 07642
  • Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, 07423
  • Lyndhurst, NJ, 07071
  • Mahwah, NJ, 07430, 07495
  • Montclair, NJ, 07042, 07043
  • Montvale, NJ, 07645
  • New Milford, NJ, 07646
  • Nutley, NJ, 07110
  • Oakland, NJ, 07436
  • Old Tappan, NJ, 07675
  • Oradell, NJ, 07649
  • Paramus, NJ, 07652, 07653
  • Ridgewood, NJ, 07450, 07451
  • River Edge, NJ, 07661
  • River Vale, NJ, 07675
  • Saddle River, NJ, 07458
  • Teaneck, NJ, 07666
  • Tenafly, NJ, 07670
  • Upper Saddle River, NJ, 07458
  • Waldwick, NJ, 07463
  • Westwood, NJ, 07675, 07677
  • Woodcliff, NJ, 07047
  • Wyckoff, NJ, 07481

Segelman roofing The experienced professionals for all your exterior needs


Roofing Contractor New City

Get Help Now!

New York: 845-364-8200

New Jersey: 201-530-9500

Westchester: 914-874-1197

LIC# ROC: H-09509-23 
LIC# WC:23380-H10 
LIC # Yonkers: 5443
LIC# NJ: 13vh01677400


Segelman Shaw Roofing Siding & Gutters

1 Executive Blvd., Suite 105B, Suffern, NY 10901

NJ: 201-530-9500
NY: 845-364-8200
WC: 914-874-1197 

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