Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular shingle type used throughout the United States as well as in Colorado and Wyoming. Asphalt shingles come in two basic types: fiberglass and organic. The most common type is fiberglass. Fiberglass shingles are made using a glass fiber mat created in the shape of a shingle. This fiberglass mat is not waterproof; it is simply used for reinforcement. To make the shingle waterproof, fillers which are used as an adhesive are mixed with asphalt and applied to the fiberglass mat. The asphalt clings to the mat and fills little holes and gaps. Granules are then embedded on the top of the asphalt. Granules are used for aesthetic reasons, but primarily used to protect the shingle from the sun’s harmful rays.
Most manufacturers’ warranties range from 30-50 years, but depending on temperature and weather conditions an average asphalt shingle life is 15-20 years. Asphalt shingles tend to have a longer life span in colder climates than hot climates. For example the average life span for an asphalt shingle in Phoenix, Arizona is 14 years versus an average lifespan of 20 years in the Metro Denver area and Cheyenne, Wyoming barring any hail damage.