Residential Composition

Amazing Asphalt

At the turn of the 20th century, when man-made building materials really began to take hold, manufacturers combined production innovations and marketing flair to produce a new kind of roofing generally called composition shingles: fibers of some sort saturated or mixed with a binder. Taking off in the building boom of the 1920s, these asphalt shingles were highly popular, not only for their ease of installation, and resistance to fire, but also for their astounding variety of novel shapes and colors—creativity that might cinch the sale of a house in a highly competitive market. Since many of these shingles styles are in limited production today (if made at all), understanding the basic asphalt shingles available in our grandparents’ era is the place to begin for anyone who faces a composition shingle restoration project.