Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumenAsphalt roofing manufacturers are seeing positive results from their use of modified bitumen in roofing shingles. While most roofing shingles are still made from blown asphalt, many roofing materials manufacturers are using PMA or styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) for upgraded and premium shingles. Houston commercial and residential roofing companies agree that adding SBS makes shingles better, and the use of SBS in residential shingles will grow in the next 10 years.

As asphalt modification increases, less neat asphalt is being used on Houston roof projects in favor of polymer-modified bitumen shingles. Standard or entry-level shingles are still being made with blown asphalt, but the premium lines are relying more and more on PMA.

Benefits of Modified Bitumen Shingles

The two main benefits of using modified asphalt shingles are impact resistance and better weathering. The SBS shingles are dramatically superior due to their increased strength. Currently, modified bitumen shingles have 6 to 7 percent SBS, but future shingles may have as much as 8 to 12 percent. SBS shingles resist cracking and shrinking in cold and hot climates. The SBS is also credited with giving the shingles improved adhesion to retain their surface granules longer. The granules help the shingles withstand the worst weather, and they reflect the UV rays of the sun. Modified bitumen shingles are also less likely to wear or to get blown off a roof, and they withstand impact better because they are flexible. They are also used quite a bit for hip and ridge work.

Insurance companies are even offering noteworthy discounts to customers who choose impact-resistant shingles in areas that are prone to stormy weather. Manufacturers are trying to create a line of shingles with modified asphalt that can stand up to high winds and hail storms, which are blamed for about 30 percent of all roof replacements. The modified bitumen shingles are tested with high-velocity wind gusts. They are also tested for impact endurance by dropping 2-inch steel balls onto them from 20 feet in the air. The underside of the shingle has to remain intact for the shingle to pass the test. Testing is good for predicting longevity, but real-world applications are more important. If the shingle is too resistant to hail, the cost of making it could outweigh the benefits.

Modified bitmuen shingles have been used on commercial buildings by Houston roof company experts for years, but they are just beginning to use them on homes. However, the new premier lines of modified shingles will soon be commonly used for residential purposes.

Some manufacturers are experimenting with adding tire rubber to the shingle to extend longevity even more. It will not be long before a hybrid shingle made of tire rubber and SBS will be created that can endure thermal shock and resist cracking at low temperatures. Modified shingles may soon be available that were originally produced especially for certain geographic areas, such as Arizona and Alaska.

Give Paramount Roofing a call at 713-748-4000 to discuss whether modified asphalt shingles are right for your roof. Our owner will visit your property, inspect your building and give you a free estimate.