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When you’re shopping around for roofing, it pays to know at least a little about the different types of materials from which your roof will be built. In this short guide, our professionals from Spicer Bros. Construction, Inc., will walk you through the various quality and performance standards for roofing, particularly asphalt shingles, and explain things in a way that will help you make a sound decision.

Rating Organizations

Asphalt shingles are subjected to a lot of state and federal standards before they are deemed fit for use on housing. There are quite a few organizations responsible for these tests, but the primary ones are the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International) and the Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

The ratings for asphalt shingles and other roofing products are listed in catalogs for different roofing types and materials, and should be consulted by your roofing contractors before a replacement. This information will better enable them to determine the optimal roofing choices available to their clientele. Not all roofs are made equal, and some types will have greater strength, longevity and efficiency, depending on a variety of different factors. These ratings help your contractors to carefully weigh the options before recommending any particular type of roofing.


Shingles are generally tested based on their overall durability: namely, fire and impact resistance, tear strength and nail pull-through.

Tear strength and fire and impact resistance ratings are standard for most roofing, as they determine just how well your roof will withstand exposure to the elements. Tearing is often caused by high winds, while you can expect impact forces to come from hailstones or fallen branches from nearby trees. All these must be resisted in some capacity by your brand new shingles.

Nail Pull-Through

During installation, your roofing company may have to redo some nail placements. The strength at which a shingle can withstand the force of a nail being hammered into or pulled out of it is determined by the nail pull-through rating. Ask your contractor about these ratings to give you a better idea of just how durable your new roofing will be.

To find out more about the standards of asphalt shingles, along with other types of roofing materials, give our experts at Spicer Bros. Construction a call today. You may reach us at (410) 546-1190. We serve all homes in and around Salisbury and Ocean City, MD.

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