Roof shingles are a roof covering consisting of individual overlapping elements.
These elements are typically flat, rectangular shapes laid in courses from the bottom edge of the roof up, with each successive course overlapping the joints below.
Shingles are made of various materials such as wood, slate, flagstone, fibre cement, metal, plastic, and composite material such as asphalt shingles. Ceramic roof tiles, which still dominate in Europe and some parts of Asia, are still usually called tiles. Roof shingles are a very common roofing material in the United States, but may deteriorate faster and need to repel more water than wall shingles. Roof shingles are almost always highly visible and so are an important aspect of a building’s aesthetics in patterns, textures and colors.
Roof shingles, like other building materials on vernacular buildings, are typically of a material locally available.
The type of shingle is taken into account before construction because the material affects the roof pitch and construction method.
Some shingles can be installed on lath where others need solid sheathing (sheeting) on the roof deck.
All shingle roofs are installed from the bottom upward beginning with a starter course and the edge seams offset to avoid leaks.