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Funky Shingles


Brian G
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I did a 110 year old house Saturday with these odd shingles on the main section. I think they're asphalt or asbestos or something like that, but I thought I would consult the vast well of TIJ knowledge for possible specifics. They're about 12 - 14 inches square, roughly 1/8 inch thick, and were originally covered with green granules similar to those found on composition shingles today. They overlap left to right as well as top to bottom, held by the wire / clip in the third photo. Anybody know exactly what these are?

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Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif shingle3.jpg

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Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif shingle1.jpg

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Brian G.

Make Me Look Good, I Don't Mind [^]

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Brian,

No photos yet, but here's some general info.

By 1915, rolled roofing coated with granulated stone, around since 1900, began being cut into individual shingles and was widely available by 1920. Common dimensions were 12x12 or 16x16. The "Dutch lap" was common as well as interlocking tabs or clips to secure the shingles against wind-lift. By 1950, self sealing tab shingles dominated the market.

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Originally posted by Brian G.

I did a 110 year old house Saturday with these odd shingles on the main section. I think they're asphalt or asbestos or something like that, but I thought I would consult the vast well of TIJ knowledge for possible specifics. They're about 12 - 14 inches square, roughly 1/8 inch thick, and were originally covered with green granules similar to those found on composition shingles today. They overlap left to right as well as top to bottom, held by the wire / clip in the third photo. Anybody know exactly what these are?

If there are no photos here check back later.

Brian G.

Make Me Look Good, I Don't Mind [^]

They look like asbestos shingles. I've never seen them laid up in dutch lap fashion like that.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I don't think they are asbestos. I think they are creosote. One way to check is how they act in temp extremes. Asbestos will remain more ridgid. However, Bond company did make a creosote asbestos impregnated product that was fastened with "belt clips". Your pics show the belt clips. Wouldn't bet anything on any of these answers, as roofing materials are extremely regional and I ain't from Mississippi!

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Whatever this stuff is made of is very hard and brittle. It won't fall apart in your hand but when you break a piece it has sharp *snap* to it. Needless to say I did not walk on it. Once you snap off a piece the edge looks light gray, almost like concrete, with no signs of a fiberous texture.

Brian G.

Shingle Sleuth [:-magnify

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Johns-Manville is advertising a shingle in The National Builder of March 1918 that is 90% pure asbestos in an asphalt base with granular finish. In another issue that say it can be laid in a Dutch lap. Creosote would not be gray, so maybe you have Johns-Manville.

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My guess would be asbestos as well. Some of the older homes in downtown Houston have asbestos shingles on them, but I don't think I've ever seen one laid in a Dutch fashion either.

I believe you were working with a early 1900's roofer who was thinking outside the box.

P.S. Was there any underlayment? It's common to see the shingles outlast the underlayment in this area when asbestos shingles are used.

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They were making Asphalt "Lok-Tops" in 24'. Here's some pics from a magazine I salvaged from my Great-Uncle's stuff. He was a turn-of the-century brick mason:

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Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Asphalt Lok Top.JPG

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And an ad promoting asbestos roofing:

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Asbestos Ad.JPG

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Originally posted by Donald Lawson

Was there any underlayment? It's common to see the shingles outlast the underlayment in this area when asbestos shingles are used.

The only underlayment I saw was a cedar shingle roof, but I didn't screw with top stuff much. I tippy-toed up the only valley (metal, 4-5 inches wide, two stories + off the ground), took a good look around got photos of all I could see, and got the hell down.

Damned stuff does last like hell though. My grandmother's house has had asbestos shingle siding since LONG before I was born, and they still look the same as they always did. Maybe we should reconsider asbestoes for outdoor use, try to combine it with something that would keep it from going friable.

Brian G.

Chicken...Now That's Friable [:-chef]

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Originally posted by Brian G.

Damned stuff does last like hell though. Maybe we should reconsider asbestoes for outdoor use, try to combine it with something that would keep it from going friable.

Brian G.

HardiPlank & related cement boards are similar, aren't they? Fiberated cement anything works pretty good, i.e., has a long lifespan, in a vertical application.

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Originally posted by Brian G.

I did a 110 year old house Saturday with these odd shingles on the main section. I think they're asphalt or asbestos or something like that, but I thought I would consult the vast well of TIJ knowledge for possible specifics.

They're asbestos cement. I still see a few of those here in Tampa.

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Originally posted by mcramer

They're asbestos cement. I still see a few of those here in Tampa.

That sounds right Mark, but where's your ancient copy of National Builder to back your version up? [:D]

Thanks to everyone for helping out here. I don't see strange and unidentifiable materials every day, it's kind of fun. [:-party]

Brian G.

Dees Iz Mafia Shingles...Dey Ain't Talkin' [xx(]

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