[Washington, DC] (September 15, 2008) –The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association [ARMA] is featured in a new episode of The History Channel’s Modern Marvels series titled “Secrets of Oil.” The episode includes a segment on asphalt shingles — one of today’s marvels, which is used on approximately 80 percent of homes in the United States.  Modern Marvels looks at the ways oil is used beyond gasoline and transportation. It shows how asphalt shingles are made and the benefits they bring to rooftops.

“Asphalt shingles are the leading choice for residential roofing in the United States because they provide quality, durability, versatility and economy,” said Reed Hitchcock, Executive Director, ARMA. “Asphalt is the key to the durability of asphalt shingles, allowing them to endure harsh weather conditions all year round in every climate.”

For the past 150 years, asphalt has proved the most popular roofing material in North America. Today four out of five homes are roofed with asphalt shingles. More than 12.5 billion square feet of asphalt shingle products are manufactured annually, which is enough to cover more than 5 million homes.

The benefits of asphalt shingles include:

  • Product Performance — Asphalt shingles perform well in extreme temperatures and in areas where wind, water and ice are prevalent.
  • Affordability — The efficient, high-volume production and relatively low application cost of asphalt shingles provide consumers with an overall value that’s tough for other roofing materials to match, especially in terms of comparable life expectancy.
  • Low Maintenance — Asphalt shingles, when properly chosen and applied, require little or no regular upkeep and are easily repaired if damaged.
  • Ease of Application — Asphalt shingles are considered to be the easiest of all standard roofing materials to apply. In addition, the flexibility and strength of asphalt shingles supports their application on a wide variety of roof designs.
  • Fire & Wind Resistance — Asphalt shingles are manufactured to resist external fire and meet flammability standards. They  carry Class A, B or C fire ratings, with Class A providing the greatest fire resistance. These fire ratings are defined by nationally recognized standards and certified by independent testing agencies. In addition, many asphalt shingles carry a “wind resistance” label indicating that they have been manufactured and tested to demonstrate acceptable resistance in high-wind locations.
  • Aesthetic Appeal — Asphalt shingles offer consumers the broadest array of colors, shapes, and textures available. With an enormous range of styles, asphalt shingles can match almost every type of architectural design and achieve virtually any desired effect – and do it affordably.

To find out when “Modern Marvels: Secrets of Oil” will air next, visit www.history.com/shows.do?episodeId=337088&action=detail.

For additional information concerning asphalt roofing and ARMA, visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

About the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association
The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is the North American trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of bituminous-based residential and commercial fiberglass and organic asphalt shingle roofing products, roll roofing, built-up (BUR) roofing systems, and modified bitumen roofing systems.