Your roof has a lot on its plate. Primarily, it serves to protect against rain, snow, sunlight, wind and extreme temperatures. It is also responsible for completing the architectural look of your home and maintaining its comfort and energy efficiency year-round. On the market, asphalt shingles remain one of the most sought-after materials for roofing – and for good reason.
From What Are Asphalt Shingles Made?
Asphalt shingles consist of either a felt paper or fiberglass base covered with a waterproof layer of asphalt and topped with ceramic-coated granules. Since its development in the 1980s, the fiberglass mat has been the more in demand product since it makes asphalt shingles more resistant to water and fire.
What Are the Types of Asphalt Shingles?
Asphalt shingles used for roofing are manufactured in a range of designs that fall under three main categories:
3-tab shingles, also known as strip shingles, are the most basic form of shingle. A 3-tab shingle is a piece of material that has vertical cuts on the bottom portion to create tabs that appear like three separate shingles. Since these shingles are made from a single strip, they are lightweight and affordable. One downside, however, is the limited aesthetic options. Also, 3-tab shingles have the tendency to blow off easier than other types of asphalt shingles. Generally, you can expect a 3-tab shingle roof to last for 18 to 20 years.
Dimensional, laminated or most commonly, architectural shingles, do not have cut-outs like 3-tab shingles. Instead, they have two or more layers of shingles that create a thicker, more dimensional appearance to the roof. These shingles can replicate the aesthetics of a natural slate or wood shake roof. While architectural shingles add more weight to your roof due to their multiple layers, they tend to be more durable and long-lasting than 3-tab shingles. Most roofs with this type of shingles come with a 30-year manufacturer warranty, and when installed properly by a roofing specialist, can last for 25 to 28 years.
When it comes to maximum durability and multidimensional appearance, luxury shingles take the cake. Also called premium shingles, these are the highest quality of asphalt shingles on the market, providing exceptional weather protection, functionality and visual interest to homes. These shingles also offer the most realistic rendition of common expensive roofing materials, such as wood shake, slate and tile, and are resistant to tears and impact, making them an ideal choice for hail-prone areas. The main disadvantages of luxury shingle roofs are their heavier weight and higher cost. Usually, this type of roofing can last for 25 to 30 years.
What Are the Benefits of Asphalt Shingles?
Around 75% of all homes in North America have asphalt shingles roofs installed on them. There are a number of exciting reasons why asphalt shingles remain the most widely used roofing material in the United States, including:
1. Versatility of Design
When you select asphalt shingles, you will be greeted with an impressive variety of colors, finishes, performance levels and price ranges. Like previously mentioned, 3-tab shingles, which work well with different home styles, are the traditional option, but you can also choose between architectural and luxury shingles. With asphalt shingles, you can mimic the look and feel of high-end roofing materials, like slate and cedar shake, at low cost. In addition to versatility of design, asphalt shingles can also be used on nearly all types of roofing systems, even large and complex structures. Keep in mind, however, that there is still a minimum slope for asphalt shingle roofing.
Overall, asphalt shingles can accentuate the beauty of your exterior and boost the curb appeal of your home, which is particularly great if you are planning to put your property up for sale in the future.
Asphalt shingles are among the most cost-effective roofing options available on the market. An asphalt shingle roof performs exceptionally well in most climates and, with proper maintenance, can retain its energy efficiency throughout the year – and without the hefty price tag, too. Its cost-effectiveness is one of the leading reasons why many homeowners continue to prefer it over other roofing products. Although asphalt shingles do not cost much upfront, it still lasts long enough to return most of its value over the long haul.
3. Environmental Friendliness
Asphalt shingles are less impactful to the environment. Unlike other roofing products, they are partially made of previously used materials, meaning that their production uses up less raw materials. In the past, shingles were thrown in landfill sites after use, but today they can be recycled and reused. After contractors have removed the old roofing, they will usually bring the refuse materials to a shingle recycling facility so that the shingles can be repurposed into other products. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), recycled asphalt from old roofing can be utilized to repair or build roads and generate power.
4. Energy Efficiency
When you install an asphalt shingle roof, including a high-quality underlayment, it can boost the energy efficiency of your home. Be sure to choose asphalt shingles that are equipped with special granules that contribute to reflecting heat and ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Generally, shingles in light to medium tones can help reduce the surface temperatures of the roof. If your roof is doing an excellent job at reflecting solar heat, your heating and air conditioning system will not need to work as hard to keep your living space cool and comfortable during most months of the year. When you cut back on energy consumption, you will see a significant increase in your energy savings.
5. Weather Performance
Some asphalt shingles are designed to withstand extreme weather elements. If you live in a region where hail, blizzards or rainstorms frequently visit, search for impact-rated roofing shingles. Class 4 impact-resistant shingles are always a good investment as they can withstand more powerful impacts than other types of asphalt shingles. As a result, they will be able to protect your home from severe leaks and structural damage that require costly and comprehensive repairs.
High winds are also a common concern that asphalt shingles can help address, thanks to modern innovations in asphalt shingle manufacturing. Many roofing shingles go through stringent wind resistance testing. When installed skillfully, these shingles will stay in place even when exposed to high winds. Plus, some asphalt shingle products come with Class A ratings, offering the highest level of resistance to fire.
6. Ease of Installation
Finally, many roofing companies prefer asphalt shingles because they are fairly easy to install and maintain. It is also easier to find a contractor that specializes in installing asphalt shingles than other high-cost roofing options, such as tile and slate. Ease of installation also usually results in faster completion of the task, which means extra savings on labor costs.
Contact Us for All Your Home Improvement Needs Today!
Make no bones about it – roofing is back-breaking. So, when it is time to replace your old roof or repair a storm-damaged roof, trust only Paddy’s Roofing, Siding, and Chimneys. Our skilled team also installs and repairs siding, windows, doors, chimneys, decks and more. Give us a call at (302) 208-9510, or fill out our convenient contact form to request a free quote or schedule an appointment.