Types of Shingle Roofs

Types of Shingle Roofs

What Kind of Shingle Roof to Choose?

Every house needs a roof. But not all roofing shingles are created equal. While all asphalt shingles are made from the same basic materials, there are significant differences in cost, appearance, and how long they will last.

Advantages of asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing materials. Most are made of spun fiberglass, but some manufacturers use organic or polyester to make the mat. They are saturated with an oily substance, either asphalt or modified bitumen, then coated with slate, schist, quartz, stone, or ceramic granules that give them a rough sandpaper feel. Some shingles also have an algae-growth inhibitor added to the surface.

The advantages of using asphalt shingles over other roofing materials like tile or metal are:

  • Least expensive type of roofing material.
  • Easiest roofing material for a steep roof.
  • Easier and cheaper to repair.
  • Comes in a wide variety of colors.
  • Doesn’t fade much over time.
  • Easier to walk on when necessary.

3-Tab asphalt shingles

The cheapest roofing material commonly used, 3-tab shingles appear to be one flat layer. The are lighter and less layered than other materials, so the roof is also lighter. A 3-tab shingle typically measures 36″ long by 12″ wide with two notched cutouts along the bottom of the shingle that are overlapped by the next strip of shingles.

The warranty on 3-tab shingles is generally 25 years, but few roofs last that long. Weather elements take a toll on both appearance and effectiveness of the roof. Winds, hail, snow, and sun can cause damage, leaving the roof vulnerable to leaks. Lightweight 3-tab shingles are the most vulnerable to damage and tend to need replacement sooner than other materials.

This type of roofing is usually installed as a money-saving measure where cost is more important than quality. It is rarely chosen by a homeowner, but may be installed by a developer in low-end homes or rental properties. It will not raise the property value of a home.

Architectural shingles

The most common roofing material, architectural shingles, also called laminated shingles, are heavier and more durable than 3-tab shingles. Shingles of varying sizes are overlapped, creating a thicker protective barrier and adding interest to the visual appeal.

Architectural shingles come in different weights and may be 30-year, 50-year, or even lifetime. However, the same weather issues can damage any shingle, no matter how good the quality. Even the most expensive shingles can look shabby and worn over time.

Architectural shingles are a better investment in home value. Since they are better quality, more attractive appearance, and have a longer warranty, they raise the value of the property, and make the home more attractive to potential buyers.

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material on the market. In comparison to other types of roofing, it’s less expensive and quite durable. But its best feature may be that it’s easy to maintain and repair. If something does go wrong, replacing a few shingles in a damaged area is simple and inexpensive. Asphalt shingles are a great solution for most homes.

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