Asphalt shingles are the most popular roof type in North America. With hundreds of styles and colors to choose from, they combine good looks, longevity, and a lower cost of installation when compared to other roof types. They are also a low maintenance product, especially when regular inspections are part of a schedule maintenance plan.
What is the composition of an asphalt shingle?
In general, asphalt shingles are made from an organic-mat or fiberglass fabric sandwiched between asphalt and ceramic granules. The fabric provides the strength, while the asphalt, typically mixed with minerals, provides the waterproofing. The ceramic granules on the surface of the shingle give them their color and deflect damaging UV light and heat. Asphalt shingles can further be treated to resist algae growth using minerals such as copper and designed with specific materials to be more impact resistant against hail and damaging wind gusts.
How are they installed and sold?
Asphalt shingles are installed as sheets of approximately 12″ x 36″ in dimension and nailed down per the manufacturer’s recommendation over a roofing underlayment. They are typically sold in bundles of multiple sheets or by the square. A square of shingles is the quantity need to cover 100 sq. ft. of roof. Unlike cedar or slate roofs that are installed one shingle at a time, asphalt sheets give the illusion of multiple single shingles in a single sheet and can be installed in a fraction of the time.
What types are available?
Asphalt shingles fall into three basic categories.
Standard, entry-level three-tab shingles. These are the least expensive and the thinnest of asphalt shingles. Life expectancy on these shingles is typically shorter and warranties more limited. The styles and colors are also limited due to their uniform shape, fewer color choices, and the lack of dimensional layers. Life expectancy is 15-20 years. Find the Perfect Shingle Type
Architectural/Dimensional shingles are the most popular type of asphalt shingle sold in the United States, making up more than three-quarters of all asphalt shingles sold. Unlike a three-tab shingle, they give off a sculpted look and have fantastic aesthetics. The bonded layers add dimension, durability, weight, and design flexibility that offer the look of slate or cedar roofing shingles from a distance. And, with the added thickness and laminate layers, they can last 30 to 50 years or more when properly maintained. In addition, manufacturers typically offer enhanced warranties on architectural shingles.
Luxury/Premium architectural shingles are the most expensive and typically the thickest of the group. Like architectural shingles, they can resemble slate or wood shake shingles from a distance or have patterns and colors that are simply unique. With as many as three laminated layers, sculpted designs, and varying hues of color, they can add a truly custom look that distinguishes your home from the rest in the neighborhood.
Are they a good investment?
Yes, asphalt shingles provide exceptional performance, good looks, and affordability that have earned it the #1 spot for roof types installed in North America.
To learn more about asphalt shingles and our services, contact us today. We can help you make the right roof selection for you project and provide you with top-quality materials and unmatched craftsmanship that will insure decades of trouble-free performance.