When it comes to roofing and shingles, it seems as if there are too many options to sort through. You may find yourself asking common questions such as: What kind of shingles will last the longest? How do I know that I am getting a good price? These questions can seem overwhelming at times.
To take some of the stress, we have developed a guide on asphalt shingles to define what they are and to lay out their pros and cons. It doesn’t matter if you are a new homeowner, someone whose roof was damaged during a storm, or if your roof has hit its lifespan-- this post serves all.
This post will serve to show exactly what asphalt shingles are, how long they last, and why they are so common throughout the United States. After reading this brief post, you will have knowledge to make an informed decision regarding your home.
What are Asphalt Shingles?
Asphalt shingles are exactly what they sound like, a roofing shingle that is made of asphalt. The material was chosen for its waterproof properties. Typically asphalt shingles are broken down into two different categories: organic and fiberglass.
Organic Asphalt Shingles:
Organic asphalt shingles are produced by coating materials such as wood fiber or waste paper with asphalt. This coat ensures that the shingles are completely waterproof. On top of this base, an adhesive asphalt is applied and then covered with small granules of rock or related substances.
Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles:
Fiberglass asphalt shingles, on the other hand, use a base of fiberglass instead of wood or paper. This base is combined with glass fibers and a resin and is then waterproofed by coating it with an asphalt-and-granule mix.
In addition to asphalt shingles having two main compositions, asphalt shingles also come in two main styles: three tab or architectural.
Three tab asphalt shingles are the most common shingles that you will see on houses. They come in a standard look with three equally sized tabs on each shingle mat. These types of shingles are also thinner and use less material than architectural. An image of three tab asphalt shingles can be seen below:
Architectural asphalt shingles do not come in a standard or uniform format. They are created to look less like the traditional three tab shingle in order to give a home a more unique look. These types of asphalt shingles are also thicker and use more material than their three tab counterpart. This means that they provide a home style while also being more durable. An example of architectural asphalt shingles can be seen below:
What are the Pros of Asphalt Shingles?
The largest positive aspect of asphalt shingles is that they are cost effective. Below you can find a very useful chart from Home Advisor that outlines the prices of differing shingles. Homes can be expensive and opting into asphalt shingles can save you a lot of money.
To demonstrate the cost effective nature of asphalt shingles, let's use an example of a house with a 1000 square foot roof. Keep in mind that three bundles of shingles is 100 square feet. With asphalt shingles, this would cost between $900 and $1500. While the next cheapest alternative would cost $4800.
Another pro of asphalt shingles is the fact that they come in a wide array of choices. Simply put, if you want your home to have a certain look, asphalt shingles may be the way to go. Instead of being three asphalt shingle tabs on each mat of shingles, you can choose architectural shingles to match any home style.
What are the Cons of Asphalt Shingles?
One con of asphalt shingles is that they are only meant for roofs that have a steep incline. When asphalt shingles are applied to homes or buildings that have flat roofs, they become damaged by weather sooner and need to be replaced faster.
Another con of asphalt shingles is that they are not as durable as other shingle types. Asphalt shingles’ lifespans are heavily dependent on the weather in your area but they typically have a lifespan of fifteen to thirty years. Alternatively, metal roofs can last from thirty to forty-five years and concrete tile roofs can last from thirty-five to fifty-five years. These lifespans are something to consider when replacing your roof.
What's Next for your Shingling Needs?
While this guide is meant to be educational, there are still many aspects of shingling that it does not go into. Asphalt shingles are just one choice of many. If you are interested in learning more about your shingling and roofing needs, please reach out to T. Dunham Construction by clicking here. We have been in this business for a long time and can answer any questions you have.
Through your roofing process, it is important to have knowledgeable professionals on your side. Here at T. Dunham, we pride ourselves in being experts in not just asphalt shingling, but in all aspects of roofing and shingling. Our promise to you is that we will provide our expertise, show up on time, and complete the job in a professional and timely manner.