An Affordable Choice for Roofing: Asphalt Shingle Roofing
Asphalt shingle roofing is one of the best choices for homeowners looking for a reasonably durable but economical roofing choice. Popular and affordable! Asphalt roofing can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years depending on a variety of factors such as local climate, storm damage, roof pitch, the quality of the shingles, and regular maintenance.
Asphalt shingles also have the lowest upfront installation costs of any of the alternatives. Additionally, asphalt shingles come in a wide spectrum of colors, making them suitable for practically any home. Considering these qualities, it is no surprise that asphalt shingle roofs are the most common choice in the United States.
The Varieties of Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are made of a base material that is coated with either asphalt or bitumen, with additional mineral granules added on top.
There are two types of asphalt shingles available on the market: 3-tab and architectural. 3-tab asphalt shingles are cut so that every individual shingle appears to be three distinct pieces after installation. 3-tab shingles give asphalt roofs a flattened look, making them quite fitting for high-sloped roofs.
On the other hand, architectural shingles have added layers of asphalt which are laminated onto their lower portions. This gives architectural shingles a more dimensional appearance than their 3-tab counterparts. Architectural shingles also tend to last a lot longer than 3-tab shingles because of their additional thickness. Because there are no tabs, architectural shingles are much less likely to be pulled up by strong winds.
Organic Asphalt Shingles
These are not called organic because of any environmental reasons. Organic shingles are still petroleum-based, just like the asphalt shingles that have been in use for decades. What distinguishes organic asphalt shingles is that their base layer is made up of non-synthetic materials like cotton, wool, or cellulose.
The base material is then coated in asphalt to waterproof it. This makes organic asphalt shingles thicker and heavier than standard fiberglass options since they have much more asphalt. This also makes them less environmentally friendly than fiberglass shingles. However, organic shingles are more durable and flexible than fiberglass shingles.
Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles
These types of shingles came into popularity during the 1980s for their ease of production, affordability, and because they can be manufactured quickly. Fiberglass shingles have bases made from woven fiberglass coated with asphalt.
This makes them thinner and lighter than their organic counterparts since they need much less asphalt to coat the base. Fiberglass shingles often come with a longer warranty and better fire-resistance rating. Additionally, the fiberglass layer makes them far less moisture-absorbent and improves their heat-resistance. This explains why fiberglass shingles are often the first choice in warmer climates.
Asphalt shingles that are Energy Star certified are now offered. Certified shingles are made using unique cooling granules that enable them to better reflect the sun’s heat off your roof. In many places, energy efficient asphalt roofs can even qualify for a tax credit.
Weighing Affordability and Quality
When deciding on a roofing product, the most important thing to consider is quality versus affordability. Generally, it is better to err on the side of quality. However, quality must always be weighed alongside initial and long-term costs.
This is why choosing a reliable roofing company for installation and high-quality roofing materials is so important. These two qualities alone can extend the life span of your roof immensely. Keeping these points in mind also lessens the chances of asphalt roofing becoming excessively damaged a few years down the road.
The longer your roof lasts, the more likely your insurance coverage will be higher too. Improperly installed roofing can mean constant and unnecessary maintenance — or worse, total replacement far before the roof should need it.
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