Used in both residential and commercial applications, asphalt shingles are economical to produce, relatively easy to install and widely available. Asphalt shingles are today’s most popular roofing material because they are less costly than other roofing materials, easy to replace or repair and typically come with a long warranty.
Made of a woven fiberglass base mat, covered with a waterproof asphalt coating, and topped with ceramic granules that shield the product from harmful UV rays, asphalt shingles can have high fire and wind ratings depending on the type. Because of the composition of the fiberglass mat, less asphalt is needed to give the shingles their durability and strength. The result is a lighter weight and thinner roofing material. Fiberglass shingles are the roofing material of choice for most homeowners today.
How to choose the right asphalt shingle
Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors and styles to match any exterior. There are three basic types of asphalt shingles:
One-piece, single-layer 3-tab asphalt shingles are the most basic and affordable shingles that can last up to 20 years, in the right conditions. This style of shingle is a good option for homeowners on a budget.
However, 3-tab shingles lack the aesthetic qualities of dimensional or premium luxury shingles and have a “flat” look on the roof.
3-tab shingles have a lower wind rating and are subject to “blow-off” in high wind conditions. This shingle type is less popular today and is usually found on older homes or new economy homes.
Also known as architectural or laminated shingles, this type of shingle has two layers that are bonded together. The bottom layer is exposed because notches are randomly removed from the top layer resulting in a three-dimensional look.
Dimensional shingles are strong, boast a multi-dimensional texture and appearance and can last up to 30 years or longer. In many cases, these shingles come with a limited lifetime warranty.
The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) reports that dimensional shingles are the most popular shingle used today, accounting for nearly 75% of all asphalt roofing installations or replacements.
The main reason? They look great and have fabulous curb appeal!
Luxury shingles are designed to replicate the look of natural slate or cedar shake roofs, at a fraction of the cost. Slate and shake roofs are very expensive to purchase and install and natural slate can cost up to 10 times the cost of a luxury or premium architectural shingle.
The multi-dimensional texture of luxury shingles creates shadows and depths that look just like real shakes or slate. These shingles have extra layers that bring extra weight. In fact, they can weigh twice as much per square as basic 3-tab shingles. Extra weight means higher wind ratings and helps to guard against tears and storm damage.
If you’re in the market for a roof replacement, let Firehouse Exteriors show you all the options. We carry all major shingle brands, as indicated below.
Simply click on the manufacturer’s logo to view styles and colors.