Asphalt roofing shingles are among the most popular and commonly used roofing material in residential buildings today. While asphalt shingles are preferred because they are waterproof, it is a useful ingredient in manufacturing roofing shingles because the asphalt holds granules in place and at the same time enhances the overall strength of the shingle. Asphalt also remains flexible without drying out or getting brittle over time.
Types of Asphalt Roofing Shingles
There are 3 major types of asphalt roofing shingles on the market.
- Strip Asphalt Roofing Shingles
These look like slate-roofing and are strips of single layered asphalt made into lightweight shingles. A tough fiberglass base makes these roofs resistant to wind damage and keeps the shingles from blowing off in heavy winds. Strip asphalt roofing shingles are a popular choice for budget homes and for replacing an existing shingle roof.
- Dimensional Asphalt Roofing Shingles
These multi-layered shingles are meant to add aesthetic appeal to a building. They are heavier shingles and usually come with extended warranties that range to at least 30 years.
- Premium Asphalt Roofing Shingles
A form of laminated asphalt shingles, these have a differentiated appearance. They are easy to distinguish from other kinds of asphalt roofing shingles. They help give a roof an old-world appearance, and will mimic natural slate or shake roofs in look. Functionally, premium roofing shingles are better and have greater impact and wind resistance, while reflecting away much of the incipient radiation from sunlight.
What Makes Asphalt Roofing Shingles a Better Choice?
Asphalt roofs are not just popular because they are inexpensive. They are also simple to install and many home owners choose to go the do-it-yourself route. Asphalt roofing shingles are also durable, available in a range of colors, and are easy to repair and maintain.
Organic asphalt shingles which are coated with felt for waterproofing and embedded with ceramic granules in a top coating of adhesive asphalt gives them greater durability and resistance against blowing off. Glass fiber asphalt roofing shingles have a glass fiber reinforcing mat coated with asphalt and mineral filling. Though not waterproof, this shingle is tougher and stronger.
Reflectivity is another advantage of asphalt roofing shingles, especially the kind with ceramic granules embedded within them. They keep the shingles from heat related deterioration as well as reflect heat away from the roof lowering energy costs for cooling.
How Long Do Asphalt Roofing Shingles Last?
The longevity of asphalt shingles depends upon the environment. In temperate climates, these shingles have a longer life than in tropical weather conditions. On average an asphalt shingle roof can be expected to last 20 years. More than absolute temperature, changes due to heating and cooling are what seems to damage roofing shingles sooner. Thermal shock causes expansion and contraction of the shingles, with acceleration of their wear and tear.
Ventilation beneath the roof is another factor that impacts the lifespan of your asphalt shingle roof. Better attic ventilation will prolong the roof’s service.
Asphalt shingle manufacturers offer a long warranty that lasts 20 to 40 years. Things like thermal splitting or granule loss are covered, as well as physical damage to the shingles like curling and cupping. Keep the manufacturer’s warranty documents safe in order to claim replacement costs is there is any damage within the period.
An important point to keep in mind is that warranties typically cover material costs without including labor. There are also certain kinds of damage that are excluded under these terms, and you need to carefully study the warranty document to know these limitations.
Which Brands of Asphalt Shingle Roofing Are Best?
There are many manufacturers of asphalt shingles in the US and Canada. Many specialize in a range of other roofing materials in addition to asphalt shingles, and will also offer any accessories you may need for your roofing such as under-layments, ridge vents, flashing, power vents, ridge caps, step flashing and more.
The popular manufacturers in the US and Canada include GAF, CertainTeed, Owens Corning, Tamko, and IKO. These names are the biggest brands in roofing and offer solutions to meet just about any roofing need. Because there is little to choose between the different brands by way of quality of the shingles, it is better to base your decision upon the roofing contractor who will work on your building.
Asphalt roofing shingles are a popular solution for most budget homes and residential buildings because they are inexpensive, durable, long lasting and easy to install. With a range of choices available, you are sure to find an asphalt shingle solution to meet your needs.