For most homeowners looking to do a re-roofing job on a budget while maintaining a fairly attractive look and weather tightness of their home, a composition shingles roof aka asphalt is perhaps the most plausible, simple, and cost-effective solution.
In a highly competitive residential roofing market saturated with numerous options, asphalt shingles are by far one of the most popular choices.
While not as durable and long-lasting as some of the more premium roofing materials such as metal, cedar shakes, slate, or clay tiles, asphalt shingles can provide adequate protection and sufficient aesthetic appeal at only a fraction of the cost of other systems.
In this guide, you will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of composition shingle roofs to help you decide if this popular roofing option is the best fit for your home.
Two Types of Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt-shingles-roof Asphalt shingles come in two types: organic and fiberglass:
Old School Organic shingles pretty much a thing of the past are based on paper (waste paper) saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof, with coatings of adhesive salt and ceramic granules embedded on top. While organic shingles are more durable than fiberglass ones, they are more flammable and hence more prone to fire. They are less environmentally-friendly due to their high asphalt (oil-based) content.
Fiberglass shingles are made with a base layer of glass fiber reinforcing mat. This mat is coated with asphalt, which contains mineral fillers and makes the shingle waterproof. Fiberglass shingles offer excellent fire protection. Today, fiberglass shingles are more commonly used and are slowly, but surely, replacing the organic shingles that are still on some home today.
By far the greatest advantage of composition shingles roofing is its relatively low upfront cost. This is the most affordable roofing option in the short term, which is why so many homeowners favor it. In most cases, a properly installed asphalt shingles roof will provide your home with a decent level of protection with an average lifespan of 12 to 17 years, all for a modest upfront cost.
Just because asphalt shingles are less expensive, does not mean they are lacking in style. Residential asphalt shingles are available in three profiles: 3-Tab (basic and least costly), Laminated (Architectural or Dimensional), and Premium.
Whether you have a contemporary or traditional style home, you can choose an asphalt shingles option that will be a good match.
A 3-tab shingle is the most basic and least expensive, entry-level roof shingles rated for up to 60mph – 70mph wind uplift.
Most 3-tab shingles come with a limited warranty provided by the product manufacturer; 10 to 25 years limited warranty is the norm for 3-tab shingles.
Variety of Styles: 3-Tab, Architectural, and Premium Shingles
You can easily recognize this style of shingles by its simple 3-tab pattern. You will normally need three bundles of shingles to cover 100 sq. ft. of the roof surface.
If you are willing to pay a bit more, installing architectural style also known as dimensional (laminated or composition) shingles will provide a beautiful 3-dimensional look to your roof, imitating the look of natural wood or slate shingles.
Most architectural shingles are rated for up to 110mph – 130mph wind uplift and will last longer than 3-tab shingle. Manufacturer ratings ranging from 20 to 50 years of limited lifetime warranty are the norm.
You will normally need three to four bundles (depending on the manufacturer and style of shingles) of architectural shingles to cover an area of 100 sq. ft.
Premium style shingles are the premium type known for their unique appearance and high cost. 😉 Most premium shingles are rated for a wind uplift of up to 110mph-130mph and come with a limited lifetime warranty. You will normally need five to six bundles of premium shingles to cover an area of 100 sq. ft.