Almost two thirds of all homes in the United States use asphalt shingle roofs, but these widespread roof systems come in many varieties, deciding what’s the best kind of asphalt roofing is not easy – the selection of the best materials requires homeowners to assess their specific situation in terms of aspects related to the local climate, costs, durability, resistance, warranty and the difficulty of the installation. The popularity of the material is due to the numerous great features and benefits it offers, but to make the best choice you need to select your shingles based on your exact priorities – here are some details about the types of shingles available today.
Types of Asphalt Shingles
In terms of the materials used for the manufacturing, there are two basic types of asphalt shingles: fiberglass shingles and organic shingles. Fiberglass shingles consist of a mat made from fiberglass mesh that gets soaked in asphalt and covered in a surface layer of granules that give the shingle its color and provides it with extra protection against the elements.
The material is easy to produce, and therefore it is among the most affordable roofing materials available today and its popularity is also due to its flexibility and lightweight structure. Organic shingles use some sort of recycled material, usually paper that is also soaked into asphalt and covered in granules. Organic shingles are a bit heavier than fiberglass varieties, but they are also more resistant to weather-related impact, including hail and high winds.
When it comes to design, the two basic types of shingles are architectural and 3-tab varieties. 3-tab shingles are thinner, lighter and warranted for around 20 years, features that make them the cheaper option of the two. Architectural shingles weigh around 50% more than 3-tab varieties, they come with longer warranties (over 30 years) and they offer a more attractive, dimensional appearance, therefore they are more expensive as well.
The Most Important Features to Look for When You Select Your Asphalt Shingles
Beside weight, price and appearance, there are a few other factors that homeowner should consider when deciding what’s the best kind of asphalt roofing for their home:
- Climate – most 3-tab shingles can withstand winds up to 60 mph, while architectural varieties are usually rated for winds raging at 80-120 mph, so homes in moderate areas can use 3-tab systems, but buildings in windier and intensively storm-prone regions are better off using architectural shingles;
- Resistance to impact – both architectural and 3-tab shingles are available in varieties that offer higher resistance to impact – if the area where you live gets very strong hail storms, check out roofing systems that have a Class 3 or Class 4 impact resistance rating;
- The slope angle of your roof – 3-tab shingles are suitable for steep-sloping roofs as well as for roofs that feature a milder angle, while architectural varieties are more recommended for roofs that are not very steep.
Determining what’s the best kind of asphalt roofing requires homeowners to consider many different factors and aspects – if you think it is an overwhelming task, you can consult a local Superior Roofing Manhattan KS contractor before making the final decision to make sure your selection is the best, indeed.