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Different Types of Asphalt Shingles for Your Roof

Posted on January 17, 2024

Different Types of Asphalt Shingles for Your Roof

Since your roof shields your house and family from the elements, it should be durable and able to withstand harsh weather conditions. Asphalt shingles are widely used by homeowners due to their long lifespan, affordability, and the variety of styles available. There are several varieties, but which one should you pick? In this blog post, we will examine the various styles of asphalt shingle available for your house. 

What Are The Different Types Of Asphalt Shingles?

Let’s learn about how many types of asphalt shingles are there so you can find the right one for your roof:

#1. 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

The first option are 3-tab asphalt shingles, the oldest type of asphalt shingle still in use today. Around 80% of homeowners still choose these asphalt shingles for their roof. Initially, these shingles were monotone, with a single shade of brown or black. But with modern technology, these shingles are now multiple shades, providing a more aesthetically pleasing appearance compared to the variations in solid color.

Identifiable by their simple, consistent appearance, 3-tab shingles have a rectangular shape with three tabs on each strip. They lay flat when installed, and while they still dominate the residential roofing industry, other options are becoming more popular.

3-Tab asphalt shingles are a popular choice for roofs for many reasons:

> Affordable: One of the least expensive roofing materials.

> Lightweight: Easy to install and aren’t heavy.

> Easy Maintenance: Simple to take care of.

> Eco-Friendly: Can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

> Color Options: There are many colors to choose from.

But there are some things to consider:

> Flat Look: Can look simple and flat.

> Wind Susceptible: Thin and lightweight, so strong winds may lift them.

> Short Lifespan: Doesn’t last as long as other shingles or materials.

#2. Architectural Asphalt Shingles

Architectural Asphalt Shingles

The second shingle is a popular choice called architectural shingles. Unlike 3-tab shingles, they have two layers made of asphalt and fiberglass, making them thicker and more robust against weather. 

These shingles can mimic a look similar to wood shakes or natural slate. Becoming a well-liked option, they can be spotted by their unique appearance with alternating singles and double layers, often called dragon’s teeth. Though often considered stylish because of their looks, architectural shingles might not be the best for low-sloped roofs because of potential issues with wind-driven storms and water intrusion.

Architectural asphalt shingles are a favored choice for homeowners seeking a more attractive and sturdy roofing option because they offer:

> Enhanced Aesthetics: An appealing and dimensional look.

> Greater Durability: With multiple layers, they are more resistant to wind, impacts, and extreme weather, offering a longer lifespan compared to 3-tab shingles.

> Improved Warranty: Often comes with more extended warranties, giving homeowners added peace of mind and protection for their investment.

But there are some cons to keep in mind:

> Higher Cost: Generally more expensive due to their enhanced features and durability.

> Heavier Weight: These shingles are heavier than traditional ones, which may not be suitable for all structures.

#3. Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles

The next option is lesser known, but you’ve likely seen them as they are widely used on residential roofs: fiberglass asphalt shingles. These shingles have a base of fiberglass coated with asphalt and ceramic granules. The asphalt adds durability with water-resistance and the granules protect from UV rays, giving a classic look to your roof.

Being a great option, there are many benefits of installing fiberglass asphalt shingles. Some of them are: 

> Lightweight: Thinner and lighter than traditional asphalt shingles, making them easier to carry and install.

> Water and Fire-Resistance: Offers better resistance to water and fire, suitable for hot climates.

> Looks Good Anywhere: They blend in well, offering a standard look. They come in many colors and styles, even mimicking wood or slate.

> Little Upkeep: Once installed, they don’t need much care. No special cleaning or sealing is required, and they don’t break easily.

Some drawbacks to keep in mind include:

> Lower Durability: Less durable than traditional asphalt shingles, requiring earlier replacement.

> Not Ideal for Cold Climates: Thinner design makes them less suitable for cold climates and prone to cracking in low temperatures.

> Higher Cost: More expensive due to enhanced features and durability.

> Not Eco-Friendly: They don’t last long and can’t be recycled easily. 

#4. Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Luxury asphalt shingles combine style and performance, providing long-lasting safety and beauty to your home. Representing the top-tier shingle options from various brands, these premium shingles can mimic the look of natural slate tiles or wood shakes. 

They stand out for their increased thickness compared to architectural shingles, ensuring enhanced durability and visual appeal. Opting for luxury asphalt shingles is a great choice to elevate your home’s curb appeal, safety, and resale value.

Let’s break down the good and not-so-good sides:

Pros:

> Improved Curb Appeal: Luxury shingles have extra layers and cool patterns, making them more attractive than regular asphalt shingles.

> Durable: They last longer and handle heat, hail, and heavy rain better than the above mentioned options.

> Saves Energy: Luxury shingles are often energy efficient, which can mean lower energy bills in the long run.

Cons:

> Not for Tight Budgets: There might be better choices if you’re on a tight budget because these come at a premium price. But keep in mind they come with extra features and last longer.

#5. Organic Asphalt

The last is a one-of-a-kind roofing material called organic shingles, made by saturating cellulose with asphalt. With their water-resistant asphalt content, they hold up well against certain weather conditions despite their lightweight nature. 

Although these shingles were once very popular, they are challenging to get your hands on today because they have been widely discontinued on the current shingle market. These days, lightweight fiberglass, rather than cellulose, coated with asphalt makes up most residential roofing materials because it provides better flexibility and durability.

Let’s understand their benefits and drawbacks: 

Benefits: 

> Enhanced Durability: Organic asphalt shingles, containing more asphalt than fiberglass counterparts, exhibit improved durability.

> Cold Climate Performance: With added asphalt, organic shingles resist cracking and splitting better, making them suitable for colder weather conditions.

Drawbacks:

> Prone to Warping: The absorbent nature of organic shingles makes them more susceptible to warping, compromising their protective capabilities for the home.

> Heavier Construction: Being heavier than fiberglass shingles, organic counterparts pose challenges during installation and add extra weight to the home.

> Limited Fire Protection: Typically, paper-based, organic shingles offer less fire protection, making them less ideal for regions susceptible to wildfires.

What Type Of Asphalt Shingles Qualify For Tax Credit?

In 2024, a tax credit will be available for specific varieties of asphalt shingles. These shingles can lower utility costs, increase energy efficiency, and keep your home less humid if they have earned an ENERGY STAR certification

If you select these shingles, you will be qualified for a tax credit of up to $1,200, or 30% of the purchase price. The window of opportunity is open from January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2032. To qualify for the tax credit, make sure the roofing materials you choose are approved energy-efficient products on the list.

Conclusion

To sum it up, selecting the right asphalt shingles for your roof involves considering various factors. The rankings and comparisons offered here are meant to assist you in making an informed decision based on your priorities, such as longevity, aesthetics, or sustainability. 

Remember that seeking advice from roofing professionals, like those at Prestige Roofing, can offer personalized insights tailored to your requirements. 

Are You Looking For The Best Asphalt Shingle Roofing Services?

At Prestige Roofing, our experienced professionals are ready to assist with asphalt shingle installation or repair. Serving De Pere, WI, and surrounding areas, we prioritize your satisfaction and will help you understand what type of asphalt shingle is best for your home, ensuring a seamless process. 

With over 50 years of combined experience, we provide transparency, dedication, and a 10-year labor warranty for long-term peace of mind. Choose Prestige Roofing for a reliable and beautiful roof that stands the test of time! Contact us for a free estimate and inspection at (920) 672-1026.