Everything You Need to Know About Asphalt Shingles
Does your home need a new roof? If shingles are your first-choice re-roofing material, take a look at the questions to ask before you schedule a replacement service.
Are All Shingles Made from Asphalt?
Asphalt shingles are common, but shingles are often made from other materials. This means you need to get specific before you select a product or agree to a re-roofing estimate. The most popular types of shingles include:
- Asphalt. Again, this is what most homeowners think of when they hear the word shingles. The popular roofing material is affordable, easy to install, and durable. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to meet your design needs.
- Clay and concrete. Clay or concrete tile shingles are popular picks in the American South. These shingles have a lifespan of 100-plus years, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).
- Wood. Wood isn’t the most durable material for your roof. But this option has a classic, rustic look that can add to your home’s curb appeal.
- Metal. Metal isn’t only a flat roof or full-sheet option. This durable roofing material also comes in a shingle style.
If you’re not sure whether asphalt shingles are the best option for your re-roofing project, discuss the alternatives with your contractor. A professional roofer can help you to understand the pros and cons of each type of shingle.
Are Asphalt Shingles Expensive?
The price of a shingle re-roof service depends on the type of material you choose. Asphalt shingles typically come with the least expensive price tag. Even though this popular roofing material is budget-friendly, asphalt shingles do vary somewhat in price. The cost of asphalt shingles includes:
- The type of shingle. There are two primary types of asphalt shingles — three-tab and architectural. Three-tab shingles typically (but not always) have a lower price tag.
- The manufacturer. Some manufacturers charge more for the product. Discuss different brands with the contractor to find one that fits within your budget.
- The quality. A higher-quality product may cost more. Even though you’ll pay more upfront, a higher quality shingle can save you money in repair and replacement costs over time.
- The installation. The shingles aren’t the only cost for a re-roofing service. You’ll also need to pay for the labor and other related installation charges.
Don’t let your home improvement budget leave you with worn or damaged roofing shingles. If your home’s roof is in desperate need of an upgrade, the contractor can help you to find an option that fits your price range.
Are Three-Tab or Architectural Shingles Better?
If you decide on asphalt shingles for your home’s re-roofing job, the next step is to choose which type of asphalt product is right for your roof. The primary differences between the two types of asphalt shingles include:
- Durability. While both types of shingles are durable, architectural asphalt is thicker and made from more layers than the three-tab version. This adds durability and may give your roof a longer lifespan.
- Style. Three-tab and architectural asphalt shingles both come in a variety of colors. The structure of the architectural option may offer more style, shape, and size options.
- Price. The three-tab version costs less for the initial purchase. But the shorter lifespan may cost you more over time.
Each type of asphalt product has pros and cons. Factor your current home improvement budget, long-term costs, and design issues into your roofing decision. If you’re still not sure which type of shingle is the best option, the roofer can show you samples or photos of the products. A real-world view can help you to decide which option has the right look for your home.
How Much Maintenance Do the Shingles Require?
Cost, durability, and style are primary factors in the roofing decision-making process. Along with these issues, you also need to think about overall roofing maintenance. All types of roofing materials require some degree of maintenance. Even though asphalt is fairly low-maintenance in comparison to other materials, you will still need to:
- Inspect the shingles often. Asphalt shingles can crack or curl. Damage and wear can leave your roof vulnerable to leaks. Regular inspection from the ground and a periodic professional evaluation can help you to keep the shingles in top shape.
- Clean and clear the roof. Debris (such as branches or leaves) can cause excess wear and tear. A roofer can help you to keep the area clean and clear. You may also need to remove algae or moss growth.
- Replace missing or damaged shingles. A few missing or storm-damage shingles don’t require a full re-roof service. If you notice damage or blank spots, a roofer can replace the missing shingles.
Even though roof maintenance may seem like an easy activity, it’s a task that requires a professional. Roof maintenance requires experience, expertise, and the right equipment. A DIY job can put both you and your roof at risk.
Do you need a new roof? Contact the Roof Doctor for more information.