Asphalt Shingles: What are They Made of and How are They Different?

The most popular roofing shingle material today is Asphalt. Inexpensive and simple to install, Asphalt shingles are widely used for residential homes. They’re available in many colors and are becoming an increasingly attractive option throughout the country. 

Asphalt roofing can be installed over the current shingles if the underlayment and roof system is in good shape. This is a great advantage to homeowners on a tight budget needing to replace their roofs.  Ask your professional roofing contractor if this is an option for your home. Regardless of whether you’re covering or replacing your roof, homeowners are lucky to have various asphalt shingles to select from. We’ve included information on the top 3 most popular types of asphalt shingles available.

3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

Manufactured with 3 tabs on each shingle, this design is the most popular of all shingles used for residential homes, although the custom look of dimensional shingles is gaining popularity in recent years. Shingles are coated with mineral granules giving a clean modern look to your roof.   The asphalt provides outstanding water resistance. These are also the most inexpensive asphalt shingles to purchase and install. Despite the thin construction, winds of 60 mph can be tolerated without damage. There is usually a 25-year warranty included from the manufacturer. Proper installation and attic ventilation will ensure a long lifespan.

Dimensional Asphalt Shingles

Dimensional asphalt shingles have random designs which imitate a wood shake-type roof. The cost is slightly higher than 3-tab shingles. Also called architectural shingles, dimensional shingles employ a layered design and thick construction gives the wood appearance. Notches are placed at random places as compared to the evenly spaced notches in 3-tab shingles. The result is a three-dimensional look when installed on your roof. Additionally, the bonded layers provide excellent protection against wind damage, and improved warranties are offered due to the heavier construction. The highest grade of these shingles can withstand up to 120 mph winds. 

Luxury or Premium Asphalt Shingles

This type of asphalt shingle is manufactured in a larger size than other designs to look like slate. Curb appeal is the primary reason homeowners choose luxury asphalt shingles, but there are additional benefits. The thick construction is highly durable. Extended warranties are available with these shingles because of their long lifespan. Luxury roofing shingles can last for 30 years or more with regular maintenance.  Proper attic ventilation and insulation can make it possible to push the lifespan even further.

The cost of premium roofing is more than other asphalt tiles, but the extended lifespan and extreme weather protection make it possible to recoup the initial investment over time. You can’t put a price on peace of mind, and this is exactly what you’ll get knowing you have a quality top-rated roof protecting your home. Many historical homes opt for this type of shingles to maintain their original appearance. Sometimes a historical home is required to have a certain quality to remain on the historical registry.

Asphalt Shingles Comparison Facts

Asphalt vs Metal Roofing – Asphalt and metal are the 2 most popular roofing materials. Metal has the edge if you looking for an extreme lifespan rather than a wide selection of colors or aesthetic appeal. Many commercial building owners, with deep pockets, opt for metal roofing. However, Asphalt shingles are much cheaper, more aesthetically pleasing, and far easier to install. For residential homeowners asphalt is the clear winner.

Asphalt vs Slate – There’s no doubt that slate roofing looks great. However, the cost is a huge deterrent to most homeowners. Another setback is structural issues during installation. This makes it very challenging for certain types of roof designs. Asphalt shingles don’t have any of these issues.

Asphalt vs Wood Shake Roofing – Modern building codes prohibit wood shake roofing in some areas. When these roof shingles start to fail, it isn’t long before your roof looks terrible. Splits and curled edges quickly begin to appear, ruining your roof’s aesthetic. Asphalt maintains its appearance much longer and can be manufactured to adopt any material’s appearance at a fraction of the cost.

The Bottom Line

All of these roofing options have their place in the industry, but Asphalt has a clear advantage for residential homeowners. With all the designs and colors available, asphalt will undoubtedly be the leader for the foreseeable future. It’s the clear winner in terms of variety, budget concerns, durability, and lifespan. For these reasons and more, Asphalt shingles are becoming increasingly popular. As a result, the industry is continuously making more options available to meet demand.

If you’re interested in asphalt roofing, don’t hesitate to contact Moss Roofing to discuss a new roof for your home. Our experienced staff will be happy to answer all your questions concerning asphalt roofing. We have been proudly serving Indianapolis and the surrounding area for over 25 years. Our company is committed to honesty, integrity, and quality workmanship. Let’s get started upgrading your home today!

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