Why Are Asphalt Roofing Shingles Popular?
Asphalt roofing shingles are engineered to beautify and protect your home against inclement weather. Asphalt models also offer protection against water infiltration caused by wind-driven rain or ice dams. This material is especially popular with homeowners and contractors for the following reasons:
Cost. The inexpensive cost of shingles made of asphalt beats the price of other materials–like steel, natural stone tiles or genuine wood shakes.
Maintenance. Asphalt has fewer maintenance issues than stone tiles or wood shakes.
Installation. Asphalt is quicker and easier to install than other types of roofing materials.
Variety. Asphalt is widely available in a huge assortment of colors, pattern designs and sizes.
Asphalt shingles are less expensive than other types of roofing materials, which explains their popularity. Asphalt operates as a sealant that waterproofs the ceiling of your home. Due to the solidity of asphalt, it also increases the strength of the shingle itself. The length of time you can expect the shingles to perform will depend on your climate, installation, and a variety of other factors. Note that asphalt shingle warranties vary considerably from one manufacturer to another. Many companies offer limited lifetime warranties and assorted pro-rated periods.
Roof Shingle Types
Asphalt roofing shingles are available in two primary forms: three-tab and dimensional.
Three-tab asphalt shingles are a linear, traditional style that is rapidly declining in popularity and gradually disappearing altogether.
Dimensional roofing shingles are preferred by today’s discerning homeowners. These laminated shingles come in a wide variety of colors, styles and profiles, each designed to fit a range of looks and budgets.
High-end dimensional roofing shingles can mimic the designer look of natural slate tiles or genuine cedar shakes without their associated expense or maintenance worries. In areas where local fire codes prohibit the use of wood shakes, these Class A, Fire- Resistance-rated dimensional shingles can help you achieve the look of real wood.
What Are Asphalt Shingles Made Of?
Asphalt roofing shingles have an asphalt-coated fiberglass mat at their core. This helps them remain flexible in extreme cold. Being too brittle can compromise shingles’ integrity, durability and ability to resist water penetration. It also adds weight, which is important for the shingles to lie flat.
Asphalt shingle’s top coating is embedded with ceramic granules that help protect the asphalt’s coating against deterioration from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. In many cases, algae-resistant granules are included to help inhibit the growth of blue-green algae, which causes unattractive black streaks and discoloration.
If you notice that your gutters are full of granules, it might be time to replace your roof. While some granule loss is to be expected over time, too much might indicate faulty shingles.
Styles and Colors of Shingles
Depending on your home’s style, the roof may account for as much as 40 percent of its visual exterior. And with today’s trend of creating outdoor living spaces, you could be looking at your roof a lot more often. Your choice of style and color may reflect your personality and individual taste, but it’s always important to keep your home’s resale value in mind. Avoid materials and designs that will make listing your house difficult.
Asphalt roofing shingles are manufactured in an overwhelming variety of styles and colors. It’s important to select a shingle profile that respects and complements the architecture of your home. Some profiles are straight, while others are contoured to mimic the look of random-cut natural stone tiles or hand-hewn wood shakes. Some shingles have a scalloped edge that co-ordinates especially well with the gingerbread trim and steep slope roof of Victorian-style homes.
The next consideration when choosing the right shingle is color. With all the choices currently available, it’s no wonder that this is often a homeowner’s most difficult decision.
Warm, earthy tones are a good choice if you want your home to blend into its natural surroundings, or if your home is in a casual, rustic setting.
Monochromatic colors – black, white and grey – can add drama and classical elegance to traditional or even minimalist home designs.
Lighter colors, from sandy greys and dusty browns to pastel blues, can help homeowners express their personal sense of style.
Recent advances in color blending technology have created some spectacular shingle options. These can make your home stand out and boost its curb appeal. Just be sure your shingles don’t clash or compete with other exterior elements.
Climate considerations are also imperative when choosing the right shingle color and style. Keep these climate factors in mind:
Darker-colored shingles absorb heat and light, while lighter colors reflect it.
Humid or maritime climates are more susceptible to algae growth, so look for algae-resistant shingles (AR) that help inhibit the growth of streak-causing blue-green algae.
Look at your shingles in the daylight against your siding before you make any final decisions. Keep in mind that light itself has different characteristics that vary by geography. In northern areas, light has a bluish cast. In southern and southwestern regions, light takes on a warmer, reddish tone.