Camel City Roofing

Asphalt Shingles
January 26, 2024

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingle roofs are one of the most popular roofing options for residential and commercial buildings. They are made from a combination of asphalt, fiberglass, or organic materials, and come in a variety of colors and styles to suit any architectural design. Asphalt roofs are instantly recognizable and have maintained their popularity for over a century. Widely used on steep-slope roofs, they are the go-to choice for residential properties, including townhomes and condo complexes. While asphalt shingles have always proven to be effective, advancements in technology have made them even better.

Asphalt Shingles Materials

Asphalt shingles consist of four layers, beginning with a lightweight, fiberglass-reinforced mat that provides tear resistance. The fiberglass is then coated with hot asphalt, a petroleum-based material that effectively repels moisture and withstands wind and debris impact. To enhance both appearance and UV protection, ceramic-coated mineral granules are embedded. Property owners and managers have a wide range of granule colors to choose from. The final layer comprises raw asphalt sealant strips, strategically applied to secure each shingle in place and concealed by the subsequent layer of shingles.

Different Types of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

The most popular type of asphalt shingles is the 3-tab shingle, which is one of the cheapest roofing material options that provides a clean and classic look. For property owners and managers looking for more dimension and texture, architectural or dimensional shingles are also available. These types of roof shingles have a layered appearance, mimicking the look of wood shakes or slate tiles.

  • 3-tab shingles: These shingles represent the most economical and fundamental choice, offering entry-level shingles that can withstand wind uplift of 60-80mph. They have a sleek and lightweight design, earning their name from the appearance of three continuous shingles. They are available in a wide array of colors.
  • Architectural shingles: These are a superior roofing option compared to 3-tab shingles. They are heavier, thanks to their thicker layers, and display a 3D appearance with varying patterns and tones. Not only do they offer enhanced wind and hail resistance, but they also boast superior fire resistance. Most architectural shingles are rated for wind uplift of up to 110mph, and when secured with six nails, they can withstand winds up to 130mph.
  • Premium shingles: These shingles are sometimes called designer shingles, and are designed to resemble natural roofing materials such as cedar shake or slate. Many of these shingles are rated to withstand wind uplift of up to 110mph.

The Advantages of Asphalt Roof Shingles

Asphalt shingles are highly favored for their efficacy and cost-effectiveness. When installed correctly, with proper spacing, precise nailing, and adequate force to withstand wind, these shingles effectively safeguard properties by facilitating easy water runoff. Although not inherently waterproof, their design does not necessitate it.

To ensure a leak-free roof system, it is crucial to give special attention to the underlayment, as advised by the National Roofing Contractors Association. Additionally, proper care should be taken with the flashing and valleys to minimize the risk of potential leaks.

Other benefits of asphalt shingles include:

  • The most cost-effective roofing choice
  • Easy installation, cutting, and fitting in corners and tight spaces
  • No need for additional structural support or extensive preparation work
  • Offers visual appeal with various color and texture options, including those resembling cedar shake and slate
  • Many options have high fire safety ratings
  • Provides impact resistance
  • Architectural shingles have a long lifespan

Although organic shingles did not meet expectations and are no longer produced, old asphalt shingles are now being effectively recycled. They are used in hot-mix asphalt for paved roads, to fill potholes, as a component of gravel mix for gravel roads, and even in the production of new asphalt shingles.

The Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingle roofs typically have a lifespan of 12-17 years. It’s worth noting that the longevity depends on the quality of the shingle and the installation. Additionally, climate plays a significant role in determining the performance of asphalt shingles. Despite their advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider:

  • Basic options are more prone to being lifted by wind.
  • They can perform poorly in extreme heat and crack when subjected to extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • Installation at below freezing temperatures can cause damage.
  • Colors may fade and darker tones reflect less light.
  • Hail and UV rays can cause damage.
  • In certain climates, moss and algae may grow.
  • Installing architectural or premium shingles on low-slope roofs can make them vulnerable to wind uplift.

Despite these drawbacks, asphalt shingle roofs remain a top choice for many property owners and managers. With proper installation, maintenance, and repair, they can provide long-lasting protection and enhance the visual appeal of any building. As technology advances and new materials are developed, asphalt shingles continue to evolve and improve, making them an even more attractive roofing option.

Camel City Roofing: Your Asphalt Shingle Experts

At Camel City Roofing, we offer a wide range of residential roofing services, including asphalt shingle installation, maintenance, repair, and replacement. We have a team of experienced professionals who can help you choose the right type and color of shingles for your property and ensure proper installation for long-lasting performance. So, whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or want to upgrade your property’s aesthetics and functionality with premium shingles, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for all your asphalt shingle roofing needs.