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Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt Shingles are the most common type of roofing material.  If you were to look at the majority of the homes in the United States, it is estimated that nearly ninety percent of them would have some type of asphalt shingle roofs.  So why do so many people choose them?  Is it their look and style?  Is it durability?  Is it simply a price issue?  In reality, the answer is that it's a combination of all of these things.

Two Types of Asphalt Shingles:  Fiberglass and Organic

There are two main types of asphalt shingles.  The first is a fiberglass shingle which has a base mat made of glass fibers that are coated in ceramic mineral granules.  The benefit of the fiberglass shingle includes being more light weight, more fire resistant and are more resistant to cracking.  They are most common in the south and central United States. 

The second type is known as an organic shingle or an organic-mat shingle.  The difference from the fiberglass option is that its mat is made from a cellulose fiber which is a derivative of wood (hence the term 'organic').  The mat is coated with a softer asphalt before finally being coated with a harder asphalt for stability.  It is important to note that the organic material generally has two coats of asphalt applied whereas the fiberglass option has only one.  Organic shingles are known to be stronger and more durable and can also be more flexible in colder weather conditions.  They are most popular in colder environments like in the northern US and throughout most of Canada.

Durability and Warranty Considerations

Asphalt shingles are known to be a very tough roofing material option.  As a result, their manufacturers offer impressive warranties that last for 20 to 30+ years.  When you are looking to purchase these types of shingles, you should not look only at the warranty but also on their quality ratings.  A fiberglass shingle conforms to the ASTM D-3462 rating and the organic shingle conforms to the ASTM D-225 rating.  These ratings mean that in order for the product to be compliant they must pass specific tests including nail-withdrawal and tear strength tests.  There are also tests from the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that test for stability during high winds.  The tests include requiring that the shingle stay intact for two hours of continuous 60 miles per hour winds.  If the shingle lifts at all during this test it cannot bear the UL label.  We recommend keeping an eye on the UL ratings and ASTM standards in addition to the product warranty.  Even if the product has a 30 year warranty, you might find that it is a hassle to get the product replaced and may even cost you more money in the end.

Asphalt Shingle Styles

The common asphalt shingle style is known as 3-tab and comes in a variety of color choices.  Some homeowners choose to upgrade to what is known as an architectural shingle or dimensional shingle which gives the roof more of a unique texture or contour.  The reason is because these shingles are typically twice as thick as the standard 3-tab and they are not uniform in their width.  The result is that once installed on a roof, a more unique design is achieved.  Further, the thicker non-conforming shingle makes installation easier since a roof installer does not have to match each tab together with perfect symmetry which is more time consuming.

Need More Help From a Asphalt Shingle Roofing Professional?

If you require further assistance with asphalt shingle roofing installation, repair or replacement, we offer Free Roofing Estimates from local qualified roofing contractors. Our service is free and has no obligations to purchase.  Let us help you take the first step in getting your roofing project underway.