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Which Asphalt Shingle is Right For Your Roof?

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Which Asphalt Shingle is Right For Your Roof?

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on selecting the best asphalt shingles for your roof. With so many options available in the market, it can be challenging to decide which shingles are the most suitable for your needs. The right choice can make a significant difference in the durability, style, and energy efficiency of your roof.

In this section, we will provide an overview of the top-rated asphalt shingles available in the market. We will explore their features and benefits to help you choose the right option for your roof. Let’s get started with the basics of selecting the best asphalt shingles for your roof!

Factors to Consider When Choosing Asphalt Shingles

Choosing the right asphalt shingles for your roofing needs can be challenging. With so many options available, it’s essential to consider several factors when deciding which shingles to install. Below are some of the critical factors to consider:


The durability of asphalt shingles is a crucial factor to consider. While all asphalt shingles have a lifespan, some are longer-lasting than others. Architectural shingles, for example, are thicker and more durable than traditional three-tab shingles. Designer shingles offer even greater durability and are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.


The cost of asphalt shingles varies, depending on the type and quality. Three-tab shingles are the most affordable option, while architectural and designer shingles are more expensive. It’s essential to consider the upfront cost as well as the long-term value of your investment.

Style and Aesthetics

Asphalt shingles are available in a wide range of styles and colors, making it easy to complement your home’s aesthetic. Certain styles, such as designer shingles, mimic the look of natural materials like slate or wood. It’s crucial to choose a style that complements your home’s architecture and design.

Energy Efficiency

Some asphalt shingles are designed to improve a home’s energy efficiency. Cool roofs, for example, use reflective materials that reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the roof. These shingles can help lower energy bills and improve a home’s overall energy efficiency.

Installation Requirements

The installation requirements for asphalt shingles can vary, depending on the type and quality of the shingles. Some shingles may require additional structural support or specific installation techniques. It’s important to consult with a professional roofer to ensure the proper installation of your asphalt shingles.

Weather Resistance

The weather resistance of asphalt shingles is crucial, particularly in areas with harsh weather conditions. Some shingles are designed to withstand high winds, hail, and heavy rain. It’s essential to consider the weather patterns in your area when selecting asphalt shingles.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing asphalt shingles for your roofing needs. Consult with a professional roofer to determine the best shingles for your home and ensure a proper installation process.

Benefits of Different Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are among the most popular roofing options, thanks to their durability, affordability, and versatility. However, not all asphalt shingles are the same. There are three main types of asphalt shingles, each with its unique benefits and features.

Architectural Shingles

Benefits Features
  • Durable and long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 50 years
  • Available in a wide range of colors and styles to match your home’s architectural design
  • Resistant to high winds, algae, and other common roofing issues
  • Constructed from multiple layers of asphalt, fiberglass, and other materials for enhanced strength and resilience
  • Thicker and heavier than traditional asphalt shingles, providing a more dimensional and textured appearance

Three-Tab Shingles

Benefits Features
  • Affordable option for homeowners on a budget
  • Lightweight and easy to install, saving time and labor costs
  • Available in a variety of colors and styles
  • Consist of a single layer of asphalt and fiberglass, making them thinner and less durable than other options
  • Straight and flat appearance, without the texture or depth of architectural shingles

Designer Shingles

Benefits Features
  • High-end option for homeowners seeking a luxury appearance for their roof
  • Available in a wide variety of colors, styles, and patterns, including options that mimic the look of slate or wood shakes
  • Durable and long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 50 years
  • Constructed from multiple layers of asphalt, fiberglass, and other materials, providing enhanced durability and resistance to weathering and damage
  • Thicker and heavier than traditional shingles, providing a more dimensional and textured appearance

When choosing asphalt shingles for your roof, it’s essential to consider your budget, desired appearance, and environmental factors. Each of these shingle types offers a unique set of benefits, allowing homeowners to select the option that best meets their needs and preferences.

Popular Asphalt Shingle Brands

Choosing the right brand of asphalt shingles is just as important as selecting the right type. Here are some of the most popular asphalt shingle brands:

Brand Reputation Customer Satisfaction Quality
1. GAF One of the largest shingle manufacturers in the US, with over 130 years of experience in the industry. Excellent customer reviews and high ratings in independent surveys. Wide range of shingle options that offer durability and long-lasting performance.
2. Owens Corning A trusted name in the industry since 1938, Owens Corning offers a broad range of shingle options to meet the needs of homeowners. Consistently ranks among the top shingle brands for customer satisfaction. Offers durable and weather-resistant shingles that come with a robust warranty.
3. CertainTeed A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the oldest company in the construction materials industry, CertainTeed offers a wide range of shingle options. Known for high-quality products and excellent customer service. Offers shingles that are durable, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly.
4. Atlas Has positioned itself as a leader in the roofing industry by offering top-quality shingle products and innovative technology. Offers a comprehensive warranty that includes coverage against algae staining and wind damage. Atlas shingles are durable, energy-efficient, and come in a range of styles and colors.

While these are some of the most popular asphalt shingle brands in the market, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and seek professional guidance to ensure that you select the right brand for your specific needs.

Installation Considerations for Asphalt Shingles

When it comes to installing asphalt shingles, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure that your roof is properly protected.

Professional Installation

While it may be tempting to tackle the project on your own, it’s recommended that you hire a professional roofing contractor for the installation process. They have the necessary experience and equipment to ensure that the job is done right the first time, minimizing the risk of complications and damage to your home.

Pre-Installation Inspection

Prior to installation, your roofer should inspect the existing roof to determine if any repairs or preparation must be done. This ensures a smooth installation process and a strong foundation for your new shingles.

Tearing off Old Shingles

If you are replacing old shingles, it’s essential that the old shingles be removed before installing the new ones. This process ensures that the new shingles adhere properly to the roof and that any underlying damage is addressed before installation.


Proper ventilation is essential to the longevity and health of your asphalt shingle roof. Be sure to discuss options and requirements for ventilation with your roofing contractor prior to installation.

Challenges During Installation

While asphalt shingle installation is a relatively straightforward process, there are some potential challenges that may arise. These include issues with weather, the roofing structure, and materials. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your roofing contractor and address them before installation.

Longevity and Maintenance of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a durable roofing option that can last for many years with proper maintenance. The lifespan of your roof will depend on several factors, including the quality of the shingles, the climate in your area, and the installation process.

To ensure the longevity of your roof, it’s essential to perform regular inspections and maintenance. You should inspect your roof for damage after severe weather conditions and clean your gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent water damage.

Maintenance Tips: Frequency:
Inspection for damage Twice a year
Cleaning gutters and downspouts Twice a year
Trimming overhanging trees Once a year
Removing debris from the roof As needed

If you notice any damage or missing shingles, you should address it promptly to prevent further problems. Small repairs can often be handled by a homeowner, but more significant damage may require professional roofing repairs.

It’s also essential to keep an eye on your roof’s ventilation. A well-ventilated roof can prolong the lifespan of your shingles by regulating temperatures and moisture levels.

Overall, with proper maintenance and regular inspections, your asphalt shingle roof can last for many years, providing excellent value for your investment.

Cost Considerations of Asphalt Shingles

When it comes to selecting asphalt shingles for your roof, cost is a significant consideration. The price of asphalt shingles can vary widely, depending on several factors.

Upfront Costs Long-Term Value
The initial cost of purchasing and installing asphalt shingles can be lower than other roofing materials, such as metal or tile. Although the initial cost may be lower, it’s essential to factor in the lifetime cost of the roof. Asphalt shingles may have a shorter lifespan than other materials, requiring more frequent replacements over time.
The size and slope of your roof, as well as the complexity of the installation, can also impact the upfront costs. When considering the long-term value, it’s important to evaluate the durability and energy efficiency of the shingles to determine their cost-effectiveness over time.

Other factors that may affect the overall cost of selecting asphalt shingles include:

  • The quality of the shingles
  • The brand of shingles
  • The color or style of the shingles
  • The region in which you live
  • The availability of local suppliers and contractors

By considering these factors and getting multiple quotes from reputable contractors, homeowners can make an informed decision about the cost of selecting asphalt shingles for their roof.

Environmental Impact of Asphalt Shingles

When selecting roofing materials, it’s important to consider the environmental impact of your choices. Asphalt shingles have traditionally received criticism for their impact on the environment, but there are steps you can take to mitigate this impact.

Recycling Asphalt Shingles

Did you know that asphalt shingles can be recycled? In fact, recycled asphalt shingles can be used in a variety of ways, such as paving roads and creating new asphalt shingles. Many recycling centers accept asphalt shingles, so be sure to do your research to find a center near you.

Eco-Friendly Roofing Alternatives

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly roofing alternative, there are a variety of options available. Consider materials such as metal, slate, or clay tiles, which are durable and long-lasting. Additionally, green roofs (roofs covered in vegetation) are becoming increasingly popular for their energy-efficient and environmentally friendly properties.

Material Recyclability Energy Efficiency Environmental Impact
Asphalt Shingles Recyclable Fair High
Metal Recyclable High Low
Slate Not Recyclable High Low
Clay Tiles Not Recyclable High Low-Medium

The Bottom Line

While asphalt shingles may not be the most environmentally friendly option, there are steps you can take to make them more sustainable. Recycling your old shingles and selecting energy-efficient options can help mitigate their impact on the environment.

Warranty and Insurance Considerations for Asphalt Shingles

When selecting asphalt shingles for your roof, it’s important to consider the warranty and insurance coverage that comes with them. These factors can protect your investment and ensure that you’re covered in case of any unexpected events or damages. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Warranty Coverage

Most manufacturers offer warranties on their asphalt shingles that range from 20 to 50 years. It’s important to read the fine print and understand what is covered under the warranty. Some warranties may only cover defects in the shingles themselves, while others may cover the cost of labor for installation and removal of defective shingles. It’s also important to note that warranties may be voided if the shingles are not installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions or if they are installed in areas with extreme weather conditions.

It’s a good idea to choose a reputable manufacturer with a strong warranty that covers both the cost of the shingles and the installation. This can provide peace of mind and ensure that you’re protected for the entire lifespan of your roof.

Insurance Coverage

Homeowner’s insurance typically covers damage to your roof caused by unforeseen events, such as natural disasters or accidents. However, it’s important to read your policy carefully and understand what is covered and what is not. Some policies may exclude damage caused by certain weather events, such as hail or wind, or may require additional coverage for these types of incidents.

If you live in an area prone to extreme weather conditions, it’s a good idea to invest in additional insurance coverage to protect your roof from damage. This can include coverage for hail damage, wind damage, and other weather-related incidents.

Considerations for Warranty and Insurance Coverage
Read the fine print of the warranty to understand what is covered.
Choose a reputable manufacturer with a strong warranty.
Read your homeowner’s insurance policy carefully to understand what is covered and what is not.
Invest in additional insurance coverage if you live in an area prone to extreme weather conditions.

Installation FAQs

When it comes to installing asphalt shingles, homeowners often have a few common questions. Here are some answers to help you get started:

1. Can I install asphalt shingles myself?

While it is possible to install asphalt shingles yourself, it is not recommended. Professional roofers have the necessary training, tools, and experience to get the job done right. Plus, hiring a professional ensures that your roof is installed safely and up to code.

2. How long does it take to install asphalt shingles?

The duration of the installation process depends on various factors, including the size and complexity of your roof and the weather conditions in your area. However, a typical asphalt shingle installation can take anywhere from one to three days.

3. Do I need to remove my old shingles before installing new ones?

In most cases, yes. It is recommended to remove old shingles before installing new ones. This allows for a clean surface and ensures that the new shingles adhere properly. However, if you have only one layer of shingles on your roof and they are in good condition, some roofers may be able to install the new shingles over the old ones.

4. Can asphalt shingles be installed in cold weather?

Yes, asphalt shingles can be installed in cold weather, but it requires additional precautions and preparation. Roofers may use specialized equipment and materials to ensure that the shingles adhere properly in colder temperatures.

5. How do I prepare my roof for asphalt shingle installation?

Prior to installation, your roof should be cleared of any debris or obstructions. The roof should also be inspected for any damage or leaks that need to be repaired before the new shingles are installed.

6. What should I do if I have a flat roof?

Asphalt shingles are not recommended for flat roofs. Flat roofs require a different type of roofing material such as EPDM rubber or TPO. If you have a flat roof, consult with a roofing professional for the best options.

7. Will installing asphalt shingles impact my home’s ventilation?

Proper ventilation is important for the longevity and performance of your roofing system. When installing asphalt shingles, roofers will ensure that proper ventilation is maintained or added if necessary.

Maintenance FAQs

Keeping an asphalt shingle roof in optimal condition requires regular maintenance. Here are some frequently asked questions about maintaining asphalt shingles:

How often should I inspect my asphalt shingle roof?

It is recommended to inspect your roof twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall. Look for signs of damage, such as cracked or missing shingles, and clear any debris that has accumulated on the roof.

How do I clean my asphalt shingle roof?

When cleaning your roof, use a gentle approach. Avoid using a pressure washer, as the force of the water can damage the shingles. Instead, use a solution of water and mild detergent, and a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any dirt or stains.

How do I repair a damaged asphalt shingle?

To repair a damaged shingle, first, remove the damaged shingle carefully. Then, install new shingles by following the manufacturer’s instructions. It is recommended to hire a professional roofer for any major repairs.

How can I prevent algae growth on my asphalt shingle roof?

To prevent algae growth, keep your roof clean and clear of any debris or leaves. Algae thrive in humid conditions, so ensure that your attic is properly ventilated to reduce moisture buildup.

How do I maintain my gutters to prevent damage to my asphalt shingle roof?

Regularly clean your gutters to prevent debris buildup and ensure proper water drainage. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up under the shingles, leading to damage or leaks.

Can I walk on my asphalt shingle roof?

It is not recommended to walk on your asphalt shingle roof, as the weight of a person can cause damage to the shingles. If there is a need to access your roof, hire a professional roofer who has the necessary equipment and expertise.


Here are some additional frequently asked questions related to asphalt shingles that homeowners might find helpful:

Q: What should I do if my asphalt shingles are curling or buckling?

A: Curling or buckling shingles are often a sign of weather damage or poor ventilation in the attic. It’s best to have a professional inspect the roof and determine the best course of action, which may include repairing or replacing the affected shingles.

Q: Can I install new asphalt shingles over old ones?

A: In some cases, it’s possible to install new asphalt shingles over the old ones, but it’s essential to check with local building codes and regulations first. It’s usually recommended to remove the old shingles and start fresh to ensure proper adhesion and ventilation.

Q: How long do asphalt shingles typically last?

A: The lifespan of asphalt shingles depends on various factors, such as the quality of the shingles, the climate in your area, and the level of maintenance. Generally, asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years.

Q: Can I walk on my asphalt shingle roof?

A: While it’s not recommended to walk on your roof unless necessary, asphalt shingle roofs can usually withstand some foot traffic. However, it’s crucial to take proper safety precautions and avoid stepping on the shingles’ unsupported area.

Q: Will my insurance cover the cost of replacing my asphalt shingle roof?

A: The insurance coverage for roof replacement varies depending on your policy and the cause of the damage. It’s best to review your insurance policy and consult with your insurance provider to determine if your roof replacement will be covered.

Q: Are there any special maintenance requirements for asphalt shingle roofs?

A: Asphalt shingle roofs require regular inspection and maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Homeowners should schedule an annual roof inspection, clean gutters regularly, and remove any debris or branches that may accumulate on the roof.

Q: How do I know if I need to replace my asphalt shingle roof?

A: Signs that your roof may need replacement include cracked or missing shingles, leaks, mold or mildew growth, and visible wear and tear. It’s essential to have your roof inspected by a professional if you suspect any damage or have concerns about its condition.

Q: How can I ensure proper ventilation in my attic and improve the performance of my asphalt shingle roof?

A: Proper attic ventilation is essential for the overall performance and longevity of your roof. Homeowners can improve ventilation by installing vents, adding insulation, sealing air leaks, and ensuring that the soffit vents are not blocked by debris.


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