How to Choose High-Quality Asphalt Roof Shingles
A new asphalt shingle roof is a significant investment. To get the most bang for the buck, you’ll want to consider the quality of shingles, the knowledge and skill level of the roofers you intend to hire, and also a few preventative maintenance guidelines. When high-quality asphalt roof shingles are correctly installed and well maintained, they can last for decades.
Though getting the best asphalt roof shingles for your project isn’t too complicated, choosing the right shingles involves more than just considering style and color. Now, we invite you to read on for the best tips on how to select and maintain asphalt shingles.
Consider the Types of Shingles
Asphalt roof shingles come in two main varieties:
- Fiberglass Shingles – Fiberglass shingles are made from a woven fiberglass mat coated with top-and-bottom layers of asphalt and topped with ceramic granules. Since these shingles have a higher fire rating (typically Class A, while organic shingles only garner B or C) and are more durable than their organic counterparts, they come with extended warranty. Additionally, today’s manufacturers make available Energy Star certified fiberglass shingles, which keep buildings cooler and reduce air-conditioning costs.
- Organic Shingles – Traditionally consisting of cellulose fiber (e.g. recycled waste paper or wood) saturated with asphalt, organic shingles are coated with a mixture of asphalt and mineral fillers. Compared to fiberglass shingles, organic shingles are costlier, heavier, thicker, and less environmentally friendly due to the high asphalt content. Because these shingles absorb more water than fiberglass shingles, they deform more as they age.
Choose the Right Style
One thing good about asphalt roof shingles is that they are made so many colours and styles some even look like other types of roofing materials. Before opting for a particular style, it’s essential to know that fiberglass and organic shingles are further divided into two categories:
- Three-tab Shingles – Considered the standard-bearer of asphalt shingles, three-tab shingles are manufactured in a single layer. Since these shingles are thinner, flatter and less durable than the architectural shingles described below, they carry shorter warranty periods.
- Architectural shingles – Also known as “laminated” or “dimensional” shingles (due to an extra laminated layer onto the top surface), the architectural shingles are thicker and more durable than regular three-tab shingles. The distinctive textured appearance makes them appropriate for complementing not only elegant historical buildings but also luxury contemporary residential construction.
Asphalt Shingle Roof Maintenance
Regular maintenance is one of the few things a homeowner can do to keep his house in tip-top shape and preserve its market value. Here are our top maintenance tips:
- Clean debris on a regular basis to prevent water from stagnating on the roof and deteriorating the shingles
- Routinely inspect and replace cracked or broken shingles and roof flashings
- Repair all loose shingles
- Replace old caulking and sealants
- Remove tree limbs that are hanging over the roof
- If you have no knowledge, skills, tools or time to perform regular maintenance, hiring a professional is the only way to keep your asphalt shingle roof in good condition.
Since the roof is one of the first things people see when they look at a building, the type of roofing material dramatically impacts the overall curb appeal of the building along with the first impression of viewers. For a consistent appearance, the type and color of roofing materials should be carefully considered.
To find out what roof shingles are best for your project or to get more information about our products and services, we invite you to contact our experts at Heather and Little today.