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A Homeowner’s Guide To Asphalt Shingles: Types & More

Posted on April 20, 2024

A Homeowner’s Guide To Asphalt Shingles: Types & More

Navigating through roofing material options for your home can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With our comprehensive blog post, you will learn about the best types of asphalt shingles and find the right products for your home. 

Whether you’re a new homeowner or planning to replace your old roof – this guide on asphalt shingles and their types will provide valuable insights to empower you to make an informed decision. Continue reading through the end for tips on making a final choice. 

What Are Asphalt Shingles?

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a protective material installed onto your roof deck. They offer reliability, aesthetic elegance, and cost-effectiveness, which explains why asphalt shingles consistently rank as America’s number one choice for residential roofs.

The secret to what makes this material so attractive lies in its design, which combines durability with affordability. And unlike other roofing materials like metal or clay tiles, installing asphalt shingling requires no specialized tools or expertise, making it DIY-friendly.

Composition And Characteristics of Asphalt Shingles

At their core, asphalt shingles consist of two essential ingredients: fiberglass matting or mixed organic materials, such as felt paper, coated heavily with asphalt, which serves as a waterproof barrier. 

These shingles vary in weight (from lighter to heavyweight options), but all of them provide some form of resistance against fire and adverse weather conditions, including wind-driven rain, hail, and heavy snowfall. 

Another key characteristic contributing to the popularity of asphalt shingle roofs is their versatility in terms of the colors and styles available. This means homeowners have a unique opportunity to match any architectural scheme, enhancing curb appeal while simultaneously meeting personal style requirements.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

When searching for asphalt shingles, you’re likely to get overwhelmed by the extensive range. From traditional varieties to designer ones, there’s an asphalt shingle for every style and budget. In this section, I’ll walk you through different types of asphalt shingles that are commonly available.

1. Traditional Asphalt Shingles

Traditional Asphalt Shingles

Referred to as ‘3-tab shingles,’ traditional asphalt shingles held dominance for decades due to their cost-effectiveness and ease of installation. This type of shingle has a flat and uniform appearance with three rectangular tabs, giving your roof a sleek aesthetic. However, they are relatively thin and have a lower life expectancy compared to other categories.

On a positive note, 3-tab shingles are lightweight, requiring a less rigorous roof installation. While not very rich in looks, these traditional shingles generally last for up to 20 years. 

2. Architectural Asphalt Shingles

Architectural Asphalt Shingles 2

Architectural or dimensional asphalt shingles offer advancements in both durability and aesthetics over traditional ones. These shingles are manufactured with multiple layers fused together, creating depth on the roof surface, hence the name ‘dimensional shingles’. 

Severe weather and high wind resistance combined with distinctive styles has made architectural asphalt shingles surpass 3-tab shingles in terms of popularity. 

Along with the advantages they come with, architectural shingles can be installed on more complex roof styles. However, these shingles are more costly upfront compared to traditional shingles, which can influence the homeowner’s decision. 

3. Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Luxury Asphalt Shingles

This type of asphalt shingles lies on the higher end of the cost spectrum. Also known as premium shingles, this option can emulate high-end roofing materials like slate or wood shakes but at a fraction of the cost. Their deeper shadow lines and greater contouring render a more realistic appeal, imitating natural roofing materials remarkably well.

Moreover, luxury shingles offer a superior lifespan compared to different types of asphalt options available on the market today due to their multi-layer construction. One of the great advantages of installing luxury shingles is that they increase the value of your home incredibly while also providing peace of mind. 

Related: How Long Does An Asphalt Shingle Roof Last

4. Performance Asphalt Shingles

Performance asphalt shingles are specifically engineered keeping severe weather conditions in mind. Unfavorable climates necessitate resilient asphalt shingle options that can withstand harsh winds and impact from flying debris. In this category, there are two main types of shingles. 

a) Impact Resistant Shingles

Impact resistant shingles are the recently coined term for shingles more capable of withstanding unpredictable weather and forceful impacts. These shingles come with added layers, more embedded granules, and an increased level of durability. Impact resistant shingles are thicker and are specifically made to deliver the value that they promise. To address the need for high-impact resistance, manufacturers have added flexibility and strength enhancements to these asphalt shingles. 

b) Wind Resistant Shingles

The problem with lightweight and single-layered asphalt shingles is they are more prone to blow off in the course of high winds and intense storms. This can leave the roof exposed to further damage that demands extensive repairs. 

Therefore, to counter this issue, shingle brands have incorporated wind resistance adhesion strips that prevented lift off during strong winds. This bolstered their ability to stand up against tough weather conditions. 

Best 3-Tab Shingles To Consider For Your Home 

The most popular 3-tab shingles on the market include the following. Being GAF Master Elite® and CertainTeed ShingleMaster™ contractors, we recommend these shingles to homeowners looking for the best value at reasonable prices. 

1. Royal Sovereign® by GAF 

Royal Sovereign® by GAF
Royal Sovereign® by GAF  Source :

Royal Sovereign by GAF is a renowned line of 3-tab shingles that has been a top choice of homeowners for over 50 years, offering a blend of classic elegance and affordability. These shingles are crafted with GAF’s unique color technology, ensuring a rich and vibrant design. Besides this, these shingles also come with: 

  • 10-Year StainGuard™ algae protection warranty
  • Color Lock™ ceramic firing technology
  • 25-Year limited warranty and Smart Choice® Protection included
  • Dura Grip™ adhesive technology for wind and rain protection

2. XT™ 25 by CertainTeed

XT 25 by CertainTeed
Source :

XT 25 by CertainTeed is a high-quality line of traditional 3-tab shingles designed for residential roofing projects. These shingles are built on a tough fiberglass base, providing exceptional resistance to blow off and tearing, making them suitable for various climates. Moreover, these shingles offer: 

  • 10-Year algae-resistance warranty 
  • Protection against the growth of blue-green algae 
  • 25-Year limited transferable warranty
  • 5-Year wind-resistance warranty for wind speeds up 60 mph 
  • Class A fire-resistance

Best Architectural Asphalt Shingles On The Market 

Architectural shingles are the preferred choice of homeowners these days because of their ultimate protection against weathering at a cost-effective price. 

1. Timberline HDZ® Shingles by GAF

Timberline HDZ® Shingles by GAF
Timberline HDZ® Shingles by GAF Source :

Enhance your home’s beauty with Timberline HDZ architectural shingles – one of GAF’s most popular offerings. Renowned for their striking appearance and shadow lines, they bring an upscale flair to any residence. Other features include:  

  • 15-Year WindProven™ limited wind warranty
  • 25-Year StainGuard Plus™ algae protection limited warranty against stains from blue-green algae growth
  • LayerLock™ Technology heightens overall durability by fusing shingle layers during manufacturing

2. Landmark® Shingles by CertainTeed

Landmark by CertainTeed is a popular choice for homeowners seeking a durable and aesthetically pleasing roofing option. These shingles are engineered with a dual-layer design, featuring a tough fiberglass base and a protective outer layer, providing superior protection against the elements. Landmark shingles also offer added protection against fire hazards, ensuring homeowners’ safety and reliability. In addition, they provide homeowners with: 

  • Underwriters Laboratories Class A fire resistance 
  • StreakFighter® algae resistance
  • Available in a variety of colors to suit different home aesthetics
  • 15-Year wind-resistance warranty for wind speed of up to 110 mph

Best Luxury Shingles For Your Roof 

Loved for their incredible aesthetic appeal and exceptional durability, luxury shingles represent the highest level of craftsmanship in asphalt shingle manufacturing.

1. Camelot® II Shingles by GAF

The Camelot II shingle collection offers an exceptional opportunity to upgrade to a luxurious aesthetic without the hefty price tag. These shingles mimic the appearance of high-end slate tiles, providing a rich and premium look for your home. Despite their affordable nature, they don’t compromise on quality and are designed to offer superior fire protection, giving you peace of mind along with stunning curb appeal. Plus, they come with: 

  • Dura Grip Sealant and StrikeZone™ Nailing Area for exceptional wind uplift performance and durability
  • StainGuard Protection to resist blue-green algae discoloration
  • 25-year StainGuard Plus algae protection warranty
  • Class A fire rating

2. Grand Manor® by CertainTeed

Grand Manor by CertainTeed is a premium roofing option that exudes luxury and sophistication. These shingles mimic the classic elegance of natural slate while offering the convenience of asphalt. With a weightier and distinctive uneven tab design, Grand Manor shingles create a striking visual impact on any home. Along with these features, they also come with: 

  • StreakFighter algae resistance to maintain a clean and beautiful roof
  • Designed to withstand winds of up to 110 mph
  • Class A fire resistance 
  • Class 4 impact resistance

Also Read: 5 Best Luxury Asphalt Shingles Of 2024

Factors to Consider When Choosing Asphalt Shingles

When choosing asphalt shingles, it’s critical to consider a variety of factors. From enhancing the exterior of your home to guaranteeing material warranties, each detail has its own importance. In this section, we’ll delve into these key considerations.

1. Desired Curb Appeal 

The external aesthetics of a house significantly contribute to its market value and general curb appeal. Asphalt shingles provide vast options that come in different colors, shapes, and textures, which can dramatically transform your home’s appearance. Whether you’re going for traditional elegance or a modern aesthetic, there are shingles that will best suit your style preference.

Asphalt shingles may even be designed to mimic other materials, such as cedar shakes or slate tiles, creating an upscale look without the price tags associated with these choices. As you explore different types of shingles for your property, remember aesthetics should never compromise quality.

2. Material Warranties for Different Types of Asphalt Shingles

Every brand producing asphalt shingles provides some form of material warranty ranging from a few years up to a lifetime. These assurances protect homeowners against faults in manufacturing that may result in early degradation or failure.

It is important to properly examine what the warranty covers before purchasing your selected type of asphalt shingle. This is crucial because what is covered in warranties will vary between traditional 3-tab, architectural, and luxury ranges. 

3. Durability of Various Asphalt Shingle Options

When comparing different types of shingles available on the market, ensuring durability should be a top priority, apart from the styling needs earlier discussed. How well will they withstand snowstorms, large hailstones, or destructive mosses and algae common in any humid area?

Importantly, though some asphalt shingles may claim to offer superior durability due to their unique composition strengthened with copper granules (reflecting damaging UV rays) or fiberglass matting (resistant to fire), real-world conditions often test these materials differently. Be sure to read honest reviews or seek professional advice before making a final decision.

4. Budgeting for an Asphalt Shingle Roof Replacement

Finally, let’s not forget the importance of budget when choosing between roofing options. While asphalt shingles are generally affordable compared to other types of roofing materials like wood shake, metal, or tile, prices can vary greatly among different brands and styles. 

For instance, while traditional 3-tab shingles might cost significantly less upfront than architectural ones, remember that their lifespan is typically shorter, which could lead to higher long-term expenses. Make sure to factor in both upfront and future costs into your budget. 

Wrap Up

Now that you know the different types of asphalt shingles, the best products, and their features, you can make an informed decision for your home and the years to come. When making decisions about these factors, it is important to take into account the style of your home and your individual priorities. This will help you to make a well-informed choice regarding the most suitable asphalt shingle for your specific needs.

Contact Professional Roofers In Hattiesburg, MS, For Your Roof Replacement

If you want to install a new roof or replace your existing shingles, contact the professional roofers at B&A Roofing in Hattiesburg, MS. The roofers at our company are proficient at handling any roofing project. Whether a new roof installation, complete roof replacement, or just roof repair, our roofers have got you covered. Contact us today at (601) 520-3183 and consult a roofing professional.

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