There are a number of materials that can be used for roof shingles depending on the weather conditions they need to withstand and finding the best roofing shingles can be very difficult. Nowadays people are a little more knowledgeable and a lot more demanding so roofing manufacturers have to come up with more choice when it comes to what you get for your money and what they look like. Roof shingles are no longer just a functional part of the home most owners did not think about. They play a role in the aesthetics of your home and more owners are playing a bigger role in purchasing decisions. Here we take a look at an overview of the types of roof shingles there are as well as other very useful information.
Materials to Choose From
Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used shingle out there. They are made from either an inorganic base or an organic one. The organic base most manufacturers use is paper, the inorganic base most manufacturers use is fiberglass. Then asphalt is combined with the base and you get a shingle that can last between 20 to 30 years. As well as being durable the shingled roofs are strong. The thicker the shingle the longer it will last as it is better quality. There are three sections on an asphalt shingle which are called tabs. These are made from roofing cement or tar to hold them down as they overlap the previous laid shingle.
In years past slate was a popular option for roofing as it was easy to source, often being mined from local deposits, and it was durable. However its fragility and the fact it is hard to mine on a larger scale made it fall out of favor for many. Now it is a more expensive high end option. Slate installation is pricey because it needs contractors who are specialized in it, which few are today. It is important to have an expert because when installed correctly a slate roof can last 100 to 150 years. However if installed poorly the reverse is true and the life span reduces by a lot. Slate is a heavy material, for each square foot it weighs something like 3 times more than asphalt. Slate does require a lot of care when handling because it breaks so easily but they do look amazing when on the roof and installed well.
This option has seen a big increase in popularity recently. Laminated shingles have a depth and color to them that adds a lot of appeal to a roof. The regular 3 tab shingles lie flat but the laminated types give a 3D look with the depth perception they add. This is achieved by making several layers in the shingle and then staggering. If you see a laminated roof from a distance it likes like cedar or slate shingles but there is not the cost or the weight! To enhance the appearance of the shingles they have shadow lines and rounded tabs.
For a long time metal roof shingles were not a common choice especially for a house. Metal was expensive and not always seen as a homely look. Now though more people choose metal because it can handle almost any weather thrown at it, snow, hail, rain and storms. They are also not going to rot or suffer from insect infestation, they are fire resistant and they are a recycled material so they are an eco-sound option. Usually metal types today are either steel or aluminum.
Concrete roof shingles are made by pouring concrete into molds. The interesting thing about this material is that there is more versatility at the creation stage as you can get different shapes and sizes. You can also choose to either have color put into the concrete at the time of manufacturing or have them painted after they are made. Concrete is durable and can handle a lot of harsh weather but like slate it is the installation stage that can be tricky and they can be easy to damage.
Cedar shingles have a lovely look and come in silver, honey and cinnamon colors. While they may make the property look a lot more elegant there are some drawbacks to them. They are not as fire resistant as other materials, they need more care otherwise fading can occur and they need treating before they are installed to improve their longevity.
What is the Best Roofing Shingle for You?
Making decisions about what to use for a roofing shingle is an important step as a home owner. You obviously are going to be drawn to those that look good and will add curb appeal to your home, but there are very real practical considerations to think about. You need protection from the elements, they need to be able to withstand sun damage, wind damage, hail damage and so on. Each material has its own protections it can offer and its own issues too. However if you are looking for maximum protection for the least cost then Asphalt may be the best roofing shingle for you.
They are common for a reason, they give the pest cost per year they last, you get a double layer of protection and they are wind resistant, durable and fairly long lasting. The most common are strip shingles and these use a tab system when laid out. They fit together so that the seams misplacing is less likely and thus less water gets to the frame so there is less damage happening over time. There are also architectural or laminated shingles mentioned above. These are trending right now as they look like slate without the hassle or expense, they are very wind resistant and they can have warranties ranging from 30 years to a lifetime.
Top Asphalt Roof Shingle Brands to Look For
CertainTeed Landmark Shingles
Landmark Series have 4 types of asphalt shingles that differed in thickness and weight. All of them are value for money made from fiberglass and strong materials and come with a good warranty. They also promise protection from streaking on your roof that can be caused by algae. They have also created partnerships with contractors and have then branded them as experts in applying their shingles. This does not mean that those contractors are the best though.
The lifetime shingle has a wind warranty that will last 15 years so should wind damage occur after that it will be up to you to pay for it. It also only covers wind speeds of up to 110 mph which basically covers a category 2 storm. To get that wind warranty though you need to make sure the guidelines for correct installation are followed. Price per square foot is $89.
GAF Timberline Shingles
Their asphalt roofing shingles are 3 dimensional, are fairly priced and you can get various colors and a warranty that lasts a lifetime. The HD shingle is 60% less thick than the HD Ultra but that is not always obvious when looking up from the ground. The Ultra also comes with a wind warranty that is just a little higher but the thinner HD is fine for home in areas like San Francisco. This company realized early on the importance of seeing roofing as installing a system rather than just putting up some shingles. That is why you can get extended warranties if you install not just the shingles but also buy and install 5 qualifying accessories from GAF. They also take regions into consideration and style their color to suit location.
Wind warranty is still just for 15 years though despite the lifetime shingle. But as long as installation has been done correctly GAF’s warranty is for up to 130mph wind damage i.e. Category 3 storms. In areas like DE, PA and NJ these are the more popular shingle and are easy to find. They price at $82 per square foot, cheaper than Landmark series.
Owens Corning Duration Shingles
TruDefinition Duration shingles claim to give you the option of a premium look for your home at an affordable price. You can get various colors, a limited lifetime warranty, bold styles, algae resistance limited warranty, more dimension and complementary shadow lines. They comes with SureNail technology which helps ensure no loss of shingles during storms and you get a wind warranty for up to 130mph, again Category 3. Cost of these shingles is $95 per square foot making them the top price out of these three companies.