Which is Better: Asphalt Shingles or Architectural Shingles?

asphalt shingle brown

Shingle roofing for your home

Asphalt shingles are a common roofing material in the United States. It provides the protective and waterproofing needed for homes and is a fast and inexpensive install. There are three types of asphalt shingles

  • 3-tab asphalt 
  • fiberglass asphalt 
  • architectural style asphalt 

There are pros and cons of asphalt shingles that a homeowner should consider before having them installed on their roof: 

Asphalt shingle benefits

  • Affordability: As we stated, these are the most common across the country because of that affordability. They are warrantied for 25 to 30 years, but in reality will When they are professionally installed, a roof with asphalt shingles can have a lifespan up to 15 years or longer. 
  • Effectiveness: Asphalt shingles are not as durable or long-lasting as cedar shakes, clay tiles, metal, or slate, but they provide the protection needed to keep a home safe from the elements. 
  • Wide Color and Style Choices: Asphalt shingles are available in a fiberglass or organic style; both are waterproof and available in the 3-tab architectural or premium style. The fiberglass asphalt shingle has an interior made from thin glass fiber mat and the organic asphalt shingles are made with a wood-type mat, typically a recycled wastepaper. The architectural style of asphalt shingles is the most expensive and both he fiberglass and the organic are offered in various colors and patterns. 
  • Easy Install: Another reason asphalt shingles are popular is because they install easily and quickly which makes labor less expensive and the overall install job is less expensive. 

The Cons of Asphalt Shingles

While asphalt shingles are popular, there are some cons to this roofing material too. 

  • Wear Down Faster: Asphalt shingles are not a top quality material and will wear down quickly in areas with shifting climates.
  • Cracking and Fading: Because they are not a high quality material, asphalt shingles will crack faster than other roofing materials and the color doesn’t hold as well, especially in areas where there is extreme heat. 
  • Contract and Expand: Asphalt shingles will contract and expand with the temperature which causes them to crack faster. 
  • Easy Damage: Asphalt shingles do not hold up well in extreme cold weather and can be damaged easily in heavy ice or hailstorms. 
  • Unfriendly Environment: Asphalt shingles are unfriendly with the environment as they are a petroleum based product. The energy it takes to manufacture is a concern with greenhouse gases and they are not recyclable like metal roofing. 

How long do asphalt shingles last?

Manufacturers generally warrant asphalt shingles 25 to 30 years. In reality, depending how well you maintain your roof with cleanings, inspections, and repairs, you can expect to get 15 to 20 years lifespan from them.

How do you make asphalt shingles last longer?

Weather is the biggest enemy to asphalt shingle roofing, but there isn’t much you can do about that. What you can do to give your asphalt shingle roof a longer lifespan are the following four things: 

1. Avoid Power-Washing 

A concentrated hard power wash will loosen the granules and damage the material underneath. Use a professional contractor that uses a broom to ‘scrub’ the algae, bacterial, lichen, and moss then go over it with a leaf blower.  

2. Ventilation

Make sure the roof has adequate attic soffits and vents in the right places to eliminate possible condensation on the decking that the asphalt shingles are attached to.  

3. Gutter Cleaning 

Clean the gutters no less than twice a year and inspect them to make sure they are attached properly and there aren’t any separations that can leak.

4. Insulate Properly

Proper insulation will prevent ice dams from forming  which will minimize costly roof leaks. This is especially important where roofing planes meet. 

What color of roof shingles is best?

In areas where the UV rays are strongest and the temperatures are the hottest most of the year, go with light color asphalt shingles.  These will reflect the UV rays and keep the attic cooler which keeps the house cooler. When the house is cooler, the air conditioner isn’t working overtime and straining. 

In areas where the temperatures are cooler more, darker color asphalt shingles are recommended. They absorb the UV rays and will keep the attic warmer which keeps the house warmer.

shingle roofing system

What is the difference between architectural shingles and asphalt shingles?

The difference between asphalt shingles vs architectural shingles is the price for starters. Other architectural shingle benefits are the better-engineered product that remains cooler than traditional asphalt shingles because they are more UV-resistant. They offer a better insulation factor that will reduce heat transference and lower cooling and heating expenses. 

So, are asphalt shingles good? They are a good product and have done homes well over the years. They first came out in 1901 and it took until 1911 for them to become a well-known material. They were on more than 10 million homes by 1939 and still service homes well in an inexpensive manner. Call 469-858-2448 today!