Asphalt Shingle Roofing 

Asphalt shingles are currently the most popular type of residential roofing material for a variety of reasons. They are relatively inexpensive. Things that determine the cost of shingles is related to geographical location, slope of the roof, height of the building, ease of access to the premises, complexity of the project, the particular type of shingle (Architectural, 3-Tab, and designer shingles) and numerous other factors. They come in a variety of colors and styles, are highly durable to natural elements of weather, and can be easily maintained and repaired.

What is an Asphalt Shingle?

Glass fiber shingles have a glass fiber reinforcing mat manufactured to the shape of the shingle. This mat is then coated with asphalt which contains mineral fillers. The glass fiber mat is not waterproof by itself. It's purpose is for reinforcement. What makes the glass fiber shingle waterproof is the asphalt. However, the asphalt itself will not stick to the mat. For this reason, "fillers" are used. The fillers in the asphalt cling to the glass fibers in the mat. The asphalt then encapsulates the glass fibers, fills all of the little holes and voids in the mat rendering it waterproof. After this cools a bit, an adhesive asphalt is used to cover the mat and the ceramic granules are then embedded.

Asphalt shingles come in two basic types: glass fiber (a.k.a. fiber glass) and organic. Organic shingles consist of an organic felt material which is generally paper saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof. A top coating of adhesive asphalt is then applied and the ceramic granules are then embedded. Organic shingles have not lived up to their name and have become obsolete in the market.  Organics became popular in the late 80's and early 90's, however,their popularity is diminishing due to their inability to resist the natural environment.  Many customers have seen their organic shingles fail prematurely (approximately 5-12 years after installation) with signs of cracking and becoming brittle.  For this reason, Adept Construction does not promote the use of organic shingles and instead recommends the use of fiberglass shingles.

Architectural Shingle Roofing vs. 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

Architectural shingles are considered high end asphalt shingles due to their quality and distinctive textured look. Architectural shingles are also known as three dimensional shingles or laminate shingles. Architectural shingles were introduced to the home construction market in the 1970’s in the continued effort to produce an asphalt shingle product that had the higher end quality look of slate or cedar wood shake shingles, without the negatives of breakage, insect damage or weight.

Architectural shingles have a unique visual appearance. Instead of a running row pattern that is observed with 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles have a cedar shake texture appearance that give a more dramatic look to a home. Architectural shingles are also excellent for hiding roof imperfections due to their textured look. Many home builders prefer to use them today due to this benefit alone.  In addition, from some builders’ perspectives, architectural shingles are also easier to install then 3-tab shingles.

Three tab asphalt shingles have set the stage over time for specialty architectural composition shingles. The latter are easier to lay, thus saving on installation time, effort and cost. Although 3 tab asphalt shingles are somewhat cheaper than the architectural composite ones, the latter are vastly growing in popularity and pushing the former out of the market.

Since they are still in use, 3 tab asphalt shingles are offered in a variety of colors to satisfy practically any style preference. They are also economical when it comes to repairing asphalt shingles or an overall re-roofing job. Although the choice of roof shingles is a composite of style, budget and time, to name but a few factors, it is not as common to find homeowners choose 3 tab asphalt shingles to be used. They generally are less attractive and do not last for very long, possibly affecting the resale value of the home.