Asphalt shingles (also known as composition shingles) are the most popular choice of roofing material among homeowners. Its popularity derives from its varying colors and styles, its cost effectiveness, and its durability.
Generally asphalt shingles are cheaper than other material options yet still offer adequate fire and wind protection. They are made up of either a fiberglass or organic paper base coated in asphalt, with minerals adhered to the top side for weather resistance. The fiberglass base is more flexible, stronger, and resists fire better than the organic felt, paper based shingles.
The two different types of asphalt shingles are the traditional 3 tab shingles, and architectural or laminated shingles. Traditional 3 tab shingles give a flat and uniform look to a roof and are the cheapest form of asphalt shingle. Architectural shingles are higher end, generally last longer and give texture to the roof with the way they are layered.
Asphalt shingles can be laid over an existing layer of roofing material as opposed to tearing off the old material beforehand. This may save homeowners some money when comparing to a full tear off and replacement. An added benefit is asphalt roofs ease of repair as individual shingles can be replaced if necessary. The materials for an asphalt shingle roof vary in quality, colors, and styles, and can last up to 20, 30, even 50 years if installed properly.
While asphalt shingles offer an inexpensive and reliable roofing solution, they are probably one of the least environmentally friendly roofing materials. Asphalt shingles are petroleum based and they take a lot of energy to manufacture. Once the material life reaches its end, there are relatively few places to recycle these shingles.
ASPHALT ROOF SHINGLE PROS AND CONS
Asphalt Shingle Pros: Affordable, durable, varying colors & styles, easy to repair, good fire rating, able to be installed over existing roof material.
Asphalt Shingle Cons: Takes a lot of energy to manufacture, not readily recyclable, petroleum based, not as long lasting as other materials, quality can vary.