What You Need to Know About Asphalt Shingles

Apr 12, 2017

What You Need to Know About Asphalt Shingles

The least expensive form of shingle is asphalt which comes in two different physical qualities to meet your needs. They’re ideal for roofs with a higher pitch to avoid being blown off by strong winds since higher slopes mean a more vertical placement for individual shingles. Asphalt is the popular shingle of choice for homeowners and professional installers alike because they can be custom made in many styles of any color and require some to no structural planning to install.

Forms of Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Organic and fiberglass – these are the two types of asphalt shingles that can be perfect for your home, depending on your region’s climate. If you live in a state in the Southwest, North, or in any area that sees a lot of rain annually, both variations of asphalt will keep the top of your home waterproof. Both forms of asphalt are treated with resin to give their already grainy look a glistening finish and a protective waterproof surface. The main difference between the two is that fiberglass shingles can withstand Class A fires, albeit it is more expensive. But if you live in an area where fires are commonplace, it’s a no-brainer that fiberglass shingles are the way to go.

The Price of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the second most affordable roofing material after flat roof membranes and the first among pitched roofing shingles, shakes, and tiles. The five most popular pitched roofing materials vary in their pricing when it comes to costs of labor and the quantity of shingle. Asphalt shingles cost $120 - $400 per “square” – industry equivalent to 100 square feet – and $1,700 - $8,400 to install.

If your project is going to involve removing an already existing roof first, add $3 - $5 per square foot or $40 - $80 if they’re charging you by the hour.

The Pros & Cons of Asphalt Shingle Roofs

In order to get the best out of this product, or any other roofing material for that matter, it’s best to familiarize yourself with what you can and can’t expect of it.

The Pros:

  • Easiest to install as far as shingles go.
  • The most affordable type of shingle with the potential of having the biggest payoff when selling the home.
  • It can last 15 – 25 years and even 30 if maintained once or twice a year.
  • The finishes and colors available are widely varied and can match any home.
  • Can be treated to be thermally reflective and emissive to a degree.
  • Even though it does not dramatically improve insulation when compared to other materials, it doesn’t need to be if the attic is insulated properly.
  • Both asphalt variations are weatherproof; fire-resistant options available with fiberglass.
  • Effortless and quick to repair or maintain.
  • It’s the most widely available because of how popular it is with homeowners.
  • The house’s structure won’t endure a heavy dead load due to its relatively light weight.

The Cons:

  • Highly affected by excessive heat; can lead to cracking, peeling, and shrinking.
  • An expensive house with an inexpensive roof choice won’t see much recoup value in the product.
  • If not treated with a thermal reflectance and emission solution, it could absorb a lot of heat and make indoor living uncomfortable, especially if you live in America’s Southwestern regions.

Asphalt Roof Installation Done Right

If you want to have a smoother asphalt roof installation, always make sure your contractor is licensed and insured to protect your rights as a homeowner. Should anything go wrong with no violation on your part, their insurance policy will absolve you from avoidable liabilities.

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