Asphalt Shingles: Everything You Need to Know About Them
Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing materials in the US and have been for quite a while.
There are lots of reasons why homeowners give them an advantage over some other sturdier materials. First and foremost, they are quite inexpensive. Asphalt shingles come in various colors and can be used for almost any type of a residential property. Although they are usually used for sloped roofs, there is also a chance of installing them on flat roofs as well.
Next time you’re doing a roof replacement; you should definitely consider this type of a material. In this article, we will discuss some of the main reasons why you should give them a chance. Read on!
Materials used for asphalt shingles
Like most other roofing materials, asphalt shingles have changed a lot over the years.
While you might think they are mainly created by using asphalt, this isn’t entirely true. The product uses either fiberglass or felt paper as a basis. After that, asphalt coating and granules are used to finish the product.
Both of them are regarded as strong waterproof products that are also very light and flexible. In that sense, they are a good option for structures that don’t have enough durability to take materials such as slate.
Out of these two types, newer fiberglass shingles are regarded as a clear favorite. They are similar in terms of price but with a better quality and additional fire protection.
These shingles come in two forms: architectural shingles and tree-tab shingles.
Three-tab items look as if they have 3 layers of shingles but instead, they have only one. This is more a design option.
On the other hand, architectural shingles actually have two-layers and give your roof a fuller look.
Pros and cons of asphalt shingles
Even though this material is the most popular one in the North America, it does have its flaws. But, let’s start by mentioning the benefits:
- Cheapest roofing material on the market
- One of the more economic long-term options
- Flexible and light; a great solution if your roof can’t take heavy materials
- Easy to install
- There are lots of options in terms of color
- Depending on exterior of your home, it might be an optimal design solution
- Can be recycled and reused
- Relatively easy to repair
- Asphalt shingles are not too sturdy
- They are not so great against wind or fire
- Too much humidity can significantly reduce their life span; appearance of mold and algae is common
- They tend to decay quickly and without warning
- Shouldn’t be installed during a cold weather
- Made from petroleum-based products which is not ideal
- They require more maintenance compared to some other materials
When should you consider getting asphalt shingles?
Even though they are popular, that doesn’t mean they are always the best option.
Here are some of the situations where you should definitely consider getting an asphalt roof
- Lack of money
If you don’t have enough resources at the moment, perhaps its best to go with asphalt shingles. Keep in mind there are lots of roofing materials that can last longer than them. Still, they are a solid, long-term alternative. They usually last for 10 to 15 years though.
- You need a light material
Asphalt shingles are among the lightest roof materials. They don’t pressure the structure so they are a pretty good option for older homes as well as in cases where your house cannot take heavy materials.
While asphalt shingles give you lots of options, other roof materials can be great as well. However, they are a traditional American-style item and will fit well with your neighborhood. They are also great for homeowners who don’t like complicating things too much.
If you don’t care much about the roof and just want to go with a traditional safe option, there is nothing better than asphalt shingles! This is especially true if you want to move into a new home quickly.
How to install them?
Due to the fact that asphalt shingles are easy to install, you might as well try to do it yourself. However, if you don’t have enough experience performing the task, you can always rely on our roofing company to install it for you.
Here are the things you need to keep in mind:
- It’s very important to install starter shingles properly. They are the basis for the whole project. If you make a mistake, there is a good chance that a strong wind will blow off everything.
- Pay special attention to ridges and valleys. Most of the issues occur due to improper installation of valleys, ridges and hips. All of them have to be positioned properly so that rain water can flow down the right way.
- Attic ventilation is crucial for reducing the amount of humidity roof takes.
- Be careful where you’re putting the nails. They have to be placed in the corners and at the right angle. You also have to use the right nails that can penetrate deep enough. Asphalt shingles are light and susceptible to wind as it is; don’t make it worse.
Lastly, you need to take proper precautionary measures in advance.
Inexperienced homeowners frown on this believing that nothing bad will happen during installation. While the process is straightforward and quick, slips may occur. So make sure to get the right gear that will safeguard you during installation.
Price of asphalt shingles
The price of asphalt shingles may vary significantly from country to country and from state to state. However, average price is somewhere around $90 per square (100 square feet). If you compare it to some other materials that tend to cost anywhere from $300 to $700, this is quite a bargain.
No matter what, you can make great savings by choosing this roofing material. Keep in mind that you will encounter additional costs by paying a roofing company for installation. Also, maintenance costs over time may build up. Still, if you decide to performing fixes yourself, you can save a lot of money.