Asphalt Shingle Roofing

The Complete Guide

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    Asphalt Shingle Roofing GuideIf you are considering the installation of a new asphalt shingle roof on your commercial property, you landed in the right place.

    This guide is for you.

    In this asphalt shingle roofing guide ››

    You're going to learn everything you need to know about:

    • The different types of roof shingles
    • Various color options with roof shingles
    • What shingle hail damage looks like
    • How to select a shingle roofing contractor
    • And lots more

    Let's get started.

    Roof Shingle Introduction

    What are Asphalt Roof Shingles?

    Asphalt roof shingles remain the most commonly installed type of roofing material in use today. Asphalt shingles begin with a continuous fiberglass "mat" that forms tensile and tear strength to the shingle.

    Specially formulated hot asphalt is bonded to the top and bottom of the mat layer to form a waterproof barrier.

    Finally, stone granules are embedded into the top layer of asphalt protecting the shingle from degradation, while adding the shingle color & shading that you see.

    Asphalt Roof Shingle Layers

    Roof shingles form a water-tight barrier above your building structure, so water flows down the roof and off the edges of the building into gutters.

    Shingles are manufactured in strips and packaged in bundles.

    Here's a close-up view of an asphalt roof shingle.

    Asphalt Roof Shingle Granules

    Shingle Roof System

    Courtesy of Owens Corning

    A complete asphalt shingle roof system includes the following engineered, professionally-installed components:

    • Attic insulation
    • Roof decking
    • Ventilation system
    • Ice & water barriers
    • Underlayment
    • Starter shingles
    • Roof shingles
    • Hip & ridge shingles
    • Gutter / drainage system

    Shingles are installed in overlapping rows (also called courses) of shingles with installation starting at the eaves and working the way up the roof.

    Each course of shingles further up the roof overlaps seams between shingles of the course below.

    A well-designed shingle roofing system can improve your building's curb appeal, lower utility costs, and protect the structural integrity of your building.

    Before we look at some common shingle options, check out the shingle roof installation video below.

    Shingle Roof Installation

    Watch this video to see a shingle roof installation up close.

    Roof Shingle Styles & Shapes

    3-Tab Roof Shingles

    3-Tab roof shingles are a low-cost option for some property owners. Recognizable by their rectangular shape and offset layout, 3-tab roof shingles were dominant until architectural shingles were developed in the 1970s.

    More commonly used for residential roofing projects on a tighter budget, 3-tab roofing shingles are not commonly used for commercial asphalt shingle roof repairs.

    While 3-tab roof shingles offer a lower cost option, they are considered a basic shingle choice.

    Asphalt Roof Shingles - 3-Tab

    Architectural Roof Shingles

    Architectural roof shingles (also known as dimensional or laminated shingles) are manufactured in an array of style and color combinations.

    Architectural roof shingles are stronger and more durable than 3-tab shingles when it comes to wind resistance, and many offer longer warranties.

    Property owners choose architectural shingles because they look great and can mimic several different styles of roof coverings (like wood shake, tile or slate), while saving cost for materials and installation labor.

    Asphalt Roof Shingles - Architectural

    Designer Roof Shingles

    Recent advancements in asphalt shingle design has bred an entirely new category of architectural roof shingles.

    Designer shingles are a premium roof shingle option. These designer roof shingles are made to look similar to wood shake, scalloped slate roof tiles, or other old-world roof designs that give properties an artisan look.

    Here are a few designer shingle styles.

    Designer Roof Shingles
    Designer Roof Shingles
    Designer Roof Shingles
    Designer Roof Shingles

    50-Year Roof Shingles

    Some premium asphalt shingle roofing systems now offer a 50-year warranty. Considered a "best" shingle option, when considering "good" - "better" - "best" options, 50-year shingles use upgraded materials of construction and are heavier than standard architectural shingles.

    Quality installation on a 50-year roof is vitally important. Many roofs fail early due to improper installation, poorly designed ventilation, or lack of design for wind or weather.

    Experienced, professional installation by a certified installer is critical (and required by manufacturers) to qualify for a 50-year shingle warranty.

    50-Year Roof Shingles

    Learn about asphalt shingle roof repair >

    Asphalt Shingle Manufacturers

    RestoreMasters installs only the best asphalt shingle roofing systems from the nation's top manufacturers. While we work regularly with the manufacturers below, we also provide shingle roofing systems from several other shingle manufacturers.

    GAF Certified RooferCertainteed Master Shingle Applicator Owens Corning Preferred ContractorTAMKO Pro

    If you need a specific type of asphalt roofing product, just ask. Other asphalt shingle manufacturers include: Owens Corning, GAF, TAMKO, IKO, Certainteed, Firestone, Malarkey, John Manville, Atlas & others.

    Shingle Roof Warranties


    As a Certified Roofing Contractor for multiple manufacturers, RestoreMasters offers warranties up to 50 years on asphalt shingle roofing systems.

    Roof Shingle Color Pairings

    There are dozens of color options available for your roof. Below are a few color options available from the Owens Corning Duration® Series.

    Asphalt Shingle FAQ

    How long does an asphalt shingle roof last?

    In the absence of catastrophic hail or wind damage, newer premium asphalt shingle roofs can last up to 50 years. Architectural shingle roofs generally last 15-30 years. 3-Tab shingles may only last 10-20 years depending on the quality of manufacture. Roof life can be significantly affected by climate, attic ventilation, insulation, and quality of installation.

    How do you match roof shingles to building color?

    Some shingle manufacturers have "roof visualizers" that let you see shingle color options combined with house colors. While many of these are designed for residential homes, you can also upload an image of your building to see what various shingles might look like on your building. Try GAF Virtual Home Remodeler › or Try Owens Corning DESIGNEyeQ ›

    Can you paint asphalt roof shingles?

    While it is possible to paint roof shingles, it's not generally recommended. Due to the irregular surface consisting of shingle granules, painting roof shingles would lead to uneven areas as granules wear. With that said, there are commercial roof coating products on the market to paint roof shingles with an elastomeric roof shingle coating. If you are considering painting your shingle roof, talk to a roofing expert.

    Can you use asphalt shingles on a flat roof?

    Asphalt shingles are designed to be used on pitched roofs. However, there are various types of asphalt roll roofing that can be installed on flat roofs.

    What are asphalt shingles made of?

    Asphalt shingles include a fiberglass (made from woven strands of glass fibers) sandwiched between layers of asphalt. Asphalt is a by-product of oil refining. Mineral powders are mixed with the asphalt to increase weather and fire resistance. Granules may consist of crushed & screened slate, schist, quarts, vitrified brick, stone, or ceramic granules. Other components may include talc, sand, styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS), and various biocides.

    Roof Hail Damage Pictures

    We are often asked what roof hail damage looks like. Below are some photos of shingle roof hail damage.

    How to Select an Asphalt Shingle Roofing Contractor

    While many companies offer roofing services, commercial shingle roof installation requires an experienced roofing contractor. If you're looking for a long-lasting roof, you will want to employ the services of a highly-experienced roofing company, familiar with local roofing requirements.

    Ranked Top 100 Roofing ContractorLook for a roofing contractor with the following qualifications:

    • Is licensed, bonded, and insured
    • Experience installing your type of shingles on multiple projects
    • Experience managing staged roofing projects that may require parallel tear-off and installation
    • Experience working with insurance companies on damage claims

    An experienced roofing contractor can help you avoid leaks and major problems and provide an asphalt roofing systems that lasts for decades.

    RestoreMasters has been honored with multiple years on the Inc. 5000 List of America's Fastest Growing Companies and consistently ranks among the Top 100 Roofing Contractors in the nation.

    In addition to shingle roofing, RestoreMasters offers: shrink wrap roofing, roof tarping, loose lay membrane roofing, emergency roofing & repair, water removal, water damage restoration, mold remediation, catastrophic damage inspections, property damage documentation, testing & damage reports, fencing & perimeter security, disaster recovery services, permanent roof replacement, interior restoration services, professional roofing services for churchesand general contractor services.

    We have roofing & restoration locations across the country to serve you better.

    Asphalt Shingle Roofing Projects

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    Call → 800-400-ROOF

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      Shingle Roofing Project Videos

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      Asphalt Shingle Roofing Resources

      View more resources related to shingle roofing systems. If you have any specific questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team.

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      Do you need roofing help?

      If you are worried about storm damage or think you may have a roof leak...

      Contact us for a complimentary roof inspection & damage assessment ›

      RestoreMasters is an experienced full-service restoration contractor - offering turnkey solutions including roofing, siding, windows & doors, interior restoration, exterior repairs & more. With offices nationwide, we are here to serve you!

      CALL › (800) 400-ROOF