Asphalt Roof Shingles
The Complete Guide
If you are considering the installation of a new asphalt shingle roof on your home, you landed in the right place.
This guide is for you.
In this asphalt roof shingle 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.
Table of Contents
ASPHALT SHINGLE FAQ
ASPHALT SHINGLE PROJECTS
ASPHALT SHINGLE RESOURCES
Asphalt roof shingles remain the most commonly installed type of residential roofing system in use today. Asphalt roof shingles begin with a continuous fiberglass “mat” that creates strength and tear resistance.
Fortified hot asphalt goes through a strengthening process, where it is “oxidized” by blowing hot air through it to increase its viscosity and firm up the material. This roofing asphalt is then bonded to the top and bottom of the mat layer to form a waterproof barrier.
Finally, crushed and screened granules are embedded into the top layer of asphalt, offering a layer of protection from heat damage, UV rays, and degradation – while providing the shingle color & shading that you see.
Roof shingles create a leak-proof barrier above your building structure, allowing water to flow safely down the roof and off the edges of the building while keeping your buildign and its contents dry.
Shingles are manufactured in strips and packaged in bundles.
Here’s a close-up view of an asphalt roof shingle. Notice the shingle granules of varying color.
A complete asphalt shingle roof system includes the following engineered and professionally-installed components:
- Attic insulation
- Roof decking
- Ventilation system
- Ice & water barriers
- Starter shingles
- Roof shingles
- Hip & ridge shingles
- Gutter / drainage system
Roof shingle installation begins at the eaves and works its way up the roof. Shinges installed in overlapping rows (also called courses) of shingles.
Each course of shingles further up the roof overlaps the seams and nails of the course below. Asphalt roof shingles also contain a sticky sealant that is heat-activated to adhere each shingle course to the course above and the course below (increasing wind resistance and overall roof strength).
A well-designed shingle roofing system can improve your home’s curb appeal, lower utility costs, and protect the structural integrity of your home.
Before we look at some common roof shingle options, check out the shingle roof installation video below.
When you think of traditional asphalt roof shingles, a 3-tab roof shingle may come to mind. Recognizable by their rectangular shape and offset layout, 3-tab roof shingles were the dominant roof shingle until architectural roof shingles were developed in the 1970s.
While 3-tab roof shingles offer a lower cost option, they are considered a basic shingle choice. If one of your primary concerns is the cost of your roof, 3-tab shingles offer a cheap roofing alternative to architectural shingles.
The most common type of roof shingles in use to day are architectural roof shingles. Architectural roof shingles (also known as dimensional or laminated shingles) are manufactured in a variety of style and color choices.
Architectural roof shingles are stronger and more durable than 3-tab shingles when it comes to wind resistance, and most offer longer warranties.
Homeowners 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.
Today, homeowners have more roof shingle choices than ever. 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, tile or other old-world roof designs that can give your home a uniquely crafted look.
Here are a few designer roof shingle styles.
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 roof installation by a certified installer is critical (and required by manufacturers) to qualify for a 50-year shingle warranty.
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
GUARANTEED BY THE MANUFACTURER
As a Certified Roofing Contractor for multiple manufacturers, RestoreMasters offers warranties up to 50 years on asphalt shingle roofing systems.
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 house color?
Some shingle manufacturers have “roof visualizers” that let you see shingle color options combined with house colors. View shingle colors on various houses, or upload a photo of your own home to see what various shingles might look like on your home. 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.
We are often asked what roof hail damage looks like. Below are some photos of shingle roof hail damage.
While many companies offer roofing services, you need to be careful when selecting a professional roofing contractor. Quality 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.
Look 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 a roofing systems that lasts for decades.
The photos and videos below show asphalt shingle roofing projects in various stages of construction.
Legends at St. Johns – Augustine, FL
Legends at St. Johns – Augustine, FL
Asphalt Shingle Roof – Panama City Beach, FL
Fire Restoration – Tulsa, OK
50 Yr. Grand Manor Roof – Jacksonville, FL
Resort Restoration – Panama City Beach, FL
Highland Park Baptist Church
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If you are worried about storm damage or think you may have a roof leak…
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