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Asphalt Roof Shingles: All You Need to Know

Are asphalt shingles waterproofTo say that asphalt shingles are the roofing material of choice for most Americans today would be a huge understatement. It’s safe to say that finding a suburban neighborhood that doesn’t feature at least a few asphalt roofs would be like searching for a needle in a haystack. 

But why is this so? Why are asphalt roof shingles so popular? What are the main things you need to keep in mind if you decide to hire a roof service to install asphalt shingles on your property in Columbia, MD, or other Marilyand, New Jersey, and Virginia cities?

We have previously discussed the most common roofing materials and listed the major factors homeowners need to consider before installing a new roof. Now we’ll expand on this topic by taking an in-depth look at the most popular roofing material in America: asphalt shingles. Read on to learn more.

Are all asphalt shingles the same?

There are two main types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab and architectural. Standard or 3-tab shingles have a flat, uniform look and have been a popular roofing material in the US since at least the 1950s. Architectural (also known as dimensional) shingles are the standard asphalt shingles’ more modern and advanced counterpart.

Main differences between these two kinds of shingles include:

  • Durability. Architectural shingles can easily last 50 years or more, whereas 3-tab shingles only last 15-20.
  • Warranties. 3-tab shingle roofs have 20-30 year warranties, while architectural shingle roofs tend to have 50-year long (lifetime) warranties.
  • Customizability. Architectural shingles come in multiple sizes and shapes, making them the more aesthetically appealing option.
  • Wind resistance. 3-tab shingles have a wind resistance of 60mph, while architectural shingles are able to withstand winds that move at 120mph.
  • Property value. Due to their high quality and durability, architectural shingles are more attractive to property buyers and therefore more likely to increase the value of your home.

In the future, we may also move toward cool asphalt shingles that are designed to provide greater comfort and increased energy savings by reflecting rather than absorbing a significant portion of the sun’s heat. 

Are asphalt shingles waterproof?

When installed correctly, all types of asphalt shingles are designed to be waterproof. Asphalt shingles that are made of woven fiberglass are covered with a waterproof asphalt coating, while traditional organic mat-based shingles are made of a recycled layer of felt paper that has been saturated with asphalt for waterproofing.

Due to being laminated with an extra layer of asphalt on their lower portions, architectural shingles are even more waterproof than standard shingles. However, their shape makes them vulnerable to wind-blown rain when installed on low-sloped roofs.

Are all asphalt shingles the sameHow many years does an asphalt roof last?

Assuming the optimal weather conditions, a professionally installed 3-tab asphalt shingle roof should last 15-20 years. Architectural shingles are significantly more resilient, with lifetime warranties being the norm for professionally installed roofs.

In both cases, homeowners need to keep an eye out for missing or damaged shingles, algae or moss infestations, signs of water damage, and other problems that can reduce the life of the roof and cause further issues if not addressed in a timely manner.

Where can I schedule a professional roof service in Columbia, MD?

As the leading provider of roofing, solar, window, door, siding, and gutter installation services in Columbia, and many other communities across Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey, Nu Look Home Design is superbly positioned to meet your every home improvement need.

Get in touch with us and book your consultation today. Our proficient contractors will happily install your new roof or provide you with a range of other home improvement services while you take care of your other responsibilities or simply relax with your friends and family.


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