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Learn about Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are shingles made from a base material covered with a layer of asphalt mineral grains for waterproofing and protection against various environmental conditions. Asphalt shingle roofs are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, making them one of the most common types of roofs in North America. Asphalt roofing is typically laid as rectangular shingles.

Look for as light a color as possible, especially in hot climates. Better yet, look for a longer-lasting and more reflective roofing material.

How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last?

Basic 3-tab asphalt shingles will last on average for 15 years. Architectural shingles, a thicker, more durable counterpart, will last an average of 20 years. Premium asphalt shingles are even thicker than Architectural shingles and can last the longest with an average life expectancy of 25 years.

What Is the Difference Between Architectural Shingles and Asphalt Shingles?

Architectural shingles are made thicker, more durable, and have a higher life expectancy than asphalt shingles. The tabs on these shingles come in various sizes and have more of a dimensional look compared to generic asphalt shingles, where all tabs are the same size. Architectural shingles may be more costly, but are more desirable and raise the value of your home.

Are Thicker Shingles Better?

Thicker shingles are manufactured using more material which indicates a denser, more durable shingle; however, this is not necessarily true. Modern shingles are being made with thinner materials that can be more durable compared then lower grade, thicker materials from the past.

Are Heavier Shingles Better?

<p>Heavier shingles may be made with more material than lighter shingles, but this does not necessarily mean a heavier shingle is better. Modern roof shingles are manufactured with lighter and more durable materials and can withstand varying weather conditions when compared to a heavier shingle made with lower grade materials.

Do Asphalt Shingles Shrink?

As asphalt shingles age, the materials can degrade through the process of weathering and result in shrinking. Gaps forming between shingle tabs can indicate this. Higher exposure to sunlight is associated with shingles shrinking faster.

What Color Asphalt Roof Is Best?

The best color for your roof depends on the type of climate you live in. A lighter roof will be more efficient in hotter climates as it will reflect sunlight and help maintain cooler temperatures inside your home. In contrast, a darker roof is often more advantageous in colder climates as it will absorb more sunlight and help to keep your home warm.

Asphalt shingles are affordable, and can be repaired, but they don't last as long as metal or tile roofs. Asphalt, being dark, also absorbs solar radiation, causing overheating of the roof and attic spaces and contributing to the urban heat island effect that raises the temperature in cities. Not considered the most sustainable roofing material.

In 1893, asphalt prepared roofing was made from fibre mats soaked in asphalt. In 1897, crushed rock began to be added to the surface, giving asphalt shingles their characteristic rough texture. The purpose of the crushed rock is to protect the asphalt and mat from the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.