Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material mainly because they are economical and versatile, work well on steep-sloped roofs, are sunlight and weather resistant, require little-to-no maintenance and are reasonably priced. In addition, asphalt shingles are also easy to cut, fasten, and fit, as well as being compatible with many different kinds of flashing and edging products. Furthermore, they don’t require specialized accessories for roof edges, wall terminations, and chimney or vent flashing’s.
These shingles are typically reinforced by organic or fiberglass material. Fiberglass shingles use fiberglass reinforcing mat, while the organic kind use a cellulose-fiber mat derived from wood. Fiberglass roofing shingles are more popular because they are more fire resistant, tear resistant, last longer, and are the most budget-friendly. They are also thinner, lighter, and easier to lug around.
Asphalt shingles now come in all kinds of colors and profiles, and to enhance the aesthetic pleasure of asphalt roofing shingles they may be coated with special laminate to provide an eye pleasing texture. They also can come equipped with zinc plating to protect against algae build up. Keep in mind, any and all additional features will increase the pricing of your roof, but asphalt shingles are still going to be the most affordable roofing option.
Asphalt Shingle Roofing Drawbacks
The main drawback to asphalt shingles is related to the service life. Asphalt roofing shingles are available in grades with an expected life of 20-50 years depending on the price. However, durability issues and wear-out or material failures occur earlier than expected in some situations. Also, shingles used in warmer climates will have a lower life expectancy, but these types of shingles generally come with 20+ year warranty. Keep in mind, however, that warranties are a marketing device and are not a reliable predictor of life span. To be on the safe side, it is wise to demand shingles that meet industry manufacturing standards.
Asphalt shingles are a great choice for a roofing material if you are looking for a fairly standard roof, with low maintenance, a great price, and a reasonable service life. They typically cost anywhere from $80 to $225 or more per square. Keep in mind that tearing off the existing shingles will add another $100 to $200 per square.