The Three Main Types of Asphalt Shingles

The Three Main Types of Asphalt Shingles

24 March 2021

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Asphalt shingles continue to be one of the most popular material choices for both commercial and residential roofing projects. They have a long lifespan, are fairly inexpensive, and can be adapted to almost any building, despite the architectural structure. Asphalt shingles are very versatile, coming in a wide variety of colors and styles which contributes to their popularity in 

Huntsville and across North America. There are three main types of asphalt shingles: 3-Tab, dimensional and luxury shingles. If you are interested in an asphalt shingle roof, it is wise to look into the details of each of these shingle styles before deciding which style is right for your roof. 

 

3-Tab Shingles: 

These shingles are referred to as 3-Tab shingles because they are made up of 3 individual tabs. Each tab is typically around 12 inches wide. 3-Tab shingles typically come in either 20 year, 25 year, or 30 year warranties. Similar to other asphalt shingles, 3-Tab shingles work by shedding water to the shingles beneath, and then eventually off your roof completely. How do you know if 3-Tab shingles are right for you? Here are some pros and cons to consider:

 

Pros: 

  • As these shingles are considered the most basic style of shingles, they also tend to be the cheapest style. 
  • They come in a wide variety of colors, which allows them to accent or match current color schemes you may have throughout your home’s exterior. 

Cons: 

  • Due to the fact that these shingles are thinner and less durable, they typically require more frequent repairs or replacements. 
  • They lie flat on your roof, giving no dimensional appearance. 
  • They don’t hold up as well against recurring heavy storms and their wind rating is much lower than other asphalt shingle types. 

Dimensional Shingles: 

Also commonly referred to as laminate or architectural shingles, these styles of shingles are two-layer asphalt strip shingles that have been laminated together. In dimensional shingles, the bottom layer is exposed, creating a multi-dimensional look. Most dimensional shingles come with a 30 year warranty or even a limited lifetime warranty. Similar to the 3-Tab shingles, dimensional shingles come in a wide variety of colors and styles as well, so why choose them over 3-Tab? Here are some pros and cons of dimensional shingles: 

Pros:

  • They are composed of both asphalt and fiberglass, creating a more durable material for your roof. 
  • They are heavier-duty shingles and have a higher caliber of asphalt than 3-Tab shingles, which contributes to their durability and ability to withstand higher wind gusts from inclement weather events
  • These are a popular choice due to their cost and quality. 
  • They can increase the value of your home and add curbside appeal. 
  • They are multi-dimensional, unlike 3-Tab shingles. 
  • The color choices you can choose from include aesthetically pleasing color gradients.

Cons: 

  • More costly than 3-Tabs up front but if installed correctly, they have a longer life expectancy and provide better protection overall. 
  • Their additional weight may not be suitable for older structures with less stability. 

Luxury shingles: 

The last main style of asphalt shingles is luxury shingles. As luxury roofs are designed to have the appearance of natural slate or cedar shake roofs, luxury shingles give this grandeur appearance at a fraction of the cost. They are a great alternative for period-style homes that look best with shaker-style roofs. Although much more costly, here are some pros and cons if you are considering luxury shingles for your home: 

Pros: 

  • They give the aesthetic of natural slate or cedar shake roofs while not committing to the cost and required maintenance of shake-style roofs. 
  • They are the most durable shingles as they are made with the heaviest and thickest material. 
  • The heavier material allows for premium weather protection in all geographical locations. - These are also multi-dimensional, contributing to the curb appeal of your roof. 

Cons: 

  • They are the most expensive type of shingles. Although more costly, it is important to consider you are paying for aesthetics and durability. More expensive also means less likely to need as many repairs in the future. 
  • The heavier weight may not be suitable for every kind of home or structure. - They are extremely laborious to install. 

Conclusion

When it comes to your roof, it is important to consider all of the features of each shingle and find the style that best suits your needs. While 3-Tab shingles are the cheapest option, they are more likely to require repairs due to their thin material and lower wind rating. Dimensional shingles are the mid-ground shingle style. They have a more durable structure for a slightly increased cost and provide a higher curbside appeal. If installed correctly, they also have a

longer life expectancy. Luxury shingles are the most expensive style of asphalt shingles. They are the most visually pleasing and can withstand the elements very well. It is important to discuss your shingle material options with your roofing expert before determining which roof is the right fit for your home. 

If you need answers to your roofing questions or would like a Free Roofing Estimate in Huntsville and other surrounding areas in Madison County, reach out to your local Veteran Owned & Family Operated Roofing Contractor, Advanced Roofing & Construction, LLC where Integrity Comes First! 

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Serving: Huntsville, Madison, Meridianville, Owens Crossroads and more.