Shingles made from asphalt are among the most popular and affordable. A few of the most essential facts include:
- Some types include fiberglass and organic shingles.
- There are several different sizes, colors and styles to choose from.
- Many of them meet Energy Star standards, which allows you to save on energy bills.
One of the biggest drawbacks of asphalt shingles is they don’t fare very well in areas where the temperature suddenly fluctuates. There’s a good chance some of the shingles will crack in such situations. In temperate climates, there’s still a possibility the shingles might become damaged since they’re made from a weaker material. Something else to keep in mind with asphalt shingles is they can only be used on a roof that has a steep slope.
If you need to repair a torn asphalt shingle, you have to lift and add roofing cement underneath it and then add more roofing cement over the top of it. With a curled corner, you use a roofing nail. With a roof leak you can use metal flashing underneath the roof shingles to prevent water from getting through to the roof deck.
Organic asphalt shingles were originally made with wood chips, recycled cardboard, rags and paper. The shingles were considered:
- Heavier than fiberglass shingles
- Not as long-lasting as fiberglass
- Known as “felt mat asphalt shingles”
However, organic shingles are easily prone to moisture and saturation, which leads to more dangerous issues — especially in areas with high humidity or a lot of freezing temperatures. This leads the shingles to degrade and break far ahead of their 20-year life expectancy. Most homeowners have needed to replace their organic shingles with fiberglass alternatives because of this issue.
Three-Tab Shingles vs. Architectural Shingles
Three-tab shingles are thin and inexpensive, but they have the same 20- to 30-year lifespan as asphalt shingles. Additional distinguishing properties include:
- Cutouts running along the bottom edge, which makes it look like three different shingles when installed.
- Less expensive than architectural shingles
The difference between architectural shingles and three-tab shingles is that architectural shingles aren’t made with cutouts. They also contain extra asphalt, which gives it more curves than three-tab shingles. Architectural shingles are waterproof but aren’t recommended for roofs with a low slope due to the roof’s susceptibility to wind-driven rain.