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Essential Information About Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular material option for roofing. When you envision asphalt roofing, you probably imagine standard charcoal or black shingles. While these roofs are still common, advances in manufacturing have made for shingles that can be better customized to your home’s style.

Fiberglass vs Organic Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles come in two material options. One is fiberglass. The foundation is a fiberglass mat, which manufacturers cover with asphalt. This construction makes them waterproof, which protects the underlayment and frame of your roof. Fiberglass shingles also have ceramic granules, which reflect UV rays, thus keeping your attic cooler.

The fiberglass construction allows manufacturers to use less asphalt. This fact makes the shingles lighter and thinner while maintaining their structural integrity. What’s more, fiberglass shingles feature a higher fire rating because of the materials used in construction.

Organic asphalt shingles are the traditional variety. They consist of a recycled layer of felt paper. The manufacturers saturate the felt paper with asphalt to make it waterproof and an adhesive asphalt to hold the ceramic granules.

Organic asphalt shingles aren’t as common anymore. They require more material than fiberglass, which makes them thicker and heavier. The materials are also costlier than with fiberglass, which increases the price of the shingles themselves. While some roofing contractors prefer their flexibility, most install more fiberglass shingles.

Architectural or Dimensional Shingles

Architectural and dimensional shingles are upgrades on the standard three-tab model, which contractors install using strips of three shingles.

Dimensional shingles are an overarching term used for shingles with a more three-dimensional look — hence, the name. Manufacturers add an additional layer of asphalt at one end to raise it, giving the shingles that three-dimensional look.

Architectural shingles are essentially the same thing — they’re just the modern version of the dimensional shingle. What’s more, you can choose architectural shingles that simulate other, more expensive roofing materials, such as cedar shakes or slate shingles.

Benefits of Asphalt Shingles

The main benefit of asphalt shingles is their cost. They’re by far the least expensive roofing material, even when you upgrade to the architectural variety. Asphalt shingles are also relatively easy to install, which likewise makes them a cost-effective option.

Because of the materials used in their construction, fiberglass shingles are also environmentally friendly. Indeed, they can be recycled.

As a further advantage, they are durable and long-lasting. In fact, your roof should last 20 to 30 years with proper maintenance. If you choose fiberglass shingles, the roof can last up to 50 years.

Finally, asphalt shingles complement any style of home, from ultra-modern to historical. They come in a wide variety of colors and even shapes. The dimensional shingles that resemble slate or shakes offer a cohesive look for historical homes.

Installation and Upkeep of Asphalt Shingles

Installing even traditional asphalt shingles is not a project for the average do-it-yourselfer. Depending on the size of your roof, professional contractors will take one to five days to install your new roof, though unforeseen repairs can lengthen that time.

While the contractors are working, keep children and pets indoors for their safety. Ideally, because of the noise, you should all vacate the house if possible.

Unlike wooden roofing, asphalt shingles require very little upkeep. Indeed, when they’re first installed, you shouldn’t have to do much to maintain the roof’s integrity. Your only major upkeep is vigilance. Pay attention to the state of your roof after a bad wind, rain, or hail storm. If you notice any damage, have it repaired immediately before the problem worsens.

Consider which style and color of asphalt shingles will best benefit your house. Consult with Ray’s Harford Home Improvement Contractors Inc. about your re-roofing project.

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