The best bang for your buck has always been asphalt shingle roofing products. You choices for colors and design appearances will seem endless because there is a shingle that matches every style of architecture and every color scheme. This is why asphalt shingles have become the number one roofing product for residential homes.
These types of products are easy to install regardless of roof design. They adapt well in most environments with their sealing characteristics and their ability to shed water quickly. The only maintenance necessary for these types of roofs is that they be kept clean of debris buildups like a large collection of leaves in the valley troughs.
Repairs are easy to make with these roofs primarily because there is not much complexity to the roof system itself. The shingles are sealed to the flashings and can be broken free to be resealed again. A damaged shingle in the field of the roof can be removed with a little careful work and replaced with a new one that should be sealed to all the adjoining shingles. But once these roofs are worn out they must be replaced. It is hard to extend the life expectancy for these types of roofs. All asphalt shingles are rated by their weight to establish the expected life span. The 240 pound shingles last from 20 to 25 years depending on design. The 300 to 380 pound shingles last from 28 to 50 years respectively.
Asphalt shingles consist of fiberglass mats that are saturated with asphalts and surface coated with a solid layer of colored ceramic granules. The granules serve not only as a color signature but also as the determining factor for their life expectancy. The sun’s UV radiation robs the shingles of their hydrocarbon oils and the granules reduce that process as long as they remain on the surface of the shingles. As the granules wear away, the shingle mats degrade and begin to allow for water intrusion.
The heavier weighted asphalt shingles naturally have a longer life and are better equipped to withstand the damaging effects of storms. They seal together well enabling a strong ability to withstand the higher forced winds when compared to the lighter weighted asphalt shingles known as 3-tabs.
The heavier shingles take on an architectural design to appear typically as wood shingles and when properly installed they will serve well as a good roof.
The most popular asphalt shingle manufacturers are: GAF, Tamko, Owens Corning, and CertainTeed. They all make comparable shingle products by weights, warranties and colors. The biggest difference is in the color blends and that becomes the choice you will have to make.