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Explaining the Types of Roof Shingles

If your roof is worse for wear and beyond repair, you might have come to the conclusion that you need a new one. Replacing your roof includes a lot of factors – there are permits to pull, experts to consult, and at least a couple of days of work that needs to be done.

The best and easiest way to protect your roof is with shingles – but the number of shingle types out there might make your head spin! In this guide, we’ll give you a break-down on the different types of shingles out there so you can pick the one that’s best for you.

types of roof shingles

Asphalt Shingles

One of the most popular types of shingles on the account of how affordable they are is asphalt shingles. Their advantages don’t end there either as asphalt has some of the largest style choices – with a myriad of colors, designs, and sizes to choose from.

Many of them, especially in recent years, is specifically designed to meet or exceed Energy Star standards cutting back on energy costs in homes.  The average lifespan of this type of shingle is typically around the 20-year mark, making them one of the most durable. With proper installation and care, they can last over 20 years.

That being said, they are often fairly easy to fix, with most problems require a simple solution like additional roofing cement or nail. Even more complicated problems can result in a quick fix of cutting out the bad part of the shingle and overlaying it with a new one.

Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles

A sub-type of asphalt are ones made from fiberglass – a process that’s a result of multiple layers being bound together with urea-formaldehyde. To better reinforce this material it’s coated with a waterproof layer of asphalt.

Over normal asphalt, this type of shingle benefits from being more lightweight, resistant to fire and ultraviolet radiation, while also being remarkably durable. While more expensive than normal asphalt, they are still considered a low-cost solution to a new roof.

Organic Asphalt Shingles

Like the name suggests this is for the more environmentally conscious homeowner as it’s made out of recycled bits of cardboard, wood, paper, and rags. This subtype of asphalt shingles is notable for being heavier, waterproof, and yet inexpensive.

That being said they have multiple issues stemming in an inferior lifespan and occasionally being prone to moisture saturation.

asphalt roof shingles

Tile Shingles

This type of material is best for those that want to give their home a more Mediterranean or Spanish look. Tile shingles can be molded into different shapes and are also much lighter than most other shingles, resulting in less heat absorption.

They’re considered one of the most visually appealing on the account of their unique and layered design.

The cost of the material and installation can be prohibitive as this is one of the most expensive types of shingles on the market. The reason for this is that tile shingles are simultaneously heavier and more fragile than their asphalt and wood counterparts.

In addition, this tile usually requires more money to repair as they can crack and break even under a little bit of pressure. Special methods and tools are needed by roofers to fix this type of shingle.

Wood Shingles

Being composed of wood naturally makes this shingle the most environmentally friendly of any type of shingle. However, wood shingles come with their fair share of problems. Being a wood product, this type of material is much weaker against fire. To make matters worse there is more preparation needed to properly seal this shingle from the effects of moisture and mold.

They can also be difficult to install and it’s highly recommended to go the professional route when doing so. Plus, wood shingles are more expensive than their asphalt counterpart.

Shake Shingles

While made of wood, they’re not to be confused for it necessarily. It’s of the oldest roofing styles that were traditionally made from split logs. This type of roof shingle is usually thicker than traditional wood while also looking more rustic in the appearance on the account of their unique lines and texture.

Because of their marked inferiority along just about every axis – durability, insulation, and so forth – this type of shingle is rarely used in residential dwellings. Recently, shake style shingles are being made of metal, clay, and asphalt.

Slate Shingles

The creme-de-la-creme of shingle material types is slate. With a maximum lifespan of a century and having some of the best water resistance, it’s no wonder it is also one of the most expensive.

Like any other expensive material, the price isn’t all up front – while labor will be a cost to factor in so will the repairs needed. There are few companies that specialize in slate roofs, requiring additional costs if they need to drive far to your home. They also aren’t for every home – slate is heavy and some residential setups can’t contain their weight.

Solar Shingles

Solar panels on top of roofs aren’t anything new, combining them into the shingle itself though is something else entirely. Also called “Tesla’s Solar Roof” (despite not being invented by Tesla), these shingles are composed of a thin film made from photovoltaic (PV) cells.

These PV cells look and protect your home like a traditional shingle while also harnessing the power of the sun to power your home. While the technology is still growing, this type of shingle can come in a large number of styles to make it look similar to slate, asphalt, and even clay tile. However, the price for these shines is enough to drive away most homeowners.

Now You Know About the Types of Roof Shingles

As you can see there are plenty of types of roof shingles out there. The most affordable is the asphalt ones and are by far the most popular because of this. Slate and tile both look great and have some of the longest lifespans, but cost quite a bit more in terms of both material and labor.

Now’s the time to replace your roof with high-performance shingles that are durable, resistant to strong weather conditions, and eye appealing. Most of the time, asphalt shingles are drastically better than slate, solar, shake, wood, and tile. All the benefits from great energy efficiency to great exterior protection from extreme weather conditions. Speak to a specialist and get a free quote online today.

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