Architectural Shingles—Benefits, Installation and Common Questions
Architectural shingles are also known as dimensional shingles or laminated shingles. They are high-quality roofing products that are heavier than other types of roofing materials, but they do not require additional support under the roof. They are frequently used on larger homes by homeowners who prefer a distinctive, unique look for their roof. The design and weight of the shingle are what gives them their three-dimensional look. Architectural shingles can be used as new roof installation or as a roof replacement. Either way, they are durable and will enhance the appearance of your home. If it’s time for you to invest in a new roof, architectural roof shingles may the ideal option. If you aren’t familiar with this type of shingle, the following will provide you with information about the installation and the benefits and answer some of the common questions about this type of roof shingle.
How Are Architectural Shingles Made?
Architectural shingles are typically made with several layers of heavy fiberglass or asphalt as the core and base layers. They are generally made of two to three layers of these types of laminated materials, and then mineral granules are placed on top to provide visual interest and texture. Basically, they are made by using a heavier mat base than a standard asphalt shingle. The backs of the shingles are also coated with a special material, and the top typically includes a zinc or copper protection for prevention against moisture. The primary distinction between traditional asphalt shingles and architectural shingles is that the architectural shingles are made with a thicker layer of a more refined type of asphalt, which provides a range of advantages.
What Is the Life Span of Architectural Shingles?
In the majority of situations, they are made to last between 30–50 years. However, the actual life span will depend on various factors, such as how well the shingles are maintained, the elements and the installation. They are made with asphalt and minerals, so the shingle is extremely strong and flexible. Unlike other types of roofing materials, they are also designed to withstand extreme temperatures and other severe weather events. Many manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on architectural shingles.
Are There Any Cons With Architectural Shingles?
These shingles are extremely durable and stylish; however, they are heavier than traditional three-tab shingles. So, it isn’t really a disadvantage, but the sub-roof does have to be structurally sound in order to hold the weight of the shingles. They also tend to be used primarily on larger homes because of their weight, which is approximately 100 to 200 pounds heavier per square than three-tab shingles. Architectural shingles are also typically slightly more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles; however, their durability and extended life span make them well worth the additional cost.
Are Architectural Shingles Worth the Cost?
The short answer is, absolutely! Architectural shingles can add more value to your home, and while traditional asphalt shingles generally have a 15–30-year warranty, architectural shingles often carry a lifetime warranty. In addition, standard asphalt shingles are made to withstand winds up to 60 mph, while architectural shingles can withstand winds up to 120 mph. Although the initial cost for the materials may be higher than standard asphalt shingles, the lifetime cost may be significantly less. For instance, standard asphalt shingles generally have to be replaced, on average, about every 15 years, which means you will need to replace the standard asphalt shingles on your roof approximately three times, possible more, to equal the life span of architectural shingles.
Benefits of Architectural Shingles
One of the most obvious benefits of architectural shingles is their aesthetic appeal. These shingles will give your home a refined look that you can’t get with standard asphalt shingles. The shingles have an additional thickness that helps your roof stand out, giving it a 3D effect. Other benefits include:
Weather resistant — Between the extra thickness and the innovative design of the shingle, there is extra security and strength against external elements. Studies have shown that these shingles are able to withstand wind speeds of up to 120 mph, so there is no risk of wind damage to the roof. When properly installed, the shingles will keep the structure and interior of your home dry all year-round.
Increase resale value — Because of their high quality and the improved resale value they bring to your house, architectural shingles can increase the resale value of your home. If you are looking for a quick and easy upgrade for your home before selling, architectural roofing shingles will definitely pay off in the long run.
Offer light deflection — Some styles of architectural roofing shingles are designed to deflect light as well as provide added insulation, which can help keep your home cooler during the summer months.
Moss resistant — Architectural roofing shingles are often made with a zinc or copper coating, which helps make the shingle resistant to the growth of moss and algae, even when exposed to high moisture content.
Cover flaws — The three-dimensional look of the shingles is useful for covering up flaws in the structure of the roof. For instance, the thickness of the shingle can fill in a small gap or a small dip in the roof pitch and make it appear level.
Easy installation — The majority of styles do not require any specific pattern that needs to be matched. Unlike three-tab shingles, these shingles do not have tabs, so alignment is not necessary. The lack of tabs also means you can cut almost anywhere you want, which also means there is less waste.
Wide range of style and colors — Architectural shingles are available in a wide range of colors, styles and designs. You can choose to have architectural roofing shingles installed that resemble cedar, slate, tile, clay and other natural materials, and you have a large range of color options to choose from.
When shopping for new roofing, homeowners should compare several different brands of architectural shingles. Both the look and the warranty vary by manufacturer, but it is important to look for industry-standards, such as certifications. Also, be sure to talk with the roofing contractor for advice and recommendations as to which specific brand and style will best suit your needs. Keep in mind that just like other types of roofing installations, installing architectural roofing shingles is a highly technical process, so installations are best left to the professionals.
As experts in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area, Community Builders is happy to help you with all of your roofing needs. If you want a quality installation of architectural shingles for your home, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule your consultation and get a free estimate.
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