At the Oregon Roof Guys, we know a lot about roofing materials. Asphalt roofing shingles are the most common roofing material in North America because they are extremely cost-effective. If you are interested in learning more about asphalt shingles to see if they are right for you, here is a list of pros and cons to consider.
Affordable: Probably the biggest reason why asphalt roofing shingles are so popular is because they are the most affordable roofing option. If properly installed, asphalt shingles will protect your home for about 12 to 17 years. Although this may be a short-term fix compared to materials like Spanish tile, which can last up to 70 years, the inexpensiveness of asphalt shingles often outweighs long-term protection.
Effective: While not as durable and long-lasting as other roofing materials (such as metal, slate, clay tiles, and cedar shakes) asphalt shingles provide adequate protection. With its moderate protection next to its low price point, most people find it is the most cost-effective option.
Variety of colors and styles: There are two types of asphalt shingles: organic and fiberglass. Asphalt coats both types to make them water proof. A fiberglass shingle’s interior is made with a thin mat of glass fiber. Organic shingles are made with a mat fabricated from some kind of wood product, usually waste paper. Both fiberglass and organic shingles come in different styles such as 3-tab, architectural, and premium shingles.3-tab shingles are the most basic and inexpensive option. Architectural shingles are slightly more expensive and are more aesthetically pleasing as they often have a 3D effect with varying tones and patterns, and some imitate the look of wood or slate shingles. Also, architectural shingles are more weatherproof as they are less prone to wind uplift than 3-tab shingles.
Easy Installation: While it does take some skill to properly install asphalt shingles, they require less specialized training and can quickly be installed in one to two days, depending on the size of the job and if the old shingles have to be removed first.
The disadvantages of asphalt roofing shingles come down to the quality of the material and the dwindling protection it has in shifting climates.
- Asphalt roofing shingles perform poorly in extreme heat, which can cause shingles to crack and color to fade.
- They aren’t fit for extreme temperature fluctuations. Expanding and contracting causes cracking.
- They can become damaged if installed at below freezing temperatures.
- Asphalt shingles are not environmentally friendly. Asphalt is a semi-solid form of petroleum. Also, the manufacturing of shingles wastes a lot of energy and produces greenhouse gas emissions. Other roofing materials, such as metal roofs, are 100% recyclable and much more eco-friendly to produce.