Asphalt Shingles and Roofing

San Antonio Roofing and Construction
210-972-1626
3 tab shingle vs architectural Roofs. Comparison for asphalt roof page.

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Readily Available & A Great Value

In additional to offering a variety of style choices, asphalt shingles are also widely available throughout the U.S. and Canada, and are easy to install, making them an attractive option for professional roofing contractors to offer to their customers. And while getting a new roof is by no means an inexpensive project, asphalt shingles are among the most affordable options available.  In fact, if an existing roof deck (the structural surface beneath the roofing system) is in good condition, new asphalt shingles can even be installed over older shingles, reducing the need (and cost) of a tear off of the old roofing. Check with your contractor to see if this is a viable money-saving option for your roofing project.

Different Types of Roof Shingles

There are three major categories of

  • Asphalt roofing shingle or 3 Tab Shingles products available today – strip shingles.
  • Dimensional shingles / Achirtexctual Shingle, and Luxury shingles.

It is important to understand the differences between each type of roofing shingle in order to pick the right product for your home.

*A note on terminology: Asphalt shingles are also known as and composition shingles (or composite shingles). These are general terms for the same thing. The term “composition” is used because the shingles are a composite product made from either a fiberglass or cellulose mat, asphalt, and mineral granules. This differs from wood shake shingles or clay tiles which are made from a single material.

 

 

STRIP SHINGLES

Also known as 3-tab shingles (due to the cut of the shingle) or simply strips, strip shingles are the original and most basic asphalt shingles. They are made from a single layer of asphalt and have a very flat appearance that typically offers a slate look. Since they are made from a single layer, they generally weigh and cost less than other asphalt shingles. Prior to designer shingles being introduced in the 1980s, strip shingles were the predominant roofing shingle in the market. Today, strip shingles are used most often used by home builders that manufacture inexpensive homes, or by homeowners who are replacing roofing shingles on residences that already have strip shingles on the roof. CertainTeed offers its customers the XT™ 25 strip shingle.

architectural SHINGLES

Also known as architectural or laminate shingles, dimensional shingles are the most prevalent asphalt shingles. These products are manufactured with two or more layers of asphalt that are fused together for a thicker and richer multi-dimensional appearance, and are engineered to replicate the wood shake and natural slate roofing aesthetics. Dimensional shingles are typically heavier than strip shingles, and have improved warranty protection. CertainTeed’s Landmark® shingles are a prototypical design for a dimensional roofing shingle.

LUXURY SHINGLES

Luxury shingles are the highest-quality laminated shingles available, offering a differentiated appearance or functionality that outclasses that of dimensional shingles. Apart from being shingle ‘heavyweights’ that offer premium protection for weathering, luxury shingles are stunning to look upon, presenting the highest quality, coloration, and dimensionality. These products offer the most realistic representation of the old-world wood shake and quarried slate roofing. CertainTeed’s Grand Manor® and Carriage House® products are prime examples of Luxury roofing shingles.

The Dynamic Benefits of Asphalt

Due to modern engineering techniques and the dynamic properties of asphalt, manufacturers are capable of producing numerous specialty products that exist across all shingle types. These include shingles that fight algae growth, offer enhanced resistance to damaging hail, and offer cool roof color technologies that reflect the heat of the sun to keep homes cooler and can reduce the expenses of air conditioning. Depending on your location, choosing a specialty shingle can even reduce your insurance costs (e.g. – an impact-resistant shingle installed on a home in a hail zone). In addition, asphalt shingles are naturally fire resistant, making them an ideal choice for areas where wildfires are prominent.

Interested in exploring the different options available to you? Try out CertainTeed’s ColorView® home exterior visualizer tool – you can even upload a picture of your own home to try out different roofing, siding, paint and trim combinations to help bring your remodeling vision to reality.

You can also find a local contractor who can professionally install CertainTeed building products on your home by using our Find A Pro contractor locator tool.

Asphalt roof shingles are the most popular roofing material used on homes across in Texas, and with good reason. They are designed to protect a home through decades of weathering with minimal upkeep, and are available in hundreds of colors and styles.

Physical Composition

Because 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles are both asphalt shingles, they are similar in composition. They are both made with asphalt and adhesives, and as well as granules for the outermost layer and fiberglass for the backing.

The primary differences between the two are the amount of material used, as well as the overall quality of each product. Essentially, architectural shingles are more substantial than 3-tab shingles. In fact, they are about 50 percent heavier than the 3-tab kind. The base mat on an architectural shingle is thicker than that on a 3-tab shingle. This makes the architectural shingle a sturdier roofing material. Architectural shingles also comprise stronger adhesives, and they have more granules on their top surface. They are also made from asphalt of a finer quality than 3-tab shingles.

Aesthetics

These two types of asphalt shingles also differ in their appearance. 3-tab shingles are flat, and they have a single tab shape and size. They are uniform, which gives them a flat look.

Architectural shingles are also referred to as dimensional shingles. This is because they provide a more dimensional look to the roof. Each shingle appears more dimensional because it is; multiple layers of materials adhere to the base. These shingles can be made to resemble cedar shakes, which may add much to a home’s curb appeal. They can also be constructed to simulate the look of slate, but without the added weight that slate would bring to a roof.

Wind Ratings

The two shingle types yield different wind resistance ratings. While there may be some subtle variations, 3-tab shingles are generally rated for winds of up to approximately 60 miles per hour (mph). Since architectural shingles are thicker and of a higher quality, it makes sense that they have higher wind ratings than 3-tab shingles. They typically are rated for winds of between 80 mph and 120 mph.

Lifespan

Because of their durability and high-quality composition, architectural shingles generally have a longer lifespan than the 3-tab variety. They stand up better to weather conditions such as heat, snow, ice, rain, and strong winds. Their average lifespan is about 18 to 20 years. However, they may last up to 30 years under optimal conditions. When 3-tab shingles are exposed regularly to severe weather, they may last about 7 to 10 years. In areas with mild climates, they may last as long as 12 to 15 years.

Warranty

The warranties that come with these shingles are reflective of their overall value. Since 3-tab shingles have a shorter lifespan, they have shorter warranties. 3-tab shingles generally have warranties of 25 to 30 years. Architectural shingles typically come with warranties of 50 years, and some of them may even have lifetime warranties.

Cost

The overall cost of both types of shingles is relative. Although 3-tab shingles may be less expensive to install, they usually need to be repaired and replaced sooner than architectural shingles.

Finding the Right Match for Your Home

The suitability of each of these shingle varieties is also relative. 3-tab shingles are more economical in the short term, so they may be ideal for rental properties and budget homes. Architectural shingles may be a better choice for high-end homes, as well as for homeowners who value aesthetics and longevity over lower initial costs.

The team at Spicer Bros. Construction can help you determine which asphalt shingles might work best for you. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at one of the numbers below. You are also welcome to contact us online for further details.