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Choosing the Best Asphalt Shingles: Pros, Cons & Types

Asphalt shingle roofs are a top choice for homeowners who want an affordable and durable roofing system. These roofs are made of asphalt shingles, which come in various styles such as traditional, architectural, and designer shingles. The most common type of asphalt shingle is the tab shingle, which creates a layered look when installed in a staggered pattern. Another popular option is dimensional shingles that add depth to the roof’s design due to their thicker and more textured appearance. The construction of these roofs involves laying down multiple layers of shingles with ridges that interlock with each other, providing extra strength and protection. Homeowners can choose from a variety of products to achieve the desired look and function for their roof.

At Paragon Roofing BC, we specialize in installing and repairing asphalt roofs using high-quality products from top manufacturers such as GAF. Our construction process involves carefully layering the shingles to ensure maximum durability and protection against the elements. Additionally, we pay close attention to the ridges of the roof to prevent any potential leaks. While slate or other premium roofing materials may have more aesthetic appeal than asphalt shingles, our GAF asphalt roof system offers reliable performance at an affordable cost.

If you’re wondering what products are offered by an asphalt shingle manufacturer or whether you can walk on asphalt shingles during construction, we’ve got you covered in this article. Stay tuned for more information on different types of roofing shingles like designer shingles, tab shingles, traditional shingles, dimensional shingles, and class 4 asphalt shingle.

Types of Asphalt Roofing Shingles Available in North America

Asphalt roofing shingles are the most commonly used type of roofing material in North America, with various products available for construction. They are known for their durability, affordability, and versatility, especially those from GAF. However, not all asphalt shingles are created equal in terms of design, color, and functionality, as there are numerous colours to choose from.

Common Type of Asphalt Roofing Shingle Used in North America

The most common type of asphalt roofing shingle used in North America is the three-tab shingle. This article explains that this type of shingle is made up of a flat rectangular shape with two cutouts or tabs on one end to create the appearance of three smaller individual shingles when installed on a roof. Three-tab shingles come in a variety of colors and designs, including GAF products, and are an affordable option for homeowners who want a durable and long-lasting roof without breaking the bank.

Different Shingle Types Available in North America

In addition to three-tab shingles, there are also architectural or dimensional shingles. These types of asphalt roofing shingles have become increasingly popular over the years due to their unique design and enhanced durability. Architectural or dimensional shingles have a multi-dimensional look that resembles wood shake or slate tiles. They come in a wide range of colors, including GAF’s Timberline HDZ shingles, and styles to fit any home’s aesthetic. This article will discuss the performance of architectural shingles compared to traditional shingles.

Another type of asphalt roofing shingle is the strip shingle, also known as the traditional 3-tab shingle. These basic roofing materials are affordable and widely used in residential properties. Another option is the laminate shingle, which is thicker and more durable than strip shingles. Laminate shingles are also known as architectural shingles because they can mimic the look of natural slate tiles or cedar shakes while providing enhanced durability against harsh weather conditions. For those seeking superior quality and performance, there are luxury or designer asphalt roofing materials available. These high-end performance shingles offer superior aesthetics and durability compared to traditional asphalt roofing materials.

Variations in Design and Color

Asphalt roofing manufacturers offer a wide range of design options for homeowners looking to customize their roofs’ appearance further. From classic solid colors like black, gray, and brown to more vibrant hues like reds, blues, and greens – there are endless options of colours to choose from. Some manufacturers, such as GAF, even offer shingles with unique patterns or designs, such as scalloped edges or diamond shapes, without compromising the performance.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Type of Asphalt Shingle

When choosing the right type of asphalt roofing shingle for your home, it’s essential to consider several factors. The first factor is climate and weather conditions in your area. If you live in an area prone to harsh weather conditions like heavy snow, strong winds, or hailstorms, you may want to opt for a more durable and robust roofing material like architectural or designer shingles that offer superior performance.

Another factor to consider is your budget. While luxury or designer asphalt roofing materials offer superior quality and aesthetics, they come at a higher price point than traditional three-tab shingles. It’s important to weigh the benefits against the cost when deciding which type of asphalt shingle is best for your home.

Other factors to keep in mind when considering your roofing project include the slope of your roof, local building codes and regulations, and the overall style and design of your home. It’s important to consult with a roofing professional who can advise you on the best shingle types for your specific needs, such as architectural shingles or strip shingles.

Pros and Cons of Using Asphalt Shingles for Roofing

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials in the market today. They offer homeowners a cost-effective solution to protect their homes from the elements. However, like any other roofing material, asphalt shingles have their pros and cons.


Affordable Roofing Option

One of the main advantages of using asphalt shingles is that they are an affordable roofing option. They are less expensive than other materials such as metal or tile roofs. This makes them an attractive choice for homeowners on a budget.

Easy to Install and Repair

Asphalt shingles are also easy for roofing professionals from Bill Ragan Roofing to install and repair. Their lightweight nature makes them easy to handle during installation, which can save time and money on labor costs. If a few shingles get damaged over time, they can be easily replaced by a roofing professional from Bill Ragan Roofing without having to replace the entire roof.

Available in a Wide Range of Colors and Styles

Asphalt shingles, a popular choice for roof replacement, come in a wide range of colors and styles, making it easier for homeowners to choose a new roof that complements their home’s exterior design. From traditional three-tab shingles to architectural or designer ones, there is an option for every taste. It is important to consult with a roofing professional to ensure the proper installation of the chosen roof system.

Can Withstand Moderate Weather Conditions

Asphalt shingles are a reliable option for a roof system, capable of withstanding moderate weather conditions such as rain, wind, and snow. With proper maintenance, they can last up to 20 years, making them an ideal choice for those who don’t want to worry about roof replacement anytime soon. If you’re looking for a new roof or need assistance with maintaining your current one, consider contacting Bill Ragan Roofing for expert advice and service.


Shorter Lifespan Compared to Other Roofing Materials

While asphalt shingles have many benefits, one downside is that they have a shorter lifespan compared to other roofing materials such as metal or slate roofs. Typically asphalt roofs last between 15-30 years depending on maintenance practices.

Prone to Damage from Extreme Weather Conditions

Asphalt shingle roofs, including strip shingles, are prone to damage from extreme weather conditions such as hailstorms or hurricanes. If not installed correctly or maintained properly after damage occurs, the lifespan of architectural shingles, laminate shingles, and luxury shingles can also be drastically reduced.

Not Environmentally Friendly as They are Not Easily Recyclable

Asphalt shingles used for roof replacement or new roof installations require regular roof maintenance. However, these shingles are not environmentally friendly as they are not easily recyclable and often end up in landfills, which is not sustainable for the environment. Minimizing the use of such shingles can help reduce their negative impact on the environment.

May Not Add Significant Value to the Property

Lastly, while asphalt shingles offer a cost-effective roofing solution, they may not add significant value to the property. If you plan on selling your home in the future, other roofing materials such as metal or slate roofs may increase its resale value more than an asphalt shingle roof would.

Cost of Installing an Asphalt Shingle Roof

If you’re considering replacing your roof, one of the most popular options is asphalt shingles. Not only are they affordable, but they also come in a variety of colors and styles to match your home’s aesthetic. However, before you commit to installing an asphalt shingle roof, it’s important to understand the costs involved.

Average Cost of Installing an Asphalt Shingle Roof

The cost of installing an asphalt shingle roof can vary depending on several factors, such as the quality of shingles used and the size and pitch of your roof. On average, homeowners can expect to pay around $7,500 for a 2,000 square foot home.

It’s important to note that this price includes labor and materials. If your old roof, which may have traditional shingles or strip shingles, needs to be removed before installation of new architectural shingles, this will add extra costs. It’s best to consult with a professional roofer who can advise you on the different shingle types available.

Premium Shingles vs Standard Shingles

When considering a new asphalt roof for your roof replacement, you’ll have two main options: premium or standard. Premium shingles can cost up to 50% more than standard shingles but often offer better durability and longer lifespans. To ensure the longevity of your new asphalt roof, regular roof maintenance is a must. Don’t forget to schedule a maintenance check at least once a year to keep your roof in top condition.

Standard asphalt shingles typically last around 15-20 years while premium options can last up to 30 years or more with proper maintenance. If you plan on staying in your home long-term or want added protection against harsh weather conditions, investing in premium shingles may be worth the extra cost for potential roof replacement needs in the future.

Other Factors Affecting Cost

Aside from the type of shingle you choose, other factors can impact the overall cost of installation for new asphalt roof, roof replacement, architectural shingles, and roof shingles.

  • Pitch: A steeper pitch will require more labor and safety equipment which can increase costs for roof maintenance, roof shingles, roof replacement, and architectural shingles.

  • Accessibility: If your architectural shingles roof is difficult to access due to its location or surrounding landscaping features, this can also add additional labor costs.

  • Removal: If your old architectural shingles roof needs to be removed before installation (which is recommended), this will add extra costs for labor and disposal fees.

DIY Installation

While it’s possible to save money by installing an asphalt shingle roof yourself, it’s important to have the proper training and equipment. Improper installation can lead to leaks, damage, and even safety hazards.

If you do choose to go the DIY route for asphalt roof replacement, make sure to research thoroughly beforehand and follow all safety guidelines. It’s also a good idea to have a professional inspect your work before finalizing the installation.

Getting Quotes from Contractors

To ensure quality workmanship and compare costs, it’s recommended to get multiple quotes from licensed and insured roofing contractors. This will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of pricing and help you find a reputable contractor with experience in installing asphalt shingle roofs.

When comparing quotes, make sure all aspects of the project are included such as removal of old roofing materials, disposal fees, warranties on materials and labor, etc.

Materials used in asphalt shingle roofs

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials used in the United States. They are made from a combination of materials, including asphalt, fiberglass, and other roofing materials. In this article, we will discuss the different types of asphalt shingles and their composition.

Composition Shingles

Composition shingles are the most common type of asphalt shingle. They are made of a base material coated with asphalt and covered with mineral granules. The base material can be organic or fiberglass. Organic composition shingles are made from a paper or felt mat that is saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof. Fiberglass composition shingles are made from a fiberglass mat that is coated with asphalt.

The mineral granules on top of the shingle provide protection against UV rays and add color to the roof. The granules can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramic-coated minerals or crushed rock.

Fiberglass Shingles

Fiberglass shingles are a popular choice for roof replacement. They are similar to composition shingles but have a different base material. They are made of a fiberglass mat coated with asphalt and covered with mineral granules. Fiberglass is stronger than organic material and does not absorb water, making it more resistant to moisture damage.

Fiberglass shingles also tend to be lighter than organic composition shingles, which can make them easier to install for a roof replacement. However, they may not be as durable as laminated or architectural shingles, especially when compared to an asphalt roof.

Laminate Shingles

Laminate shingles, also known as architectural or dimensional shingles, are made of multiple layers of material to create a thicker and more durable product. They are an excellent choice for roof replacement, as they consist of an inner layer of fiberglass mat coated with asphalt and an outer layer composed of various materials such as ceramic-coated minerals or copper.

Laminate shingles come in many styles that mimic the look of other roofing materials like wood shakes or slate tiles. They are also available in a wide range of colors to match any home’s exterior.

Lifespan of an Asphalt Shingle Roof

An asphalt shingle roof is a popular choice for homeowners due to its affordability and durability. However, like any roofing material, it has a limited lifespan. In this section, we will discuss the average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof, factors that affect its longevity, and when to consider replacing it.

The Average Lifespan of an Asphalt Shingle Roof

The typical lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is around 20 to 25 years. This means that after this time frame, you may start noticing signs of wear and tear such as curling or missing shingles. However, some manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on their asphalt shingles which can range from 30 to 50 years.

It’s important to note that a lifetime warranty doesn’t necessarily mean the asphalt roof shingles will last a lifetime but rather that they are guaranteed for a specific number of years. The warranty may only cover defects in materials and not damage caused by external factors such as weather or poor installation.

Factors That Affect the Longevity of an Asphalt Shingle Roof

Several factors can impact the lifespan of your asphalt shingle roof. Climate plays a significant role in determining how long your roof will last. Extreme temperatures, high winds, heavy rain or snowfall can cause damage to your roof over time.

Installation quality also affects how long your roof will last. Improper installation can lead to premature aging and damage to your roofing system.

Regular maintenance is essential in extending the life span of your asphalt shingle roof. Neglecting regular inspections and repairs can cause minor issues to turn into major problems over time leading to costly repairs or replacement.

When To Consider Replacing Your Asphalt Shingle Roof

If you notice signs of wear and tear on your asphalt shingle roof such as curling or missing shingles before its expected lifespan ends then it might be time for replacement. If your roof has significant damage or is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, it may be time to consider replacement.

It’s important to have a professional inspect your roof to determine the extent of any damage and provide recommendations on whether repair or replacement is needed.

Proper Installation of Asphalt Shingles for Your Roof

Installing a new roof can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. Proper installation of asphalt shingles is crucial for ensuring the longevity and performance of your new roof. Here are some important things to keep in mind when installing an asphalt shingle roof:

Hiring a Professional Roofing Contractor

Hiring a professional roofing contractor is highly recommended. A qualified roofing professional will have the necessary experience and knowledge to install strip or performance shingles correctly. They can also help you select the right type of shingle for your home and budget.

Use of Sealant During Installation

During installation, it’s important to use sealant around areas such as chimneys, vents, and skylights on asphalt roofs to prevent leaks and water damage. This is especially important in areas that are prone to heavy rain or snow.

Replacement for Your Old Roof

If you need a replacement for your old roof, it’s essential to assess whether a new asphalt roof is the best option for your home and budget. A roofing professional can help you determine whether an asphalt shingle roof is right for you based on factors such as climate, location, and overall condition of your existing roof.

How to Install Asphalt Shingle Roof

When installing an asphalt shingle roof, there are several steps involved:

  1. Remove old roofing materials: Before installing a new asphalt shingle roof, any old roofing materials must be removed.

  2. Install underlayment: An underlayment should be installed over the entire surface area of the roof before laying down any shingles.

  3. Install drip edge: Drip edge should be installed along all edges of the roof.

  4. Lay down starter strip: A starter strip should be laid down at the bottom edge of the roof before laying down any full-size shingles.

  5. Lay down shingles: Full-size shingles should be laid down in rows, starting from the bottom edge of the roof and working upwards.

  6. Install ridge cap: Ridge cap should be installed along the peak of the roof.

How to Replace an Asphalt Shingle

If you need to replace a damaged or missing asphalt shingle, here are the steps involved:

  1. Remove damaged asphalt roof shingle: Carefully remove any damaged or missing asphalt roof shingles using a pry bar.

  2. Prepare replacement asphalt roof shingle: Cut a replacement asphalt roof shingle to size if necessary.

  3. Slide the replacement asphalt roof shingle into place: Slide the replacement asphalt roof shingle into place under the surrounding shingles.

  4. Secure replacement shingle: Nail the replacement shingle into place using roofing nails.

How to Walk on Asphalt Shingle Roof

When walking on an asphalt shingle roof, it’s important to take precautions to avoid damaging the surface:

  1. Wear soft-soled shoes: Hard-soled shoes can damage asphalt shingles, so it’s important to wear soft-soled shoes when walking on a roof.

  2. Distribute weight evenly: When walking on a roof, distribute your weight evenly across both feet and move slowly and carefully.

  3. Use caution in wet conditions: Wet conditions can make roofs slippery, so use extra caution when walking on a wet roof.

Maintenance Tips for Your Asphalt Shingle Roof

Regular maintenance of your asphalt shingle roof is crucial to keep it in good condition and prolong its lifespan. With proper care, your roof can last up to 20 or even 30 years. In this article, we will discuss some essential tips for maintaining your asphalt shingle roof.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly

Inspecting your roof at least twice a year is essential to identify any damage or debris that may have accumulated. You should also inspect your roof after severe weather conditions such as heavy rain, hailstorms, or strong winds.

During the inspection, check for any missing or damaged shingles, cracks in the flashing, and signs of wear and tear. If you notice any issues with your roof’s surface, address them immediately before they turn into more significant problems.

Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water buildup on your roof, leading to potential leaks and water damage. Cleaning your gutters regularly will prevent these issues from occurring.

You should clean your gutters at least twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. Remove any leaves, twigs, or other debris that may have accumulated in the gutter system to prevent damage to your asphalt roof.

Hire a Professional Roofer

While regular inspections are important for maintaining an asphalt shingle roof, sometimes it’s best to leave repairs to professionals. Hiring a professional roofer will ensure that all repairs are done correctly and safely.

Professional roofing contractors have the experience and expertise needed to identify potential issues with your roof and fix them before they become more significant problems. They also have access to specialized tools and equipment required for repairing roofs.

Repair Damaged Shingles Immediately

If you notice any damaged or missing asphalt roof shingles during an inspection or cleaning session, repair them immediately. Leaving damaged asphalt roof shingles untreated can lead to leaks and further damage to your home’s interior.

Replacing a few shingles is a relatively simple and inexpensive task. However, if you neglect to repair damaged shingles, you may end up needing to replace your entire roof.

Storm Damage and Your Asphalt Shingle Roof

Your roof is your first line of defense against the elements, but it’s also one of the most vulnerable parts of your home. Storm damage can cause severe harm to your asphalt shingle roof, including wind and rain damage. In this section, we’ll discuss how storms can impact your asphalt shingle roof and what you can do to protect it.

Strong Winds Can Lift and Remove Shingles from Your Roof

Strong winds are one of the most common causes of storm damage to asphalt shingle roofs. When winds exceed 50-60 mph, they can lift and remove shingles from your roof. This not only exposes your home to potential leaks and water damage but also reduces the lifespan of your roof.

To prevent wind damage to your asphalt roof, make sure that any loose or damaged shingles are repaired or replaced before a storm hits. You may also want to consider upgrading to high-wind rated shingles if you live in an area prone to strong winds.

Impact from Hail or Debris During a Storm Can Also Cause Significant Damage

Hail and debris impact during a storm can cause significant damage to an asphalt shingle roof. Hailstones can dent or crack shingles, while falling branches or other debris can dislodge them entirely.

If you suspect that hail or debris has damaged your roof, it’s important to have it inspected by a professional roofer as soon as possible. Even small cracks or dents in your shingles can lead to leaks over time.

Heat and Weather Exposure Can Cause Deterioration Over Time

Heat and weather exposure can cause deterioration over time in asphalt shingle roofs. UV rays from the sun can cause the granules on top of the shingles to wear away, leading to discoloration and reduced protection against water damage.

To extend the life of your asphalt shingle roof, make sure that it’s properly ventilated to prevent excessive heat buildup. You may also want to consider applying a protective coating or sealant to your shingles to help protect them from the elements.

Asphalt Shingles Offer Fire Resistance

Asphalt shingles offer fire resistance, making them a popular choice for homeowners concerned about fire safety. In contrast, wood shake roofs are more susceptible to fire damage and may not meet local building codes in some areas.

If you live in an area prone to wildfires or are concerned about fire safety, asphalt shingles may be the best choice for your roof. Be sure to check with your local building code requirements before making any decisions.

Algae Growth on Your Asphalt Shingle Roof Can Lead to Discoloration and Potential Damage

Algae growth on your asphalt shingle roof can lead to discoloration and potential damage to the ridge of your roof. Algae thrives in warm, humid environments and can spread quickly if left unchecked.

To prevent algae growth, make sure that your roof is properly ventilated and free of debris that can trap moisture. You may also want to consider installing zinc or copper strips along the ridge of your roof, which can help prevent algae growth over time.

Benefits of Choosing Asphalt Shingles for Your Roof

Asphalt shingles are a popular choice for roofing in North America due to their numerous benefits. There are different types of asphalt roofing shingles available, each with its unique features and advantages.

Using asphalt shingles for your roof has several pros and cons that you should consider before making a decision. While they are affordable, durable, and easy to install, they may not be the best option for all climates or architectural styles.

The cost of installing an asphalt shingle roof varies depending on factors such as the size of your roof, materials used, and labor costs. However, it is generally more affordable than other roofing options like metal or tile.

Materials used in asphalt shingle roofs include fiberglass matting, asphalt coating, mineral granules, and sealant strips. These materials work together to provide protection against weather elements like rain, wind, and sun.

The lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof ranges from 15-30 years depending on the quality of materials used and proper maintenance practices. Regular inspections and repairs can help extend the life of your roof.

Proper installation of asphalt shingles is crucial to ensure their effectiveness in protecting your home. It is recommended to hire a professional roofer who follows manufacturer guidelines for installation.

Maintenance tips for your asphalt shingle roof include cleaning gutters regularly, removing debris from the surface of the roof, inspecting for damage after storms or extreme weather conditions, and repairing any leaks immediately.

Storm damage can affect your asphalt shingle roof by causing cracks or missing tiles. It is important to have a professional inspection after severe weather events to assess any potential damage.


Choosing asphalt shingles for your roofing needs has many benefits including affordability, durability, ease of installation and maintenance. With proper care and regular inspections from professionals following manufacturer guidelines during installation you can enjoy a long-lasting effective roofing solution that will protect your home from the elements.

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