Upgrade to Architectural Shingles

If you are considering a residential roof replacement, consider upgrading to architectural shingles.  Architectural shingles (sometimes called laminated shingles) offer many advantages over traditional three tab shingles at a modest premium in price.  Unless you only need the roof to last for 10 to 15 years, in most cases it makes sense to install architectural shingles. 

Architectural shingles are similar to standard three tab shingles in that they are made from a fiberglass matt soaked in asphalt and coated with ceramic granules.  However, while three tab shingles use a single layer of fiberglass matting, architectural shingles have several layers laminated together to form a thicker, heavier duty shingle. 

As a result, architectural shingles offer much better protection for your roof and your home.  Architectural shingles provide a higher level of resistance to hail damage and can withstand much higher wind speeds than three tab shingles.  In addition, they provide depth and texture to the roof and are more aesthetically pleasing than three tab shingles.

Most roofers who install composition asphalt shingles can also install architectural shingles.  The required skill and installation techniques are a little different for installing architectural shingles, but most of the general principles are the same. 

There is a modest price premium for installing architectural shingles, but they last much longer than standard three tab shingles.  Most come with at least a 40 to 50 year manufacturer’s warranty and lifetime warranties on architectural shingles are common.  Three tab shingles only last about 20 to 30 years.  In the long run, you will come out ahead by paying a little extra for high quality architectural shingles and you will have the benefit of better storm damage protection and the beauty of architectural shingles.

Posted on behalf of Ken Christie, CZE Roofing and Remodeling

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Laminated Shingle Upgrade

If your roof has been damaged by hail, remember the saying “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”  No one wants to have to replace a roof due to hail damage, but when it happens, be thankful that the roof did its job of protecting your home and family and look on the bright side – your residential roof replacement is an excellent opportunity to upgrade your roof to laminated shingles.

The vast majority of residential roofs in the United States today are covered with three tab composition asphalt shingles. These shingles were the workhorse of the roofing industry for decades and were installed on millions of American homes.  The primary advantage of three tab shingles is that they are the least expensive roofing material on the market.

However, three tab shingles are easily damaged by hail, high winds, and other causes.  The typical three tab shingle roof only lasts about 15 to 20 years before it needs to be replaced due to storm damage or old age.  Despite the relatively short lifespan of three tab shingles, most homeowners installed them anyway because it is very expensive to  up to metal roofing, tile roofing, or some other premium roofing material.

Fortunately, there is now a better option.  Laminated shingles are a type of composition asphalt shingles, but because they are thicker and heavier than three tab shingles, they are far more durable and more resistant to wind and hail damage.  Although they are more expensive than three tab shingles, laminated shingles are much less expensive than metal roofing or other premium roofing materials.

If you are replacing your three tab shingle roof, consider using laminated shingles.  If your roof replacement is covered by insurance, you will have to pick up the cost difference between three tab and laminated shingles, but you will end up with a much higher quality roof.

Roofing Material Options

If replacing your roof due to hail damage, storm damage, or just old age is on your “to do” list this summer, take some time to explore all of your roofing materials options before you settle on the type of roofing for your home.  Your roofing contractor will be able to offer suggestions about suitable roofing materials and can help you choose the best type of roofing material that fits your needs and your budget.

Roofing materials have changed significantly in the past few years and most of these changes have been for the better.  For example, if you have always had three tab asphalt shingles on your home, you may be surprised to find out that they are no longer the roofing material of choice.  These days most homeowners are installing laminated asphalt shingles instead of three tab shingles.

Laminated asphalt shingles have the advantages of three tab shingles including ease of installation and repair, a wide range of colors and styles, and relatively low cost.  However, laminated shingles (also called architectural shingles) are far superior to three tab shingles in terms of durability, wind resistance and impact resistance.

In addition to laminated shingles, metal roofing has become a very popular choice in recent years.  Metal roofing is lightweight and can be installed on almost any home while providing outstanding impact, wind, and fire resistance.  A metal roof needs very little maintenance and will probably outlast the home.

Slate and tile roofing are excellent roofing materials on the right home.  Slate and tile are heavy so the roof structure must be built to hold the weight and these roofing materials require special expertise to install, but they have an indefinite lifespan and offer the highest resistance to wind, hail, and fire damage.

Laminated Shingles – An Excellent Upgrade For Your Roof

If your roof needs to be replaced due to storm or hail damage, talk to your roofing contractor and your insurance company about upgrading your three tab asphalt shingle roof to a durable laminated shingle roof.  Laminated asphalt shingles cost a little more than three tab shingles, but they provide much better protection against the elements including wind and hail damage.

Hail damage to a three tab shingle roof is very common.  It only take hail about an inch in diameter to cause serious damage to a healthy three tab asphalt shingle roof.  A tired old roof can be damaged by hail even smaller than one inch.

Most roof hail damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy and when the damage is extensive, the insurance company will pay the cost of replacing the roof with a similar quality roof minus the policyholder’s deductible.  Most homeowners want to avoid out of pocket expenses as much as possible, but this is an excellent opportunity to upgrade to a high quality roof at a very low cost to the homeowner.

Laminated asphalt shingles are far superior to standard three tab shingles.  Laminated shingles are thicker and heavier so they are less likely to be damaged by hail.  They have wind resistance ratings higher than 100 mph compared to only 60 mph for most three tab shingles and they come with warranties ranging from 40 years to lifetime.

All in all, laminates shingles are far superior to three tab shingles, so much so that they now dominate the residential roofing market.  They cost more than three tab shingles, but far less than other roofing options such as metal roofing or tile roofing.  Laminated shingles are an excellent value and will provide long lasting protection for your home.

Energy Saving Roofing Techniques

When your asphalt shingle roof is exposed to the summer sun all day, temperatures in your attic can exceed 150 degrees.  This heat can find its way through your attic insulation and radiate into your home.  In addition, all that heat can shorten the lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof.  You can lower your electric bill for air conditioning and help your roof last longer with a few energy saving roofing techniques.

Proper attic ventilation can dramatically lower the temperature in your attic.  However, don’t just start randomly cutting holes and adding new vents.  A ventilation system should be designed by an experienced roofing contractor to ensure the smooth flow of air through the attic.  Fresh air should be drawn in through vents along the lower edges of the roof, typically through the eaves, and hot air should be exhausted near the peak of the roof.  For some roofs, properly placed passive vents are all that are needed. For other, a power ventilation system is necessary.

In addition to ventilating the attic, you can have an additional layer of insulation added to your attic floor to reduce heat transfer into your home.  In the winter, this insulation will help reduce heat loss through your ceiling.

When it comes time for a residential roof replacement consider installing a metal roof that reflects much of the sun’s heat and reduce attic temperatures.  If you choose an asphalt shingle roof instead, your local roofer can help you choose a lighter color shingle or select shingles specially designed to have high solar reflectance.  Your attic will stay cooler and your energy bills will be lower.

How Long Will My Roof Last?

If you are choosing a roof for a newly constructed home, replacing your existing roof due to hail or storm damage, or buying a home, it is only natural to wonder how long you can expect the roof to protect the home before it needs to be replaced.  Roof replacement is a big ticket item and planning ahead for your roof replacement makes good sense.

However, how long a roof will last is a difficult question to answer because a lot depends on the quality of the installation, the quality of the materials used, the climate, and how well the roof was maintained.  A well maintained roof located in a moderate climate will last longer than a neglected roof in a very hot or very cold location.  It almost goes without saying that a roof constructed with high quality materials will last longer than one made from more economical materials, but the quality of the installation can also have a big effect on the durability of the roof.  This is especially true for asphalt shingle roofs.

With all these things being equal, your choice in the type of roofing material will have the most dramatic effect on the lifespan of the roof.  A three tab asphalt shingle roof or wood shake roof will last about 20 to 30 years while a laminated asphalt shingle roof can last as long as 40 years.

Metal roofing is very durable and should easily last 40 to 50 years and longer.  Tile and slate are also extremely durable roofing materials and can last 50 to 100 years or more.

Unless your home is constructed to hold the weight of tile or slate roofing, most homeowners looking to maximize the lifespan of their roof will opt for laminated asphalt shingles or metal roofing and take care to ensure that the roof is properly installed by an experienced roofing contractor.

Quality Installation Matters

Now more than ever it pays to make sure that your new asphalt shingle roof is installed by an experienced local roofing contractor.  Asphalt shingles dominate the residential roofing market with a market share around 80 percent.  The popularity of asphalt shingles is due to their relatively low cost and ease of installation.

However, proper installation techniques are critical for a good asphalt shingle roof.  Poor installation techniques will result in an early roof failure requiring expensive repairs and ultimately a roof replacement long before it should be needed.

Proper installation is even more important if you are using laminated asphalt shingles for your residential roof replacement.  Unlike three tab shingles which only have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years, properly installed high quality laminated shingles can be expected to protect your home for 40 years or more.  On the other hand, improperly installed laminated shingles will fail just as quickly as improperly installed three tab shingles.

It was bad enough for a homeowner to bear the cost of replacing a 20 year three tab shingle roof after 5 to 10 years because of shoddy installation, but replacing a 40 year laminated shingle roof that failed after 5 to 10 years because the roofer did a bad job on the installation will take an even bigger bite out of the homeowner’s wallet.

Protect yourself and your home by making sure your roofing contractor uses experienced roofing crews that follow the best roofing practices in the industry.  Deal with an established, reputable roofing contractor with a local office that can handle any problems that arise after the roof is installed.  Cutting corners on the installation of a laminated asphalt roof is penny wise but pound foolish!  It is worth every penny to make sure the job is done right.

Asphalt Shingle Features

If you are in the market for asphalt shingles for your residential roof replacement, you have probably already found out that all asphalt shingles are not created equal.  It wasn’t very long ago that a homeowner’s choice in asphalt shingles was pretty much limited to what color three tab shingle looked best.  These days, a homeowner can choose not only between three tab or laminated shingles, but also from a host of features.  Which of these features are right for your home depends on your situation and personal preference.

One of the main weaknesses of asphalt shingles is their low impact resistance which makes them susceptible to hail damage.  Laminated shingles have higher impact resistance than three tab shingles and are an excellent choice for most areas, but if you live in a hail prone area, there are some laminated asphalt shingles made with a Class 4 impact resistance rating which is the highest in the industry.

Low wind resistance is another drawback of standard three tab shingles, especially in coastal areas prone to named storms.  Although most three tab shingles have wind resistance ratings of only 60 mph, many laminated shingles are rated for winds over 100 mph.  Some laminated shingles carry even higher ratings, up to 130 mph, and make an excellent choice for areas prone to high winds.

If energy saving is a concern, look for “cool roofing” asphalt shingles coated with special ceramic granules to provide them with relatively high solar reflectance.  These shingles are available in a wide array of attractive colors including some surprisingly darker colors.  You don’t have to have white roof to achieve energy savings!

Asphalt shingle roofs in wet or humid areas are prone to algae growth which appears as dark streaks on the roof.  If algae growth is a problem in your area, look for shingles specially treated with zinc additives to inhibit algae growth.

Asphalt Shingle Update

If you are replacing your existing asphalt shingle roof or installing a new asphalt shingle roof for first time in years, you are in for a pleasant surprise.  With most products we tend to find that either the quality just isn’t what it used to be or the price has increased tremendously.

This seems to be true with everything from cars to kitchen cabinets.  Either you pay a lot more or what you get is poor quality.  Happily, this phenomenon does not apply to asphalt shingles.  In the past few years there has been both an improvement in the quality of three tab shingles and a relative cost reduction in laminated shingles.

It wasn’t very long ago that marginal quality three tab asphalt shingles dominated the residential roofing market.  High quality laminated shingles were available, but they were very expensive and if you wanted a durable, long lasting roof with high impact resistance and wind ratings your only option was metal roofing unless your home was built to support the weight of a tile roof. The three tab shingles of that era were generally not high quality and most homeowners were doing well to get 15 good years out of a three tab shingle roof.

Today, however, the situation is very different.  Improvements in the design and manufacture of three tab shingles have improved their quality significantly and a properly installed three tab shingle roof will likely last about 25 years barring a severe weather event.

But the best news is that the cost of laminated shingles has come down to the point where they are now dominating the market.  A laminated asphalt shingle roof is almost as durable as a metal roof but significantly less expensive.  The result is that homeowners today can have an excellent quality laminated asphalt shingle roof installed by a good roofing contractor at a reasonable cost and enjoy excellent wind and impact resistance for thirty to forty years or more.

Upgrading Your Roof

If your roof has been damaged by hail or high winds, consider upgrading your roof to laminated shingles.  Three tab composition asphalt shingles have been the industry standard for decades and were installed on millions of homes built in America during the home construction boom that ended in 2007.  Unfortunately, many of these homes were roofed with low end “builders grade” three tab shingles that were fairly easily damaged by winds over 60 mph or very moderately sized hail.

If you replace your hail damaged roof with the same type of low end three tab shingles, your roof will likely be damaged by the next strong storm that affects your area and you will be looking at yet another roof replacement.  Fortunately, in recent years the roofing market has shifted toward higher quality laminated shingles.  Laminates shingles (also called architectural or dimensional shingles) are a different type of composition asphalt shingles consisting of several layers of fiberglass mat saturated in asphalt that are laminated together to form a durable, heavy duty weather resistant shingle.

Laminated shingles can withstand winds speeds of over 100 mph and are much more impact resistant than standard three tab shingles.  When properly installed by a reputable roofing contractor, a laminated asphalt shingle roof provides excellent, durable protection for your home and your family at an affordable price.

Most manufacturers provide a 40 year or limited lifetime warranty on their laminated shingles. Most roofing contractor recommend laminated shingles because they provide much better protection and durability than three tab shingles.  Talk to your roofing contractor to see if laminated shingles are right for your home.