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asphalt shingles | roofing services

What is an Asphalt Shingle Roof?

June 14th, 2022 | 10 min. read

What is an Asphalt Shingle Roof?

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Is it getting close to time to replace the shingles on your home? 


Are you searching for the most affordable or economical roofing for your home? 


If so, you may want to consider an asphalt shingle roof, as it is one of the most popular roof materials installed on homes and businesses today.


But, what is an asphalt shingle roof? 


Well, we are going to cover that and break down the pros and cons of asphalt shingle roofing in this article.


Our family here at RoofCrafters Roofing has been providing high-quality asphalt roof repairs and full asphalt shingle roof replacements since the early 1990s. So  we want to share our nearly 3 decades of roofing knowledge and experience installing asphalt shingle roofs with you. 


In doing so we hope that you will be better informed so that you can make the best decision for your next roof replacement investment.


By the end of this article, I can promise you’ll understand what an asphalt shingle roof is and I will also cover the 4 different types of asphalt shingles along with the pros and cons of using asphalt shingles so that you can determine if an asphalt shingle roof is right for you.


So let’s get started!



What is an asphalt shingle roof?


The standard asphalt shingle is a square butt strip shingle, rectangle-shaped, and available with one or three tabs. Asphalt shingles are made with a base mat and a fiberglass mat layered with weatherproofing asphalt and then topped with ceramic coated granules that provide color, and fire resistance and protect the asphalt from the sun's UV rays.


An asphalt shingle roof is the most common roof material used on both homes and businesses today, they are installed on 4 out of 5 new construction homes being constructed.


An asphalt roof system is primarily made up of asphalt shingles, combined with several other roofing components, such as metal eave drip, underlayment, pipe boots, flashing, ventilation, and the nails, all of which are required to make up a complete asphalt shingle roof system.


There are 4 different types of asphalt shingles to choose from: 


  • 3-tab shingles
  • Architectural shingles
  • Upgraded architectural shingles
  • Designer shingles


Easy 3 tab-1

3-tab shingles lay flat and have 3 cutouts in a strip that create a 3-tab look.

Check out the 3-tab colors here.


architectural shingle roof with valleys

Architectural shingles or sometimes referred to as dimensional shingles because they provide a 3-dimensional look. These were designed to provide the look of a natural wood shingle roof.

Check out ​​Architectural color choices here.


Upgraded shingles on a medium difficulty home with slightly complex valleys

Upgraded architectural shingles' major difference is the curb appeal, side by side with its little brother the regular architectural shingle there is no comparison, this shingle is much heavier in weight which makes it a thicker shingle, giving your roof much more definition. The extra definition provides pop and curb appeal.

Here are the Upgraded Architectural color options.

Simple designer shingle home

Designer shingles or these are sometimes referred to as luxury shingles and they are specifically designed to add tremendous value, creating massive curb appeal.

View designer styles and colors.


This is just a summary of the asphalt shingles. To get a more in-depth breakdown, check out this article about the 4 different shingle types.

Are asphalt shingles right for you?


3 things to consider when choosing an asphalt shingle roof.


  • Do they fit my budget? ( what is the average cost?)
  • How long will they last?
  • What type of maintenance will be required?


  1. Of all the different roof materials available today, asphalt shingles provide the most economical ease for any home or business. The cost of the materials, the ease of installation, combined with the 4 different grades of shingles make it the most budget-friendly roofing option available to any home or business owner. 

Looking for cost or prices for your upcoming roofing project?

Check out the average cost of an asphalt shingle roof. 


  1. The expected lifespan of each of the different asphalt roof shingles are as follows:
  • 3-Tab asphalt shingles can be expected to last 12 to 15 years
  • Architectural asphalt shingles can be expected to last 18 to 23 years
  • Upgraded architectural asphalt shingles can be expected to last 25 to 30 years
  • Designer asphalt shingles can be expected to last 30 to 40 years


All shingles come with manufacturer material warranties that are pre-determined by each of the manufacturer's research and development departments. The expected lifespan provided above is based on the actual lifespans that we have seen over the past 30 years being in the roofing business.


  1. Roof maintenance can prolong the expected lifespan.

Having roof maintenance done once or twice a year will prevent premature roof failure. Preventative maintenance, such as, keeping leaves and debris off the roof and checking all the pipe penetrations and flashings to ensure they are properly sealed. These simple tasks will prevent the most common roof leaks and extend the life of the asphalt shingles.


What are the pros and cons of an asphalt shingle roof?


The pros of an asphalt shingle roof:


  • Weather-resistant, fire-resistant, and wind-resistant. Asphalt shingles are proven to resist sunlight, heat, cold, water, and ice. They also comply with fire and wind standards.


  • Economical, easy to install, and low maintenance. Asphalt shingles are produced at a high volume, which reduces the cost compared to other roofing materials. Combine the ease of installing an asphalt shingle roof with little to no maintenance and this makes it one of the most economical roof materials available today.


  • Aesthetics and style options. Many colors to choose from. 


The cons of an asphalt shingle roof:


  • Being the most economical, they lower lifespan than other products such as metal, slate, or clay tiles, which means they will need to be replaced more often.


  • Asphalt shingles also have a lower wind rating than metal, slate, or clay tiles roofing materials, making them more likely to get blown off during a major wind storm. (hurricane, tornado, strong thunderstorm) 


Now that you have read this article and you know:


  • What is an asphalt shingle roof. 
  • The 4 different types of asphalt shingles.
  • 3 things to consider when choosing if an asphalt shingle roof is the right choice for your roof replacement project.

What else do you want to learn about to help you make a great decision for your next asphalt shingle roofing project?


We would also recommend that you check out "what is a lifetime warranty for a shingle roof?" to help you learn about the warranties that are available to protect your upcoming roof investment. Because shingles are not the only materials needed to complete an asphalt shingle roof, we also highly recommend checking out components included in a roof replacement.


Here at RoofCrafters Roofing we want to be a part of helping educate all the communities we serve, so that you feel confident along every step of the way of your roof replacement journey. Feel free to visit our learning center to get the answers you need before scheduling your roof inspection for your upcoming roof. repair or replacement project.

To learn how to choose the right roofing contractor we have put together a checklist with FAQ's for you to ensure you know exactly what questions you need to ask your next roofing  partner. Click Download the checklist below, it's free!


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