Roof shingle

Types of Roofing Shingles

In addition to protecting your roof’s structure and helping to keep out water, roofing shingles also add curb appeal and value to your home. The type of roofing shingles you choose can also affect your roof’s durability against wind, rain, hail, and other elements.  Let’s learn more about the different types and styles of roofing shingles…

Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Asphalt roofing shingles are reliable, affordable and among the most popular roofing material in use today for residential homes. It is estimated that 70% of the volume of roofing materials used in residential new construction, roof repair, and roof replacement projects were asphalt shingles.

There are many varieties of asphalt shingles, some designed specifically to accommodate regional weather or unique roof designs.

3-Tab Roofing Shingles

3-tab roof shingles are used on many homes in the United States and Canada. They feature three distinct tabs of equal size, providing an asymmetrical look across the roof.  These traditional asphalt shingles have a repeating rectangular shape separated by “slots” and are typically less expensive than other asphalt shingle options. Installation requires care on the part of the roofing contractor to ensure the “slots” created by the shingles are straight.

Architectural Roofing Shingles

Architectural roofing shingles, also called dimensional shingles or laminated shingles, are considered to be a premium type of asphalt shingle, Roofs covered in architectural shingles have a more aesthetically pleasing appearance thanks to the variation in shingle sizes and shapes. Due to their increased thickness, architectural shingles typically have a longer manufacturer warranty and some brands are rated to resist higher wind speeds.

Impact-Resistant Roofing Shingles

Impact-resistant shingles are shingles that are modified and enhanced to withstand impact from hail or other debris that might impact the surface of your roof. There are different ways that the shingles are modified to achieve this resistance.

For instance, some shingles are reinforced on the back with a reinforcing fabric, while other shingles contain asphalt mixed with polymers, such as styrene-butadiene-styrene (or SBS) which adds a rubberizing effect to the shingles. These modifications increase the shingle’s ability to absorb the energy from a hailstone, or another source of impact, which helps to reduce the intensity of cracking, denting, or other types of damage.

Specialty Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Specialty shingles can come in bolder colors and styles that mimic other roofing materials, such as tile or wood shake, and offer the practicality and affordability of asphalt shingles with a slightly different look.

Berkshire® specialty architectural shingles with unique shadow lines and cut provide the look of natural slate without the difficult installation process.

TruDefinition® Duration MAX® thick, specialty architectural shingles designed to give the rustic definition of wood shingles.

Other Types of Roofing Shingles

If you’re required to install non-asphalt roofing materials because of local building codes or HOA rules, then you may need to consider the following roofing options for your home. If building codes, HOA rules, or other compliance factors are not an issue, then the aesthetics – or look – of most of these non-asphalt roofing materials can be achieved using architectural roofing shingles in specific designs and colors.

Slate Tile Shingles

Slate tile roofing shingles are made of individual thin pieces of slate, a natural stone, which are quite heavy when installed together.

A roof must be designed or reinforced to handle the weight of slate tile shingles adding to the complexity of their installation, which is part of the reason why they are one of the more expensive options available.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles have been used for hundreds of years as a roofing option for homeowners. Most wood shingles are made from either cedar or redwood. They are cut into precise shapes and have a much smaller exposure than traditional wood shakes, which gives them a distinct look.

Wood shingle exposure is 5″ which is much smaller than wood shakes, but it is not much smaller than traditional asphalt shingles.

One of the major downsides to installing real wood shingles, however, is that they are more prone to fire damage than other types of roofing and cannot achieve a Class A fire rating.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is another roofing material option you may be considering. Metal roofs, whether standing seam or stone-coated metal shingles, typically tend to take longer to install and are on the higher end of costs due to materials, labor, and system requirements.

Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Standing seam metal roofing features a series of ridges or vertical seams running up the roof slope. Standing seam panels for a metal roof are typically made from:

  • Galvanized steel
  • Galvalume steel
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Titanium, or
  • Stainless steel

Additional Considerations When Choosing Roofing Shingles

Roof Components

Your roofing shingle choice and roofing system may be dictated by local business code requirements, manufacturer warranties, and system warranties. For example, only certain types of roofing underlayment can be used with non-asphalt shingles, such as tile, metal, or slate, because of fire and/or high-temperature concerns.

Structural Elements

Additionally, some roofing materials may require special roof deck preparation or reinforced structural elements.

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