What is an Asphalt Shingle?

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Choosing an asphalt shingle has become a common decision for many Columbia area homeowners after the recent hailstorms, given they are one of the most common roofing types and are a favorite of both homeowners and contractors. Let’s take a closer look at what they offer.

What Are Asphalt Shingles Made From

They are made from a wide variety of materials, including fiberglass and organic mats, with asphalt and ceramic-coated mineral granules applied. While that is a very simplistic definition, the process of making asphalt shingles is not. Leading manufacturers produce in multiple plants across the United States.

Different Types Of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles come in numerous styles and colors, meant to suit a wide range of budgetary requirements and aesthetic preferences. Let’s look at three of the most prevalent types of shingles.

Three-Tab Shingles

Three-tab shingles are the most basic option, as well as frequently the cheapest. Three-tab shingles have a single layer with cutouts or “tabs” along the exposed edge. They are designed this way to create the appearance of three separate shingles, resulting in a cleaner and more conventional shingled roof appearance. Three-tab shingles are typically the cheapest option and have a shorter lifespan as well. Few people still install three-tab shingles given their cost savings compared to architectural shingles is nominal and few people prefer them

Architectural Shingle

Architectural shingles are also known as laminated shingles or dimensional shingles. They are much thicker and far more durable than three-tab shingles and are created from several layers laminated together. This creates a more dimensional look that adds depth and character to your roof. Architectural shingles also offer greatly improved wind and weather resistance than their three-tab counterparts.

Impact Resistant Shingles

Impact Resistant shingles are specifically designed to stand up to the punishing impacts of hail and other extreme weather conditions. Impact Resistant shingles are constructed with a mat made of reinforced fiberglass, as well as a thicker layer of asphalt, and are frequently accompanied by longer warranty periods. Depending on your insurance company, these shingles can also get you discounts on your homeowners insurance policy.

How Are Shingles Installed?

No matter what type of asphalt shingles you choose, the best way to maximize their benefits is by ensuring they are properly installed by a professional. Here’s what’s involved with that.

Ice & Water Shield

The first layer applied to the roof deck is a self-adhering membrane called the ice & water shield, and it’s applied primarily to valleys and around penetration points, which are the most common locations for water leaks. Ice and water shield may also be applied at the eaves and over larger sections of roofs with low pitches. The primary purpose of ice and water shield is to prevent water intrusion from ice dams or rain driven by the wind.

Synthetic Felt

Often called underlayment, a layer of synthetic felt is added as a water-resistant barrier on the roof deck, before the asphalt shingles are installed. This helps block moisture and improve the overall longevity of the roofing system as a whole.

Starter, Hip, & Ridge Shingles

When installing asphalt shingles there are a couple types of shingles made for specific applications. Starter shingles are designed to be the first course and they go around the perimeter of the roof. Hip and Ridge shingles are made to bend and are installed at the peaks on the hips and ridges.

Asphalt Shingle Lifespan & Affordability

Overall, asphalt shingles offer a balance of cost and longevity that is attractive to many homeowners. Though they struggle to match some of the lifespans of metal or slate, they can protect your home for up to 20 years in the harsh Mid-Missouri climate. Additionally, the reduced maintenance requirements and the low upfront cost make them a great option for many homes.

Contact CoMo Premium Exteriors For Your Next Roofing Project

Asphalt shingles have been a versatile and affordable roofing option for many years, and if you’re considering a roofing update but don’t want the higher price point of other materials, an asphalt shingle roof could be your best bet. If you’re considering having an asphalt shingle roof installed, CoMo Premium Exteriors is here to help.

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