Asphalt Shingles Explained

These days, one of the most popular materials used for roofing is Asphalt roof shingles. In North America, Asphalt shingles are the number one choice for roofing because of plenty of good reasons. 

It offers versatility and resistance to the weather. With minimal maintenance and plenty of available colors, there is no surprise that asphalt shingles are sought-after.

In today’s blog, you will know more about Asphalt Shingles. You will understand everything about this essential part of the roofing system.

type of asphalt shingles

What are Asphalt Shingles? 

Asphalt shingles are usually made of a base mat. It comes with a layer of waterproof asphalt and layers of ceramic granules on top to protect the shingle from the sun’s heat. They are not made of asphalt all the way through, but they consist of organic and fiberglass. Among the two, fiberglass is more popular since it’s durable, lightweight, and affordable.

On the other hand, the base mat of the organic asphalt shingles comes with cellulose fibers made from paper or wood. As a result, the organic shingles are thick, also durable, and versatile. Moreover, Asphalt shingles are known as composite shingles. The term ‘composition’ is being used because shingles are composite products made from either cellulose mats or fiberglass: asphalt and mineral granules.

What Type of Roof Shingles are Best? 

If you’re thinking about adding asphalt shingles to your roof, perhaps you want to know the different types of Asphalt Shingle and determine the best kind of Asphalt Shingle for your needs. There are three major types of Asphalt Roofing available today. Read down below for more information.

  • Strip Shingles 

Strip Shingles are also known as 3-tab shingles because of the cut and strips. They lay flat and got their name from 3-tabs on each shingle strip and the most basic and authentic asphalt shingles. It is made from a single layer of asphalt. The Strip shingles look very flat and usually offer a slate look.

Since strip shingles are made from a single layer, it is cheap and weighs less than other asphalt shingles. Before being introduced in the ’80s, strip shingles were the primary and standard shingle roofing in the market.

Until today, the strip shingles are still being used by contractors and other home builders for inexpensive homes. Most homeowners also use strip shingles when they decide to replace roofing shingles on their homes

  • Dimensional Shingles 

If you prefer beautiful patterns that appear to be attractively random or simulate the roof’s look, then try the Dimensional Shingles. These are also known to many as the laminated or architectural shingles and the most prevalent asphalt shingles, among the others.

The dimensional shingles are manufactured with two or more layers of asphalt bonded together to become thick and rich in appearance. They are engineered to look and work like the wood shake and the usual slate aesthetics for the roofing. 

Furthermore, the dimensional shingles are heavier compared to the 3-tabs shingles. Finally, they come with improved warranty protection that is going to be useful for you. 

  • Luxury Asphalt Shingle 

Of course, if you want the highest-quality laminated shingles, then go for Luxury Asphalt Shingles. These are premium shingles larger than other asphalt shingles and offer a differentiated appearance and functionality that surpasses dimensional shingles.

Aside from being heavy, it offers premium protection from weather elements. These look stunning and always present the highest quality, dimensionality, and coloration. In addition, it gave you the most realistic representation of old versions of wood shake and quarried roofing.

How Long Should Asphalt Shingles Last?

When you’re investing and improving your house, you should be looking at it to last for years. And with asphalt roofing, the lifespan is reliable and proven to last. Though the roofing contractor would say 25-30-year lifespan, it’s still important to know how long each type of Asphalt Shingles lasts. Read down below to know more.

  • The lifespan of Strip Shingles 

3-tabs shingles are known for their durability. So, with adequate ventilation in the attic and if the roof was installed correctly, it could last up to 25 years.

  • The lifespan of Dimensional Shingles

If Strip shingles are long-lasting, so are Dimensional shingles. For example, if there is proper attic ventilation and roof installation, dimensional shingles could last up to 30 years.

  • The lifespan of Luxury Asphalt Shingles 

Luxury Asphalt shingles tend to be costly. And since it’s costly, you would expect it to be durable and long-lasting. On average, luxury asphalt shingles could last up to 50 years or more, especially when there is suitable attic ventilation and adequate roof installation.

The Importance of Asphalt Shingles 

When you think that it’s about time to replace your roofing, asphalt shingles could be one of your choices. But what are the benefits of integrating asphalt shingles into your roofing? What does it do to prevent risks as far as the function goes? Below are the advantages and importance of Asphalt Shingles and to make you understand why it’s so important on your roof.

  • Versatile 

One of the reasons why roofing contractors consider asphalt shingles is because of their versatility. They can cover different angles, forms, and shapes. It simply means that they can work for most types of roofs. So no matter the size or how complicated your roof is, you can trust that asphalt shingles can withstand it all.

  • Cost-effective 

One of the top benefits of asphalt shingles is their affordability when placed over other roofing materials. And despite being low cost, it still gives every homeowner with high performance. They are the most cost-effective roofing materials one could ever have, and they could last long enough to provide value over the years.

If you need more wind, fire, heat, and other weather resistance, you can find these features in asphalt shingles. You will not be incurring any added costs for this. And in the long run, slate roofing, shake roofing, metal roofing, and other roofing options won’t always offer the same value for the asphalt roofing’s cost.

  • Comes with Different Designs 

One of the best things about Asphalt Shingle is it’s available in different styles and designs. It’s rich in an architectural style that fits well on any home exterior. The 3-tab shingles can appear to be traditional, but as you can see, it’s still being used today.

The Dimensional shingles also come in multiple styles. In addition, it’s got replicas of other roofing materials like cedar shakes and slate. And through this, you can get any design ideas without getting drawbacks.

  • Fights Algae Growth 

If you happen to check your roofing annually, you will see dark or green spots. This is because the roof, especially wood-based, is prone to algae growth. However, these spots can be prevented when you use Asphalt shingles for your roofing system. If algae are your concern, the Asphalt shingles are designed to be resistant to algae. It inhibits blue-green algae growth and protects the appearance and color of your roof.

  • Easy to Install 

Another good feature why most roofing contractors prefer Asphalt shingles is their ease of installation. They are very easy to attach, which could help keep the cost of installation low. And since some roofing professionals can do better jobs for installation than the others, it would be easier for you to find a roofer who can install it in just one deal.

  • It Can Withstand Strong Winds 

If you live in a place where strong and high winds are expected, with Asphalt Shingles, you don’t have to worry about these winds. Your roofing system can stay put with Asphalt shingles. You never have to worry about waters that can sneak in and cause leaky roofs when winds lift your roofing. Plus, the innovation of Asphalt Shingles is getting better each year than the previous years.

  • Sound Protection 

Another advantage of shingle roofing is the ability to shield sound. However, if the shingles were asphalt in a complete roofing system, it could offer sound protection from the outside noise. It can be quieter than metal roofing, and it’s quieter even if it’s heavy downpours and hail, which may still vary from the design.  

  • Energy- efficient 

You might be wondering how a roof can become energy efficient when in fact, it’s not operated by electricity. However, you should know that asphalt shingles can improve your home’s ventilation. This is because it comes in unique design shingles in light, medium, and even dark tones that reflect a high amount of sun’s radiation.

With that, it could reduce the temperature on your roof surface. They are often referred to as ‘cool’ shingles. If the temperature in your city runs a degree or even two and lower on sunny days, the asphalt shingles will help you have that ventilation you can withstand. You will only use less energy to cool your homes, and you will no longer have to use the AC since it feels cooler on the surface.

  • Impact Resistant 

Depending on your location, your house may endure severe weather like hailstorms. But with specially modified asphalt shingles, it can always resist the impact when these storms occur. Of course, go for asphalt shingles that offer high-impact resistance. The Class 4 impact resistance asphalt shingles would be better for this. In addition, it enables you to obtain a reduced insurance premium if it’s available in your area.

  • Easy to Repair 

Just as every roofer can install any roofing shingles, they also want a roofer that is easy to repair. The Asphalt shingle is one of the materials for the roofing system that is easy to repair when it needs fixing. 

Therefore, you will never have a hard time looking for a roofing professional who can help you with the repairs. And one good feature about asphalt roofing is that you can choose your roofer for repairs.

What do Asphalt Shingles Cost?

The cost of asphalt shingles varies on the roof’s size and the materials being used. Usually, the price would be between $2.50 – $11.00 for each sq. foot. But to understand more here is the corresponding price per asphalt type.

  • 3-tab Asphalt Shingle 

The 3-tab asphalt shingles are the cheapest among the three types of asphalt shingles. Every 100 sq. foot of 3-tab asphalt shingle would cost you around $90-$100 each square.

  • Dimensional Asphalt Shingle 

The cost of a Dimensional Asphalt Shingle would cost 15% more than 3-tab shingle.

  • Luxury Shingles 

And lastly, Luxury Shingles are expected to be expensive. It would almost double the price of a dimensional asphalt shingle.

Things to Consider When Replacing Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of asphalt shingles, there are important things to consider when deciding to replace your roof with it. Here are the factors that will help you in choosing the right asphalt.

  • Long-lasting features

You should know how long the asphalt shingles could last. But as long as the roofing system is installed correctly and the attic is ventilated, its lifespan could be possible.

  • Warranty of roofing materials

When your roofing contractor recommends that you must have a roof replacement, the old roof would be hauled down to the decking. To get an improved warranty, the roofing components must be from a reliable manufacturer to develop a complete system.

  • Quality above all else

It is best if you invest in high-quality asphalt than settling for cheap ones. Since you’re replacing it already, think long-term and choose a high-quality material. If you decide to choose cheaper ones, you are also getting cheap materials and labor.


Deciding which asphalt shingle for you could be challenging, as each type serves its purpose. First, consider your budget, the lifespan, and lastly, the warranty.

Furthermore, the advantages of the shingle roof are now clear, and you can count on it. If you can’t decide which asphalt shingle would work for you, consult a contractor or a professional to help you. That way, they could explain to you and recommend which one would fit your home.

Scroll to Top