Which Asphalt Shingle System to Choose?

Which Asphalt Shingle System to Choose?

Few things in home maintenance cost more than a roof replacement. Choosing which shingles to use for the replacement can be overwhelming due to all the factors that need to be considered. Appearance, wind resistance, and how long you plan to stay in your home are three major things you need to take into consideration.

One basic guideline to follow is that shingle weight, thickness and wind resistance increase with the length of the manufacturer’s warranty and price. So, “50-year shingles” are much more durable than a “20-year shingles.” The year indicates the length of manufacturer’s warranty offered.

Shingles By Year

20 Year Shingles

One of the least expensive shingles is the “20-year shingle,” also called the 3-tab composition shingle. They are easy to install and come in three-foot strips with one-foot tabs separated by grooves. The 3-tab lay flat on a roof, adding basically no dimension. It can withstand winds up to 60 mph, and comes with a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty, as its name indicates.

30 Year Shingles

30 year architectural-grade shingles are a bit thicker, and add some depth to the appearance of your roof, and they typically withstand winds up to 70 mph.

40 Year Shingles

Although these can withstand 80 mph winds, some people argue that this warranty is not worth the money, as the majority of people do not occupy the same house for 40 years.

50 Year Shingles

This is the highest rated shingle in dealing with wind, leaks and impact resistance. The 50-year can withstand winds of up to 90 mph, and are the thickest shingles on the market.

Shingles and the Environment

It is crucial to consider what environmental factors will threaten the life of your roof. If you live in an area with frequent winds, wind resistance will be important. Still, you may find that there is little value in selecting a more expensive roof, if wind or ice are not serious concerns. Many manufacturers can afford to offer warranties up to 50 years, as the majority of homes will change owners several times within those years.

Although more durable shingles cost less over time, if you plan on moving within a few years of replacing your roof, the more expensive shingles will probably not be worth it. Keep in mind the real value of an extended warranty and long-lasting roof, and make your decision, acordingly.

Who Should Do Your Roofing Replacement?

Of course, you want to select a quality roofer, which will be worth the extra cost. It’s important to take several bids, as roofing costs vary widely though. Poorly installed shingles can easily deteriorate and lead to expensive damages to your roof and home.

A good roofer should be expected to…

  • clean up old nails
  • strip and repaint vent casings
  • repaint ridge vents and replace felting

Make sure that you understand the difference between a manufacturer’s warranty and a contractor’s individual guarantee policy, before you select your shingles and hire your contractor.

Hercules roofing has been tearing off and installing Asphalt Roof Systems for more than 10 years.

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