There are several reasons why asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the country. (They make up roughly 80% of residential homes in North America.) They are durable, easy to install, widely available and cost-effective, and come in a wide variety of styles and colors.
Quality asphalt shingles can last 15 to 30 years, but this may vary depending on their type. For instance, three-tab asphalt shingles (which also happen to be the most common type of asphalt shingle) have a lifespan of 20 years while architectural shingles (which have an extra layer or tab and have higher aesthetic appeal) have a lifespan of 30 years.
Important note: in addition to a roofing material’s lifespan, you also need to consider its suitability to the local climate. No matter how durable your roof is, it won’t last long if it’s made from materials that can’t handle the local climate. In general, asphalt shingles are suitable for cool as well as humid climates.
Here’s a tip: if you want to learn more about your roofing options, consult one of your local roofing contractors. Since they’re familiar with the local climate, they can make better recommendations.
Ease of Installation
Since asphalt shingles are lightweight, they are easy to install.
Asphalt shingles – one of the most popular roofing materials in the country – are widely available. That means you don’t have to worry about shipping times or finding replacement shingles in the event your roof gets damaged.
Affordable doesn’t necessarily mean cost-effective. However, given all of the aforementioned advantages, asphalt shingles are arguably one of the most cost-effective roofing options on the market.
Important note: keep in mind that while it’s important to stay within your budget, you shouldn’t get too preoccupied with the costs. Focus instead on maximizing the returns on investment (ROIs) on your new shingle roofing system.
Wide Range of Colors and Styles
Since asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of styles and colors, you shouldn’t have trouble finding shingle color and design that complements the other parts of your exterior. Remember: when it comes to exterior design, consistency is key.
Here’s a tip: to quickly narrow down your color options, find out the color combinations that have traditionally been used in your home’s architectural style. There’s a reason why these classic color combinations have been used for decades: it’s because they work so well together.
What Are the Essential Components of a Shingle Roof?
Asphalt shingles are an essential part of your roof, which functions as your home’s first line of defense against the elements. They work in conjunction with several components to protect your home from rain and harsh weather.
Here’s an overview of the other components of a shingle roof:
- Underlayment – The roofing underlayment functions as a secondary moisture barrier in case water manages to infiltrate your roof.
- Ice and water barriers – Ice and water barriers are installed in leak-prone areas, such as the roof valley (the section where two roofs meet and water is diverted to before it flows to your gutters), to make sure water doesn’t seep into your roof’s underlayers.
- Hip and ridge products – Hip and ridge products bridge two roof slopes together to keep water out of your roof.
- Starter strip products – Starter strip products make sure roofing shingles aren’t dislodged by strong winds.
- Gutter system – Your gutter system diverts rainwater away from your roof and towards the drains. To make sure water doesn’t overflow and damage your exterior, it’s important to have your gutters cleaned and inspected at least twice a year.
Here’s a tip: if you just don’t have the time for gutter maintenance chores or wish gutter cleaning was a bit more convenient, there’s always the option of choosing a seamless gutter installation. Compared to conventional gutters, seamless gutters have fewer gutter joints. This means they’re less leak-prone (gutter joints are considered a gutter system’s weak point) and have fewer maintenance needs (you won’t have to deal with leaves and debris getting stuck in between joints).
- Ventilation system – Your roof’s ventilation system (which is composed of exhaust and intake air vents) allows warm, humid air to exit and fresh, cool air to enter your attic. Without adequate ventilation, warm air becomes trapped in your roof and may cause a host of roofing issues. Chief among them is mold, which thrives in damp environments and can easily affect other parts of your home. As a general rule, attics with a vapor barrier should have a square foot of net free area (NFA) – the area through which air can pass – for every 300 square feet of floor area while attics without a vapor barrier should have a square foot of NFA for every 150 square feet of floor space.
Should You Purchase a Warranty for Your New Asphalt Shingles?
As long as your shingles were sourced from a reputable manufacturer, you can rest easy knowing that your roof will be able to do its job of protecting your home. However, if you want extra peace of mind, you can get a warranty for your new asphalt shingles.
What Are the Chances Your New Shingles Will Have Material Defects?
For large manufacturers with modern manufacturing processes like GAF, the odds of encountering a problem with your GAF roof is one in a thousand. Even in the unlikely event that you encounter material defects, GAF warranties have a special provision called the Smart Choice® protection period (which encompasses the critical early years of your new roof). If you encounter any material defect during this period, GAF will replace all of the defective materials.
What About Installation Errors?
Installation or workmanship errors are more common than material defects. Some studies have noted that two-thirds of roofing issues encountered by homeowners can be traced to workmanship errors, not material defects. That’s why it’s important to vet a roofer before hiring them.
How Can You Tell if a Roofer Is Qualified for the Job?
By asking them how long they’ve been in business (the number of years a contractor has been working in the industry should give you a good idea of their level of expertise) and checking their certifications (they are essentially proof a contractor has undergone vetting and is a vote of confidence that the roofing contractor won’t compromise on the quality of the work).
Why Hire a Master Elite® Roofing Contractor?
GAF offers the Master Elite® certification to contractors who are properly licensed and adequately insured, have a solid reputation within their local community and are committed to continuing professional training. A Master Elite certification is essentially proof a contractor has undergone stringent vetting and a vote of confidence that a contractor won’t compromise on the quality of work. This means you can always expect a high level of service from a Master Elite contractor. A recent survey of more than 28,000 homeowners even found that 93% of the respondents would recommend contractors with a Master Elite certification to others.
What Are the Warranties Offered By GAF?
GAF’s strongest warranty is the Golden Pledge® Limited Warranty, which covers all manufacturer defects for the shingle’s entire lifetime and workmanship defects for 25 years, including roof tear-off and disposal costs. To learn more about your different warranty options, consult a Master Elite contractor.
Orion Home Improvements LLC, a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor, offers a wide range of professional exterior services, including roofing and seamless gutter installation services. To request an estimate, call us at (571) 354-0331, or fill out this form.