Are Asphalt Shingles Right for Your Roofing Needs?

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If you want to replace your current roof, there’s a good chance you’re considering asphalt shingles. Asphalt roofs are among the most common and popular roof types available, largely because of the low initial cost and simplicity of installation. But will they hold up to the test of time?

Asphalt shingles come in several styles and are tested for features like wind and weather resistance. Shingles come in a variety of shapes and textures. Many of these features have aesthetic rather than practical applications.

However, laminated, multi-layer shingles, or architectural shingles, are generally heavier and tougher than traditional 3-tab shingles and give roofs a more varied, contoured look. Some shingles are also designed to reflect the sun’s rays and lower air conditioning costs in hot climates.

Some asphalt roof types resist wind damage better than others, often depending on how well they were installed and whether or not they were properly nailed down. If you live in a windy area, choosing shingles with high bond strength and wind resistance will help your roof stay intact.

Hail storms, however, can severely damage asphalt shingles. Impact-resistant shingles may help in the short term, but all asphalt shingles will become more susceptible to hail damage as they get older and wear down. Homeowners in areas where hail damaged roofs are common may be better off with metal or wood shake types of roofing.

Fiberglass shingles have a fairly good resistance to fire, but organic shingles don’t hold up as well under heat. Residents of areas prone to forest fires or other risk factors should go with fiberglass asphalt or metal shingles over organic asphalt shingles.

Asphalt shingles can promote algae growth. This doesn’t damage shingles, but it can make your house look less polished and may increase moss growth as well. Some manufacturers offer algae growth warranties, and there are ways to clean your roof as well. You can also replace algae-covered shingles with new ones that match the roof shingle color as closely as possible.

Asphalt shingles are good roofing solutions in climates where the weather stays fairly consistent and they won’t be exposed to as much thermal shock, thermal loading or oxidation. Talk to a roofer in your area about roof types that will work for your home.

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