Most residential roof shingles are made from asphalt, fiberglass and stone granules. A fiberglass mat is sandwiched between two layers of asphalt. The stone granules protect the asphalt from U.V. rays and give the shingles there distinctive color.
The “three tab” is the basic economy shingle. It is basically a flat sheet with slots cut into it to form three distinct tabs. “Three tabs” are also known as “twenty-year shingles” because most manufacturers have a twenty-year limited warranty for this product. Three tab shingles are made with the same materials as any other shingle. They are, however, thin, flat and lack visual definition, but they do an adequate job of protecting the structure they are on.
The next step up is laminated shingles. Laminated shingles are made from two sheets of material glued together. The result is a shingle which has more definition and visual appeal. Laminated shingles are sometimes called architectural shingles. Manufacturers will designate their products as thirty, forty and fifty-year shingles. Forty-year shingles are thicker than thirty-year shingles. The years refer more to the weight and thickness of the shingle than to the lifetime of the shingle.
There is a special class of laminated shingles referred to as “super heavy weights.” Manufacturers have their own unique styles and shapes for this class of shingle. These products usually have fifty year or lifetime warranties. The real selling feature is their beautiful appearance.
There are many shingle choices available today. When selecting the right material for your home, there are several things to keep in mind. It is usually a good idea to use a shingle style that is compatible with your neighborhood. Long term warranties are good, but a quality installation is more important. Your roofer must pay attention to the roof details like chimneys, flashings and valleys. Long term warranties can be voided in areas where it is common to have hailstorms.
The installation should always have more to do with the protection of the home than the type of shingle. At Great American Roofing, we believe in quality installations.
Residential Roofing Contractors > Residential Roof Shingles