Which Asphalt Roofing Is Better?

    When choosing asphalt roofing, homeowners often consider cost-effectiveness, maintenance, and longevity. Asphalt shingles remain the most common residential roof covering in the United States due to their versatility and range of options available. Asphalt roofing shingles come in various types, including three-tab, architectural/laminated, and multilayered architectural. Each type offers distinct benefits and fits different aesthetic preferences and budget considerations.

    Which Asphalt Roofing Is Better?

    Three-tab shingles, made from a single layer, are valued for their affordability and have been a popular choice for decades. Architectural or laminated shingles are a step up in quality and price, offering a contoured, dimensional appearance miming higher-end materials like wood or slate. Lastly, multilayered architectural shingles provide added durability and a more sophisticated look at a higher cost.

    When selecting the better asphalt roofing option, understanding the specific attributes of each type is crucial. Homeowners must also weigh the material’s performance in various climates, its resistance to wind and fire, and the product’s warranty. Only by considering these factors can one determine the best asphalt shingle type suited to their home’s needs and the local environmental conditions.

    Understanding Asphalt Roofing

    When considering asphalt roofing, homeowners typically weigh options based on longevity, aesthetics, and cost-effectiveness. Asphalt shingles are known for their balance of these factors.

    Types of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

    Asphalt roofing shingles come in mainly two types:

    • 3-Tab Shingles: These are the traditional, flat-looking shingles often seen on residential roofs. They are a cost-effective choice and deliver a clean, consistent appearance.
    • Architectural Shingles: Also known as dimensional or laminate shingles, these are thicker and offer a more textured look, mimicking wood or slate. They offer enhanced durability and a more upscale aesthetic.

    In addition, designer asphalt shingles are available, which can replicate the appearance of other roofing materials while providing the benefits of asphalt shingles, including fire resistance.

    Components and Manufacturing of Asphalt Shingles

    Asphalt shingles are composed of:

    • Fiberglass Mat: The core for strength and tear resistance.
    • Asphalt: Saturating the fiberglass to provide waterproofing.
    • Granules: Ceramic-coated minerals embedded in the asphalt to protect against UV rays and provide color.

    The fiberglass mat is first coated in an asphalt layer during manufacture to create water resistance. Granules are then applied, and the shingle is cut to size. The result is a roofing material that effectively protects homes from various weather conditions at a reasonable cost.

    Factors to Consider When Choosing Asphalt Roofing

    factors to consider before choosing asphalt shingles

    When selecting the best asphalt roofing for a property, homeowners must evaluate several critical factors to ensure they make a sound investment. Durability, environmental resistance, aesthetics, and cost play significant roles in decision-making.

    Durability and Lifespan

    Asphalt roofing is favored for its resilience and longevity. Typically, there are three types of asphalt shingles:

    • Three-tab shingles: They are cost-effective and have a 15-20-year lifespan.
    • Architectural shingles: These thicker shingles offer a layered look that lasts up to 30 years.
    • Luxury shingles: The most durable and heavyweight, potentially ensuring a longer lifespan.

    Climate and Environmental Resistance

    The performance of asphalt roofing can significantly vary depending on the local climate. Key considerations include:

    • Heat resistance: Areas with intense sunlight require shingles with good UV protection.
    • Wind resistance: In regions prone to high winds, one should look for shingles rated for higher wind uplift.
    • Algae and moisture resistance: Shingles with algae-resistant coatings are best in humid climates to prevent staining and deterioration.

    Aesthetic Appeal

    Asphalt shingles can dramatically affect the look of a home. They come in various colors and styles, allowing homeowners to choose options that complement their home’s architecture. The style and color choice ultimately depends on personal preference and the desired curb appeal.


    Cost is a significant factor, and asphalt roofing balances affordability and quality. Here is a simplified cost breakdown:

    • Three-tab shingles: $4.25-$8.25 per square foot.
    • Architectural shingles: Generally more expensive than three-tab but less than a luxury.
    • Luxury shingles: The highest cost due to durability and aesthetic features.

    When considering these factors, homeowners can better determine which type of asphalt roofing best suits their needs and budget, securing a quality roofing solution that provides longevity, withstands local environmental conditions, appeals aesthetically, and remains cost-effective.

    Asphalt Shingle Brands and Products

    Asphalt shingles are a common roofing material due to their balance of affordability, durability, and ease of installation. While several brands offer quality products, distinctive features and innovative technologies set some apart.

    Comparative Analysis of Top Brands

    Certain brands have established themselves as leaders in the realm of asphalt shingles. Malarkey Roofing Products is recognized for its high-performance shingles, especially in regions like the Pacific Northwest, where durability against harsh weather is crucial. Their products often incorporate a modified polymer for enhanced impact resistance.

    Another reputable brand, Owens Corning, offers shingles with a strong reputation for balancing cost with reliability, and they provide a wide range of color options. CertainTeed is noted for its premium shingles with greater weight and thickness, translating into longer lifespans and favorable warranties.

    IKO Industries, TAMKO Building Products, Atlas Roofing Corporation, and GAF are other notable brands that supply various shingle types that cater to different preferences and regional requirements. Users should compare these brands based on specific factors such as longevity, warranty, price point, and aesthetic diversity to determine the best asphalt shingle for their needs.

    Innovations in Asphalt Shingle Technology

    Asphalt shingle technology has evolved, offering homeowners improved products. Innovations focus on increasing the lifespan of shingles, enhancing weather resistance, and providing better aesthetic appeal. Shingles with solar-reflective properties are becoming more popular, helping to reduce cooling costs by reflecting sunlight.

    Manufacturers also develop shingles designed to combat algae growth, particularly useful in humid climates. This innovation helps maintain the roof’s appearance and structural integrity over time. Brands like Malarkey and CertainTeed incorporate these technologies into their products, continuously adapting to consumer needs and environmental challenges.

    Installation and Maintenance of Asphalt Roofing

    In assessing the durability and performance of asphalt roofing, one must consider the quality of installation and the commitment to regular maintenance. These factors are pivotal for ensuring the roof’s longevity.

    Professional Installation Vs. DIY

    When installing asphalt shingles, homeowners must hire professionals or undertake the task themselves. It is essential to recognize that professional installation guarantees expertise, efficiency, and adherence to building codes, which are critical for structural integrity and warranty claims. On the other hand, DIY installation can reduce initial costs, but it requires a substantial knowledge of roofing techniques, safety procedures, and considerable time commitment.

    Maintenance Tips for Longevity

    The longevity of an asphalt roof is greatly enhanced by consistent maintenance. Regular inspections, especially after severe weather, are crucial for identifying and remedying potential issues early on. Homeowners should:

    • Clean gutters regularly to prevent water buildup that can damage the roof.
    • Look for shingle damage, such as cracking or blistering, to handle repairs promptly.
    • Prevent moss and algae growth by installing zinc or copper strips and using products designed for safe removal.

    By adhering to these practices, the life span of an asphalt roof can be maximized, preventing premature failures and minimizing long-term costs.

    Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness of Asphalt Shingles

    Asphalt roofing, a staple in residential and commercial buildings, is scrutinized for its environmental impact. This section explores the sustainability of asphalt shingles through their recyclability and energy-efficient options.

    Recycling and Environmental Impact

    Asphalt shingle recycling is a crucial aspect of reducing the environmental footprint of roofing materials. After their life cycle, shingles can be repurposed into pavement, diminishing the demand for new asphalt from mining operations. This process is cost-effective and convenient where facilities exist, steering valuable resources away from landfills. It’s a growing practice, enhancing the sustainability of asphalt products in the roofing industry.

    Key points on recycling:

    • Cost-effective: Competitive with landfill disposal.
    • Resource conservation: Decreases the necessity for virgin asphalt.
    • Landfill space: Saves valuable landfill space from roofing waste.

    Energy-Efficient Options in Asphalt Roofing

    Asphalt shingles can contribute to energy efficiency. Certain shingle types are designed to reflect more sunlight, reducing the heat a building absorbs. This leads to a cooler roof surface and less strain on HVAC systems, which translates to lower energy consumption and potentially reduced utility bills. Manufacturers also integrate solar panels with asphalt shingle roofs, pushing the envelope in eco-friendly roofing innovations.

    Efficiency features:

    • Reflective shingles: Can reduce roof surface temperatures significantly.
    • Solar-integrated shingles: Offer an option to harness renewable energy.

    Common Issues and Troubleshooting

    When it comes to asphalt roofing, homeowners need to weigh the signs of wear and determine whether a repair is sufficient or a full replacement is necessary. Understanding common roofing problems and their solutions can streamline this decision-making process.

    Repair or Replace: Making The Right Choice


    • Minor Issues: Small localized damage, such as a few cracked or missing shingles, typically can be repaired without requiring a complete roof overhaul.
    • Cost-Effective: Repairs are usually more cost-effective for minor, non-systemic problems and can extend the roof’s lifespan.


    • Extensive Damage: Extensive or severe weather-related damage often warrants a full replacement, especially when it affects a large roof area.
    • Aging Roof: An older roof nearing the end of its service life, exhibiting signs like widespread balding or granule loss, may be due for replacement.

    Dealing with Common Asphalt Roofing Problems


    • Cause: Moisture trapped within the shingle that expands and breaks through the surface.
    • Solution: Small blisters may not require treatment, but extensive blistering can weaken the roof and may necessitate the replacement of the affected shingles.


    • Identification: Check for water stains on ceilings or walls, mold, or mildew, which are indicators of potential leaks.
    • Solution: Leaks often stem from compromised flashing, valleys, or shingles. Locating and sealing these leaks promptly can prevent further damage.

    Physical Damage:

    • Cause: Damage from falling branches, hail, or wind can crack, break, or displace shingles.
    • Solution: Replacing the individual damaged shingles can usually address this issue, but severe damage might require a larger-scale intervention.

    Future Trends in Asphalt Roofing

    The asphalt roofing industry is evolving with technological advancements and shifting consumer tastes. These developments influence the materials used in production and the aesthetics of roofs.

    Emerging Technologies and Materials

    Recent trends indicate a growing interest in synthetic roofing materials due to their durability and ability to mimic traditional aesthetics, like wood texture and natural color. These materials are appreciated for their longevity and sustainability, often constructed from recycled materials. Additionally, asphalt shingle technology is improving, with manufacturers prioritizing weather resistance and energy efficiency. Innovations in this space may lead to shingles that offer better UV reflection, reducing cooling costs.

    • Key Advancements:
      • Recycled Content: Shingles with higher percentages of recycled material.
      • Cool Roofing: Shingles designed to reflect more sunlight.

    The Future of Roofing Aesthetics

    The aesthetic preferences in roofing are not static, with shifts towards more modern and customizable options. Asphalt shingles are likely to see a diversification in color options and textural finishes to cater to varying consumer tastes. While traditional looks will remain popular, homeowners will have options seeking a contemporary edge.

    • Aesthetic Trends:
      • Colors: More vibrant and varied palettes.
      • Textures: Advances that mimic upscale materials like slate or cedar.

    Freddy & Son – The Best Asphalt Roof Installers in Virginia

    Freddy & Sons excels as Virginia’s go-to asphalt roof installers. Their unique “Freddy and Son Way” ensures perfect installations by following strict rules and using experienced workers. They specialize in the best asphalt shingles that last long and look great, protecting homes from tough weather. They also offer cedar and slate roofs for timeless, natural looks.

    What sets them apart is their dedication to happy customers. They promise a 100% satisfaction guarantee, showing they care about quality and trust. With over 25 years of experience, big teams like the Washington Capitals and Wizards have trusted them. They’re licensed in Virginia, Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania, serving areas like Fairfax, Leesburg, and Arlington.

    Freddy & Sons stands out for their top-quality roofs and commitment to ensuring every customer gets the best. Whether it’s homes or businesses, they’re the ones people turn to for top-notch roofing services in Virginia.