Choose A Better Asphalt Roof By Looking For These Shingle Features

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Asphalt shingle roofs sometimes get a bad rap. They're known for having a shorter life expectancy than other materials like metal and slate, and those who favor green living sometimes look down on them because they're not made with natural materials. However, modern asphalt shingles have more going for them than these naysayers suggest. They are an affordable choice, they are fire-resistant, and they're easy to find. In fact, today's asphalt shingles come with a host of features that allow them to compete with other materials like metal and slate. If you're in the market for an asphalt roof, look for shingles with these qualities:

Architectural Style

There are two basic "layouts" of asphalt shingles: standard 3-tab shingles and more modern architectural shingles. Architectural shingles feature flaps that overlap, creating a more textured look. But, this style of shingle has more to offer than just good looks. It also lasts longer than standard 3-tab shingles. Architectural shingles last for 24 - 30 years, whereas 3-tab shingles last only 15 - 18 years on average. As long as you choose architectural shingles, you should not have to worry about "having to replace your roof again in just a few years" as the shingle naysayers might claim.

Made From Recycled Materials

Shingles might not be made from natural materials like slate tiles and wood shakes, but that does not mean you can't find ones that cause minimal environmental damage. If eco-friendly building is important to you, look for asphalt shingles that are made from recycled materials. Generally, shingles of this variety are mostly comprised of materials that have been obtained from old, decaying asphalt. By choosing them over standard, non-recycled shingles, you are reducing the amount of waste that is placed in landfills. When the shingles do reach the end of their lifespan, you can recycle them again. They may be used either to make roads or to make more new shingles.

Light Color

Shingles have the bad reputation of absorbing a lot of heat and raising your air conditioning bills, but this is only because homeowners traditionally choose dark colors like black and brown. Darker colors absorb more heat, while lighter colors reflect more heat. Shingle manufacturers have caught on to the fact that many homeowners are concerned about saving energy and have thus begun making lighter-colored shingles. Choosing cream, tan or light brown shingles will result in lower air conditioning bills than choosing a darker color -- and you generally don't pay any more for a light-colored shingle than for a darker one.

High Wind Resistance

Older asphalt shingles were prone to blowing off of homes whenever heavy winds came. Thus, many people in areas where hurricanes and big storms were common adapted to using different roofing materials, such as slate and metal. Today, however, there are asphalt shingles that are more resistant to wind and are a safe choice for homes in stormy areas. Even if you don't live in an area where high winds are common, choosing a wind-resistant shingle can save you from having to make repairs should the odd storm blow in.

When considering any shingle, make sure it has been tested and rated for wind resistance. You can find shingles that are able to resist winds up to 130 miles per hour or more. Generally, these feature two rows of sealant, not one, and a stronger sealant is used to ensure they are held down when the wind blows.

Asphalt shingles are an affordable roofing choice -- and if you look for shingles with the features above, they can also be an eco-friendly, wind-resistant, durable, long-lasting and energy-saving choice. Contact a local roof repair company for information about asphalt shingle installation. 

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22 January 2016

metal or shingled roofing - what do you choose?

I spent weeks researching metal and shingle roofing to try to figure out what would be the best material to use on my home. I weighed the costs, the length of life, the amount of maintenance required and how well each type would hold up to high winds and strong storms. After compiling all of the information that I needed to make an educated decision about the roofing for my home, I created a blog. This blog is meant to help other homeowners decide which roofing material would be best for their homes now and many years into the future.