What to Consider When Choosing Asphalt Shingles

September 15, 2015

Just like with any new product you research before buying, there is a lot to consider when choosing asphalt shingles for your roof. And the deeper you dig, the more you realize how many different asphalt shingle options are out there. As a Westminster, MD roofing company, we often help our customers when it comes to selecting the right roofing materials for their needs. And today we’ll talk about what you should keep in mind when shopping for asphalt shingles.

Asphalt Shingle Construction

Getting into shingle construction may sound too technical, but it’s important to know what your shingles are made of, so that you can make the right choice. For example, the standard asphalt-over-paper shingles, although the least expensive, may not offer the durability you seek. Fiberglass-core shingles are thicker, heavier and have excellent fire and water resistance. Architectural asphalt shingles typically also have a fiberglass core, but in addition to that they are laminated and don’t have slits like 3-tab shingles, offering even better protection for your roof.

Asphalt Shingle Color

Just because you are replacing your old asphalt shingle roof, doesn’t mean you should choose the same boring gray shingles. There are plenty of other colors available, including reds, greens, blues, browns, etc.! Most shingles these days are designed to include several shades of the same color family to add depth and dimension to your roof. Some shingles can even imitate other roofing materials, such as slate and cedar shake.

When choosing the color of your asphalt shingles, consider the age and style of your home, as well as the look of the other homes in your neighborhood. If you live in a HOA community, be sure to check the bylaws for allowed roof color schemes.

Asphalt Shingle Style

So you’ve decided on the color, now what about the style? You are probably familiar with the most basic 3-tab rectangular asphalt shingles, but did you know there are several other options you can choose from? There are also rounded fishscale (or scalloped edge) shingles, as well as octagon-edge shingles. They typically come in longer strips and can be used either on your roof or as an accent on gables. Architectural shingles make for a stunning 3-D effect and offer even more shape and style variations.

Asphalt Shingle Weight

As we have mentioned, thicker shingles, such as architectural shingles, can be heavy. While this is not a problem in most fresh installations, heavy roofing materials may present a challenge in situations when roofing is installed on top of old shingles or in climates where it snows a lot. If that’s the case, be sure to consult with your Maryland roofing contractor before ordering your shingles.

Asphalt Roofing Warranty

As you shop for asphalt shingles, you will find that different products offer different warranties. Many homeowners see ‘lifetime warranty” or “limited lifetime warranty” and think that their roof will last for as long as they are alive. Unfortunately, this is not how a warranty works. A warranty covers your roof from several specific manufacturing defects. If your roof fails due to poor installation or normal wear and tear, a warranty typically doesn’t apply. While it’s nice to have protection from defects, don’t rely solely on warranty to judge the quality of the product.

Now that you know what to look at and how to compare different products, it’s time to start shopping for asphalt shingles. It’s best if you coordinate this with your Maryland roofing contractor to make sure you buy the right product and order an adequate quantity. Give Platinum Exteriors a call or contact us online if you have any questions!

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