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Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingle Roofing

asphalt roof

Asphalt shingles is one of the most common roofing materials you will find on Maryland homes. And as a Westminster, MD roofing company, we install asphalt shingle roofs more often than any other roofing system. Why this obsession with shingles? Because the pros of having an asphalt shingle roof typically outweigh the few cons for the majority of homeowners.

Why Asphalt Shingles are a Great Choice for Roofing

Low Upfront Cost

Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material largely due to its low upfront cost. Expect to pay somewhere in the vicinity of $25 – $30 per square (100 square feet) for your average 3-tab shingles. The more attractive 3-dimensional architectural shingles can go as high as $70 per square. An average residential roof consists of 22-26 squares, which makes the cost of materials as low as $500 and as high as $1800. To put things into perspective, interlocking metal shingles go for $350 per square on average. That’s more than half the price of the entire roof covered with regular asphalt shingles!

However, keep in mind that $500 or $1800 is the cost of materials only. When you hire a professional Maryland roofing company to install these shingles, they will also charge you for the labor needed to remove old roofing and install the new one. But even in this regard asphalt shingles are cheaper than other material like metal or slate because they are the easiest to tear out and nail down.

Color and Style Variety

Regardless of the style of your home, you are guaranteed to find asphalt shingles that will improve your home’s curb appeal, enhance its beauty and fit the rest of the exterior. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of earthy tones, including gray, tan, black, brown, etc. Some manufacturers offer shingles that slightly vary in color to offer a more natural look and add dimension. If you are going for a statement roof, there are asphalt shingles in red, green and even blue tones.

For extra dimension, you can choose architectural (laminated) asphalt shingles. Unlike the conventional 3-tab shingles, they don’t have slits. Instead, they are made by combining two layers of laminate. The top layer does have cutouts and resembles a fringe. It is then laid over the bottom layer that is solid, therefore the entire piece becomes free of gaps. Architectural shingles can be made to look like wood and even slate, so you can get the look for a fraction of the cost.

Durability and Ease of Repair

Asphalt shingles may not be the most durable roof material, but they can last 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. If you think about it, that’s longer than some people own their homes for. If you have to replace your roof during your home ownership, it’s likely you will only need to this once with asphalt shingles. Besides, roof repairs are as easy as securing flashing and replacing damaged or missing shingles. Timely roof repair and preventive maintenance can save you hundreds of dollars on replacement down the road.

A Few Things to Consider

Of course, asphalt shingle roofing has its own cons as well—all roofing materials do. If you want to take advantage of the low upfront cost and a wide range of color options, here are some of the things you might have to compromise on:

  • Strong winds can damage or blow off asphalt shingles easily.
  • Asphalt shingles can be prone to mildew, especially if your roof is shaded for the most part of the day.
  • Asphalt shingles can dry out, discolor and even melt under extreme heat, as well as due to sudden weather changes.

If none of the above is a problem for you, then asphalt shingles are definitely a great and budget-friendly roofing choice. Need help selecting the best style and color of shingles for your home? Contact our Maryland roofing experts for a free consultation!