What Is the Difference Between Architectural Shingles and Asphalt Shingles?

A Roofer Installs Asphalt Shingles.

What is the difference between architectural shingles and asphalt shingles?

When you’re getting a new roof put on, more often than not these days—especially with new construction—roofers will install architectural shingles. These are the most common type of asphalt shingle roof installed today. They are different from traditional 3-Tab asphalt shingle roofing. Architectural shingles are typically more durable and feature a double layer of materials as opposed to a single layer of 3-Tab shingles. They also come in diverse textures, shapes, sizes and colors. If you’re looking to replace your roof, whether architectural or 3-Tab, and want asphalt shingle roofing in Justin & Fort Worth, TX, look to the professionals at J Riley Roofing. We provide a full range of roofing solutions. Give us a call at (940) 441-4544.

How often should asphalt shingles be replaced?

Different types of shingles have different lifespans. An asphalt shingle roof’s lifespan will depend on what type of shingle you install. Architectural or composition shingles have a lifespan of about 18 to 20 years, although they can last 30 years or longer under the right conditions with regular maintenance. Standard 3-Tab asphalt shingles last about 12 to 15 years. On average, after about 15 to 20 years, no matter how well maintained, you should replace your roof.

What are the longest lasting roof shingles?

When you’re replacing your roof, you want a roofing material that’s going to last a long time and withstand the elements. While metal and tile roofing is often the most durable type of roofing materials with lifespans of 40 years or more—slate tile can last centuries—they are also often impractical or too expensive to install. That’s why roofers tend to use some type of asphalt shingle roof, usually architectural or 3-Tab shingle. These shingles are inexpensive and easy to install, as well as durable. Depending on the type of shingle installed, you’ll get about 12 to 30 years out of them. Premium shingles that are impact-resistant cost a little more but can last as long as 50 years. Wood shingles or shakes are also long-lasting—about 40 years—but are costly and difficult to install, and pose a significant risk of fire. In some areas, you also might not be allowed to install wood shingles because of the fire hazard.

How long do asphalt shingle roofs last?

You’re going to get a lot of life out of an asphalt shingle roof. How much will depend on what type of roof you select as well as variables like maintenance, location, weather, attic ventilation, and a reputable and experienced contractor like J Riley Roofing installing them.

Types of asphalt shingles

  • 3-Tab: Your standard flat shingle. You can expect to get anywhere from 12 to 20 years from them.
  • Architectural: These shingles are commonly placed on most modern homes. The average lifespan is 20 to 30 years.

Premium or impact-resistant: A little more expensive than other shingles because of their Class 4 impact-resistance rating, they are valued in areas that get large amounts of hail or high winds. These shingles will last 30 years or more.

What are asphalt roof shingles made of?

Oddly enough, when you install an asphalt shingle roof, the shingles are not wholly composed of asphalt. Most shingles are composed of a base material of either felt paper or fiberglass that is coated with a layer of waterproof asphalt. The asphalt is then covered with a layer of ceramic granules. Architectural shingles have two layers of asphalt.

Can asphalt roof shingles be painted?

If you aren’t satisfied with the color of your asphalt shingle roof, you might be considering painting the shingles. You can do this; however, most roofing professionals, including us, recommend against it. This largely because it’s going to take a lot of upkeep to maintain the roof after it’s painted. That’s because as the roof wears and weathers, the granules that cover the asphalt will wear away leaving blotchy patches over your roof that you’re going to have to repaint continually. You’re also going to have to use paint that can endure your roof’s high heat levels. If you do paint the roof, use high-quality 100% acrylic latex paint that features a flat finish. Some paint manufacturers produce specialized paints that also protect against mildew and algae growth, which is recommended. Before you paint shingles, you also want to check the manufacturer’s warranty, as some warranties are invalidated when the shingle is modified.

Is a metal roof better than asphalt shingles?

Many people are turning to metal roofing for their homes instead of sticking with asphalt shingles. Metal roofs do have their advantages, including longevity and low maintenance. Insurance companies often provide discounts because metal roofs are fire and damage resistant. But, one distinct disadvantage metal has over asphalt shingles is cost. Initial installation costs for metal roofs are about twice to three times more than asphalt. This initial installation expense can be prohibitive for some. Asphalt shingle roofs are also typically easier and less expensive to repair. Much of the choice will depend on what the homeowner needs, wants, and can afford.

What are the worst roof shingles?

For the most part, modern roofing shingles are pretty high-quality. Of course, even the highest-rated manufacturers can occasionally produce flawed materials.

What you want in a shingle is durability, and these shingles are typically going to be heavier and stronger, and high-performing—they weather the elements well and are resistant to common problems like algae growth. Most of all, you want shingles that are covered by good warranties, typically a 30-year warranty. Poor-quality shingles rarely come with good warranties and won’t perform well.

Ask your roofing contractor about the warranties on the shingles they use. If it’s a good warranty, it’s probably going to be a good shingle. J Riley Roofing prefers GAF products because of their product warranties and consistent and proven high-quality performance.

A Roofer Installs 3-Tab Asphalt Shingle Roof.

How to replace asphalt shingle roof

Roof replacement typically isn’t a do-it-yourself job. If you are looking to replace your asphalt shingle roof in Justin & Fort Worth, TX, you can always count on the trusted professionals at J Riley Roofing. We provide a full range of roofing solutions to meet all your roofing needs. Schedule a time to get an estimate from us by calling (940) 441-4544.