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Asphalt Roof Shingles

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Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles are one of the most common roof types installed by homeowners. They are incredibly affordable when comparing different roof types. Asphalt roof shingles are lightweight, durable, come in an array of colors, and can last up to 20 years. Some premium asphalt shingle brands boast a 50 year lifespan. Replacing your current roof with asphalt shingles can upgrade your home’s curb appeal, increase real estate value, cut down on energy costs, and makes your home safer.

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Asphalt Shingles Cost

The average roofing installation price for an asphalt shingle roof costs anywhere between $5,000 to $8,000 depending on the slope, pitch, and size of your roof. You can expect to pay $1.50 to $5.50 per sq. foot or $150 to $550 per square installed on a standard sized single story home. Get local costs below from contractors in your area.


What are the Different Types of Asphalt Shingles?

Asphalt shingles comes in three varieties, organic-mat based, fiberglass, and also architectural style shingles. The most affordable option is the organic mat based shingle, which is waterproof and made up of paper coated with asphalt. The next best asphalt shingles are fiberglass roofing shingles, which are treated with a resin that creates a waterproof and fire resistant material. The best asphalt shingles aesthetically speaking are architectural shingles which are two layers of shingles treated and bonded with a sealant that is aesthetically pleasing and adds an elegant look to your home’s roof. Each shingle type differs by cost, durability, and overall appearance which we discuss below.

3 Tab Asphalt Shingles

3 tab asphalt shingles are the most common asphalt roofing type you see installed on homes. Three tab shingles are distinguished by cutouts or tabs that are made along their long lower edge. The result is that each roof shingle looks like three separate pieces when installed, but it’s only one. The cost of a 3 tab composition shingle can be as cheap as $0.90 cents per square foot of roofing material. One square (100 square feet) of 3-tab roofing would cost around $90 to $100 per square. 


Architectural Shingles

Architectural roofing shingles contain no cutouts, but their lower portions are laminated with an additional asphalt layer. This creates a contoured, dimensional look that gives them their name. Asphalt sealant bonds the layers, reinforcing the shingles’ waterproof capability. Architectural roofs have an average return on investment of 6% on your home’s value. The cost of 30 year architectural asphalt shingles would cost around $4.50 per square ft or $450 per square. 

3 tab vs architectural shingles


Synthetic Asphalt Shingles

Luxury synthetic asphalt shingles can replicate high end roofing material such as natural slate and cedar shake roofs but at a much lower price.  Natural wood roofs and slate tile roofing are more expensive to install and involve an extended roofing installation labor which adds up in total costs. A synthetic slate roof costs around $950 per square for roofing material. A real slate roof may cost as much as 10 times that of architectural laminate roofing shingles.

synthetic asphalt slate shingles


Asphalt Shingle Colors

Choosing a color for your new roof is extremely important as it will tie your home’s total appearance together. Make sure to do your research and find similar style homes as your own to see what colors prefer. You’ll generally find asphalt shingle colors ranging from:

  • Pale Gray
  • Medium Gray
  • Dark Gray
  • Beige
  • Red
  • Medium Brown
  • Dark Brow
  • Blue
  • Blue – Green
  • Polychromatic Light and Dark Tones

shingle colors


Are Asphalt Shingles Right for Your Climate?

Asphalt shingle manufacturer warranties currently guarantee asphalt shingles from 15- to 30-years useful life. The large variance in those warranties are typically based on climate, weather, and other environmental factors. Homeowners in areas enduring long summers with high heat may need to replace roofing sooner than homeowners in cooler regions. In areas known for severe winters, ice may aggravate tiny cracks and fissures in your asphalt roofing shingles. Algae and fungus growth can also be potentially damaging for roofing in perennially damp or subtropical areas. Algae-resistant shingles are available with ceramic granules that are coated with leachable copper to prevent discoloration and long-term damage from algae and moss growth. Keep in mind though, this protective treatment can add 10-15% to your total costs on roofing materials.

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Cons of Asphalt Roofing

Though your asphalt shingle roof should last 15-30 years, it is not necessarily a great environmental choice. Traditional roofing products contribute an estimated 20 billion pounds of waste to U.S. landfills on an annual basis. Asphalt shingles do offer the possibility of being reused or recycled with uses in hot mix asphalt, cold asphalt patching, and as a fuel in cement kilns, but asphalt naturally contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, some of which are carcinogenic and may put recycling workers at risk. If your existing roof has less than two layers of shingles on it, you can reduce the amount of waste generated by your upgrade (not to mention the demolition cost) by layering your new roof on top of the existing structure.

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