So you’ve decided to install a shingle roof and now it is time to compare roofing shingles. While it’s a good thing to have a wide range of choice to select from, when it comes to crunch time you sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be a good thing if there was only one (or few) options. That way you’d be saved the time and trouble of having to compare roofing shingles. But don’t worry – this short guide will take you step by step through the process of elimination until you end up with the ideal roofing shingles for your home.
There are many different forms, manufacturers and styles when it comes to selecting roofing shingles. Often the first thing you start with when you compare roofing shingles is the price or budget. And there is a wide range of variation between, say, a 3-tab asphalt shingle roof and a slate shingle roof. Then there are regional and geographic factors to keep in mind like the local climatic conditions, architectural style of your roof and the impact of your roofing material on the environment.
With so many variables on which to compare roofing shingles, where does one begin? Let’s start by listing out the different types of roofing shingles, ordered by price.
Asphalt Roofing Shingles
Asphalt roofing shingles are the most popular kind, and themselves come in a range of variations at different price points. Asphalt shingles are weather resistant, tough and durable, waterproof and easy to install or maintain. 3 tab asphalt shingles are the basic form which come in color choices but are not textured.
Architectural asphalt shingles are laminated and give a range of depth and color which adds to the variegated appearance of your roof. When you compare roofing shingles with similar appearance, such as slate or shake roofing, you’ll find architectural shingles showing up to their advantage. Because they are almost similar in cost to 3-tab shingles but provide a rich and deeper appearance, many home owners who compare roofing shingles end up choosing laminated architectural shingles over others.
When you start to compare roofing shingles of asphalt, you’ll find there are other nuances as well. Some shingles are reinforced with organic materials and others with fiberglass. The organic reinforced shingles are stronger and better insulating because of the felt covering in their structure. Fiberglass variants have a mat into which granules of ceramic and mineral are embedded which makes them better reflectors of solar radiation. If you’re looking for environmental friendly roofing solutions, then you may prefer ones made from recycled materials. Or if you’re looking to cut down your cooling costs, then asphalt shingles which are reflective of radiation will make for a better option.
Metal Roofing Shingles
Another feature to compare roofing shingles on is the material they are made of. Metal panels and shingles are being increasingly used for residential roofing. These shingles can be modeled to mimic other forms of roofing, while providing your roof with a clean and neat appearance. Metal roofing shingles are among the most durable roof materials with typical lifespans running to 50 years or more. For that reason, metal roofing shingles are also more expensive than other options. So a simple attempt to compare roofing shingles without factoring in the lifetime cost of a roof may point to metal roofs as a disadvantage, while actually the overall expense of installing metal shingles is lesser than even asphalt roofing despite the higher upfront cost.
Synthetic Roofing Shingles
When you compare roofing shingles on price, asphalt shingles are the least expensive and others made of synthetic material are more expensive. There are some advantages, however, that you get for the higher price tag. Synthetic shingles can be manufactured to appear identical to other natural roofing material like slate or wood shake. Synthetic shingles come in various color choices and manufacturers claim that they are suitable for various climates and weather conditions. However, being relatively untested and new to the market, these roofing shingles have not yet proven themselves to be durable or color-fast.
When you compare roofing shingles in the premium shingle range, too, you will find multiple options to pick from. Wood shingles are usually considered for high end use, with high budgets to match. They are elegant and beautiful, but also need a lot of maintenance work. Wood shingles can be damaged by rot and insects, and are susceptible to fire damage. What stands out when you compare roofing shingles against each other, however, is the much greater expense of wood shingle roofing. If despite this you are keen on installing wooden shingles, check if the manufacturer you use is Forest Steward Council certified to indicate the wood comes from proper forests.
Slate Shingle Roofing
Slate is among the most durable, elegant and tough roofing materials and slate roofing comes out on top in performance indices whenever you compare roofing shingles. Slate shingles are low maintenance and extremely durable. They withstand extremes of weather and temperature. The one major drawback is the weight of the material which requires structural reinforcement if you plan to re-roof using slate. Slate being natural is easy to recycle, giving it environmental advantages over other kinds of roofing.
So when you set out to compare roofing shingles for a new roof or re-roofing project, your best choice will depend upon multiple factors including price. Hopefully this guide has helped highlight the most important things you must compare in roofing shingles before you make your final decision.