Introduction: What is Asphalt Roofing?
Asphalt shingles are easily one of the most popular roofing systems. Invented in the early 1900s, they were designed to replace wood shingles, which were a serious fire hazard in the decades before electricity, when candlelight was supreme.
Asphalt shingles are a composite shingle. That means they consist of multiple materials, including a base of organic matter or fiberglass, asphalt, and a mineral coating, like quartz or ceramic granules. This differs from other types of roofs, such as plastic polymer or slate, which are just one material.
In Western Canada, asphalt roofing is an ideal pick for your home or business. They’re long-lasting; a properly installed asphalt roof will withstand seasonal climates with minimal maintenance for upwards of thirty years. Even better, they’re affordable, costing a fraction of the price of slate or metal. They also come in a wide range of colors and styles to match your tastes and budget.
But there’s a lot more to asphalt shingles than price and style alone. When we say asphalt roofing, we mean three specific categories of roofing, which are:
- Laminated Architectural Shingles
- Rubberized SBS Shingles
- Tri-Lam Designer Roofing Shingles
Below, we’ll explain the key types of roof asphalt shingles, the advantages and disadvantages of asphalt roofing, how to install them, and the expenses associated with this popular product.
What are the different types of Asphalt Roofing?
When researching a new roof for your home, you’ll find that asphalt is your most cost-effective form of roof shingles. But did you know that you have the choice between three types of asphalt roofing? They are Laminated Architectural Shingles, Rubberized SBS Shingles, and Tri-Lam Roofing Shingles.
Laminated Architectural Shingles
Also known as Dimensional Shingles, these are the most popular type of asphalt roofing that you’ll see atop modern homes throughout the west coast.
They can be manufactured to look like wood or slate shingles, which cost much more to install. The composite material in Laminated Architectural Shingles is made of a thick base mat and two or more layers of asphalt, resulting in a more durable shingle.
They also boast a refined appearance, with dynamic or richer tones. Because of their multi-layer design, they last some 30 or more years.
Rubberized SBS Shingles
These are synthetic rubber shingles made of styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS), a tough rubber used in the soles of shoes and car tires. Manufacturers mix the SBS rubber with roofing asphalt, resulting in an incredibly durable shingle.
Compared to other asphalt shingles, Rubberized SBS systems boast heavy-duty impact resistance. This means they’re a great option in areas with extreme weather, such as hail and high winds.
Also, homes with potential falling debris, like tree limbs, benefit from a rubber roofing shingle. You can install SBS shingles all year, and the added insulation from the thick rubber can slash heating and cooling costs.
Tri-Lam Roofing Shingles
Tri-Lam, TL, or Triple-Laminate shingles are the toughest and most sought-after asphalt roofing system in the industry. They’re a heavy-duty shingle made of three layers of composite material. That means, out of your asphalt roofing options, they offer the most protection.
Many customers purchase Tri-Lam to replicate the thickness and style of wood shake but with the added benefits of asphalt roofing. That’s why they’re considered a premium designer product. Tri-Lam shingles won’t soften and rot like wood, and they possess unparalleled wind and impact resistance.
The Benefits of Asphalt Roofing
There’re a lot of reasons why contractors recommend asphalt roofing. At Eco Exteriors, we’ve helped many customers choose an asphalt roof that suits their budget and needs. Here are just some of the main benefits of asphalt roofing.
Customizable Colours and Textures
No matter the style of your house or storefront, you can find an ideal asphalt shingle. Some Laminated Architectural Shingles can fool seasoned home inspectors that they’re shale or even wood. Plus, with a near-limitless color palette, there’s an asphalt roof to meet your demands or one you hadn’t yet imagined.
Budget-Friendly Roofing Options
Asphalt roofing offers excellent value for your dollar. That’s because they are inexpensive to manufacture and easy to install. With a fraction of the cost of metal or EnviroSlate, your home will be protected from extreme winds, heavy snowfalls, and torrential downpours. And because there’s an asphalt shingle for most budgets, you’ll have a secure investment for years.
Low Maintenance Costs
Compared to other roofing systems, asphalt shingles require very little maintenance. This, of course, depends on your location and the extent of the weather your home endures. If bad weather concerns you, tell us, and we’ll highlight upgrades to defend your home from excess wind, dampness, and rain.
While labor costs depend on the size and location of your home, asphalt roofing maintains one of the lowest installation times. That’s because materials are light and easy for installers to handle. Plus, the shingles can be cut on-site the day of your installation to form to your chimney, vents, and pipes.
Durability and Protection
Asphalt roofing offers customers a high standard of durability, which can be upgraded based on your budget and location. You can install Rubberized SBS Shingles, for example, to protect your home from the harsh effects of weather. There’re also options for boosting the life of your roof when you purchase Tri-Lam Designer Asphalt Shingles.
Anyone living near an airport or busy metropolitan street knows that sound seems to penetrate from all angles, including your roof. Thanks to the layers of sealant, underlaying, and shingle, asphalt roofing systems are ideal for noise reduction. Ask your installer for added noise dampening when you call in for your free quote.
Top-in-Class Fire Rating
Since the emergence of asphalt roofing, fire rating has been a principal benefit. This is especially true of fiberglass asphalt shingles, which rank as a Class A fire retardant.
Disadvantages of Asphalt Roofing
No roofing system is perfect. While we believe asphalt shingles are a great product with numerous advantages, they do have some drawbacks. Remember, if you have any specific concerns or questions about the ideal roofing solution for you, contact us for an expert quote.
Extreme Weather Damage
During strong and sustained winds and hail, the granule coating on the top of the shingles can disintegrate. When this occurs, the shingles’ ability to protect your roof and attic is impaired. If you live where there’s consistent high winds or harsh weather, consider our metal roofing options.
Most asphalt shingles are not manufactured with recent environmental trends in mind. They produce excess emissions and many brands are not recyclable. For anyone concerned about his or her local habitat, check out our eco-friendly roofing systems.
Longevity at a Cost
Like other upgrades to your home, your asphalt shingles require some routine maintenance. You need to check the health of your shingles seasonally to confirm no water or algae has grown between the layers, weakening their ability to ward off water. Also, your basic Tri-Lam Shingles won’t last nearly as long as Laminated Architectural Shingles, so your roof’s longevity does come at a cost.
How to Install an Asphalt Roof
Asphalt roofing has gone through a few ingenious upgrades in the last decade. They’re more durable and weather-proof, and they’re also much faster to install. Below, we detail the basics on how to roof a house with asphalt shingles.
1. Remove Old Roof Shingles
Using a roofer’s shovel and pry bar, the roofer will remove the old shingles and roofing felt. Nails must also be pried from the roof so it’s completely smooth.
Once completed, your installer will inspect the health of your roof. He or she will replace any plywood boards that have rotted or have been damaged. They’ll also check that your ridge vents and soffits are in working condition.
2. Begin with Eaves, Joints, and Valley Membranes
The self-adhesive waterproof membranes are installed first. They’re rolled onto the fascia boards near the edge of the roof. They’re also installed applied to the valleys or where two roof slopes meet. Membranes overhang the metal drip edge a little, about 3/8 of an inch, for added protection.
3. Install Underlayment
Underlayment is a type of surface prep. With asphalt roofing, it’s usually made of felt or a spun polypropylene and polymer blend. Starting at the bottom of the roof, the installer rolls out a single sheet at a time, moving from the fascia board to the valley. Then nails are hammered into the underlayment to secure it. Once this step is completed, the entire roof will be blanketed in the felt material.
4. Lay Out and Nail in the Shingles
Finally, your roofer will prep and install the shingles. Like the underlayment, asphalt shingles are nailed in beginning above the fascia board, or edge of the roof, and across to the valley.
Chalk lines are measured and snapped to precisely overlap the shingle sheets. The roofer begins at the bottom of the roof and works towards the peak, nailing in about 4 nails per sheet.
5. Flashing, Saddles, and Waterproofing
Any edge that meets with an obstruction, such as a wall or chimney, will require flashing. Flashing is any material, often composed of metal or plastic, that prevents water from seeping into exposed areas where the shingles stop.
Depending on the size of your chimney, your installer may build a saddle on the backend of your chimney to divert water, then nail in the flashing. Last, waterproofing around any vents or pipes coming off your roof will be installed before being covered by shingles.
Get an Asphalt Roofing Quote Today
Now that you know the basics of asphalt roofing — the key types of asphalt roofs, the advantages and disadvantages, and how they’re installed — you’re ready to contact us for your detailed quote. Fill out the contact form or call us any time to discover our convenient and affordable asphalt roof options.