Are Asphalt Shingles Still A Good Roofing Option These Days?

Large roof with dark gray asphalt shingles


Asphalt shingles have been in common use since the turn of the last century. But, in these days of alternative materials, some New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts homeowners might wonder if asphalt shingles are still a good choice for their homes. Happily, we can report that asphalt shingles are not only a great option, but they are improving all the time. With longer lifespans, a wide range of colors, and improved installation techniques, asphalt shingles remain the most popular roofing choice by a long shot.


Technology Of Asphalt Shingles

Low-end 3-tab asphalt shingles can be expected to last anywhere from 15 to 20 years when installed properly and given proper maintenance. Newer styles will last up to 50 years, even in New England weather.

Modern asphalt shingles include a surprising amount of technology in their design. They consist of a mat (usually fiberglass) for rigidity, coated with asphalt and topped with specially selected granules. Some use granules coated in ceramic for extra durability or include copper or zinc to kill off mold and mildew before it can take hold on your roof.

Others are designed to keep your roof cooler during the summer and, with the more recent discoveries, no longer need to be light in color to shed the sun’s energy. Manufacturers are constantly seeking out ways to make asphalt shingles do more for longer periods of time.

All asphalt shingles are also fire-resistant, which can help you with your home insurance rates.


Endless Style Choices

Most manufacturers offer a wide selection of colors to better match your home’s look and feel. The most common choice for today’s homeowners is architectural or laminate shingles.

Architectural shingles are similar in material to the old-school 3-tab shingles we all grew up with, but they each have three to five layers to create a more robust design and a more appealing look. Along with the visual appeal of deeper shadows and stronger lines, these shingles can last twice as long (or more) as the older styles.

Luxury shingles last even longer, boasting guarantees of up to 50 years. They also come in styles that mimic more expensive roofing materials like slate, clay, and wooden shake. With luxury shingles, you get all the beauty without all the hassle of natural shingles and tiles.

The Super Shangle is the tippy-top of the line with dramatic reveals, deep lines, and an up to Lifetime Guarantee.


Low-Cost Roofing Installation

Asphalt shingles are, by far, the easiest roofing material to install. The process still requires an expert’s touch to get it done correctly but is much less involved than installing metal or natural roofing. This ease of installation means that having an asphalt shingle roof replaced by professionals can fit into even the most modest budgets.

When installed correctly, and aside from annual maintenance, you won’t have to worry about your roof for at least the next 20 years.


Low-Maintenance Roofing Material

Your asphalt roof is pretty forgiving and only needs a little maintenance each year. We recommend that you have your roof washed and inspected once a year. Not so much for the shingles as for the flashing. Unfortunately, the caulk used for flashing is not quite as durable as your shingles, and leaks can happen if you don’t keep an eye out for dry or crumbling caulk.

The shingles themselves can be damaged by hail and debris, though that is less likely with higher-end shingles. Hail can create divots in the shingles or knock away the protective granules and cause the shingle to wear out prematurely. So, it pays to have your roof inspected now and again, especially after a bad weather event.

Most shingles are rated for hurricane-force winds, so they can easily handle the sustained forces of a Nor’easter Gale. But, heavy gusts can sometimes peel shingles up, which breaks the watertight seal.  So you should always walk your home’s perimeter after heavy winds just to make sure everything is fine up on your roof.

The good news is that, even if a shingle or three peel up or fly away on you, all you need to do is replace the damaged shingles. With other roofing systems, the failures from high winds are almost always catastrophic.


Excellent Warranties

When you decide to go with a major shingle manufacturer, you’ll get amazing warranties against product defects. Often, the warranties will take you out 30 – 50 years, which is more than long enough for most homeowners.

Also, when you use a manufacturer like Certainteed, you can rest easy knowing that they provide the entire roof system and that each part is designed to work together to give you the longest-lasting replacement roof possible.

So, asphalt shingles last for decades, have lots of style options, are fire-resistant, inexpensive to buy, cheap to install, and easy to care for. What’s not to love?

If you need a new roof on your New Hampshire, Vermont, or Massachusetts home, contact us at Jancewicz & Son for a free estimate on your new asphalt shingle roof.


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