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Sloped Roof systems, in one form or another, have been around as long as buildings have. Clay Tile roof systems, for example, have been used for thousands of years, going back to the ancient Egyptians and maybe even further. The most common type of sloped roof system installed today are asphalt roof shingles, which have been around since the early 1900’s. They are installed on a majority of buildings today due to their price, durability, proven performance, superior aesthetics and ease of installation.

The most common design options for an Asphalt Roof System are 3-tab shingles or architectural shingles. 3-tab shingles look flat from the ground, where architectural shingles have more of a dimensional look and tend to be higher quality. Asphalt shingle colors vary between manufacturers, but they tend to match or compliment colors typically used in other areas throughout the building.

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Old 3-tab shingles (left) as compared to new architectural shingles (right)

With asphalt roof shingles, typically, the heavier the shingle, the longer it will last. Some features, such as self-sealing strips, also make a big difference in terms of longevity, weatherproofing and performance in high wind areas. Different manufacturers also have varying technology to maintain the color over time and to prevent moss build up.

Benefits of an Asphalt Shingle Roof

Asphalt Shingle Roof systems are the most common type of sloped roof system installed for a variety of reasons. Some advantages of an Asphalt Roof System are:

  • Proven system that has been around for over 100 years.
  • Extremely durable and strong puncture resistance
  • Variety of colors and styles to choose from
  • Excellent opportunity to improve the aesthetics of a building
  • Typically less expensive than a flat membrane roof system

Drawbacks of an Asphalt Shingle Roof

Asphalt Shingle Roof systems have a few disadvantages, which are:

  • Warranties are typically materials only and do not include labor.
  • Requires a slope to perform effectively. Most manufacturers recommend a 4:12 slope or greater without full ice and water shield.