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The right shingling adds personality to your home and increases curb appeal. Know the old saying about noticing someone's shoes first? Your roof is like your home's pair of shoes.
What are Architectural Shingles, and Are They Worth the Extra Cost?
Architectural shingles are high-quality dimensional or laminated shingles that add beauty and durability to your roof. They are made from a fiberglass mat base with ceramic coated minerals that are embedded in water-resistant asphalt. Several layers of material may be used to create these shingles.
New dimensional shingles are also made from a synthetic slate that looks like real slate. The synthetic slate shingles weigh less and do not require heavy support. Other contemporary architectural shingles simulate cedar wood shingles without the risk of catching on fire and a lower risk of water damage.
The architectural shingles are thicker and offer different color variants to add three-dimensional light and shadows to the roof. They may be installed in different sizes and with complementary shingle colors for certain home designs. They weigh more than the standard three-tab shingles that are often installed in a flat brickwork design.
With these features, not only will architectural shingles increase your home’s value & curb appeal, but the higher quality of materials will help to guarantee less repairs throughout your roof’s life, thus leading to a longer lifespan.
Architectural Shingles vs 3 Tab Shingles
Architectural shingles, or better known as dimensional or laminate shingles, differ from the traditional 3 tab asphalt shingle look. Architectural shingles are different from 3 tab asphalt shingles because the actual shingle tabs have various sizes and shapes. These various sizes and shapes give them a more dimensional look to them and can actually make a shingle roof look more like a shake.
Architectural shingles weigh more than 3 tab shingles. They weigh around 50 percent more than the asphalt shingles. Since these dimensional shingles are thicker than 3 tab shingles, they have a longer warranty than most 3 tab shingles. Architectural shingles almost across the board have a minimum 30-year guarantee and are rated to resist higher speeds of wind, thus guaranteeing a longer lifespan for your roof. Architectural shingles cost more than 3 tab shingles due to the quality of the product you’re paying for. Architectural shingles help maintain or raise the value of the home as long as they are properly installed. They are a preferred shingle for homeowners because they help the home value & curb appeal. Architectural shingles continue to become more and more popular in the residential roofing market.
3 tab shingles have only 1 shingle tab size and shape. 3 tab shingles are composed of one flat layer and do not have a dimensional look to them. Since they have a less complicated design and are made up of less material, they weigh less than architectural shingles. 3 tab shingles are less thick than architectural shingles and almost always have a shorter warranty guarantee. Because of this, 3 tab shingle roofs have a shorter lifespan and will need to be replaced sooner than architectural shingle roofs.
You can learn more about common roofing components, issues and terms by following these links
Architectural Shingles Lifespan
There are many types of roofs available that have different features that make them unique. Features that include durability, longevity, etc. So what is the average architectural shingle lifespan?
The average lifespan of an architectural shingle roof is usually between 25 and 40 years. However, like all other types of roofs, the lifespan of the architectural roof shingles depends on numerous other factors. Factors including geographical location, climate, among many others, play a huge role in how long shingles typically last.
Architectural shingles weigh approximately 100 pounds more per square compared to regular asphalt shingles. They are particularly popular because their texture conceals minor imperfections found in the roof deck. They are also preferred over standard shingle roofs because they offer an older home a more distinct curb-appeal. Roofers often recommend installing architectural shingles for older homes because of the added curb appeal which could boost the home's appraisal value. Additionally, it provides improved durability and it conceals roof deck imperfections and tarnishes that are common in older homes.
Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional shingles, are a premium form of asphalt shingle roofing. Similar to standard roof shingles, they have an asphalt base. However, manufacturers use a thicker mat base made of asphalt-coated fiberglass. Then, they overlap multiple asphalt shingle layers. Lastly, to provide optimum anti-moisture and anti-penetration capabilities, manufactures laminate them. Considering its weight compared to standard asphalt shingles, architectural shingles are quite heavy. Typical three-tab asphalt shingles weigh about 30-50 pounds per 100 feet of roof. Architectural shingles are heavier at 100-120 pounds per same roof space. It is, for this reason, that the most reliable and trustworthy roofing contractor will recommend building reinforced roofing joists to help support the added weight.
Adverse weather conditions, both hot summers, and harsh winters; not to mention the significant temperature changes within a day, are various climatic conditions that lessen the lifespan of architectural shingle roofs. Architectural shingles are engineered to remain cooler than the traditional 3 tab shingles by offering greater light deflection. Also, because of its weight & thickness, these dimensional shingles provide added insulation, reducing heat transference between your home and the outdoors which will in the long run, reduce your heating and cooling bill.
Factors That Determine the Average Shingles Lifespan
The average lifespan of a shingle roof is based on various conditions with numerous factors contributing to either a shorter or longer lifespan. As such, the life of a given shingle roof may vary from its usual average lifespan. Below is a list of factors and conditions which affect the longevity of architectural shingle roofs:
- Roofs are exposed to sunlight, and unfortunately, this determines their overall lifespan. Darker roofs usually absorb more heat, which is a factor that eventually shortens their lifespan.
Roof Slope Angle:
- Usually, higher pitch roofs boast a more considerable lifespan.
The Orientation of Roof Surface:
- Roofs that are facing the south will usually be exposed to more sunlight subsequently meaning a relatively shorter lifespan.
- Roofs installed over other existing ones usually have a relatively shorter lifespan. Most building codes allow two shingle roof layers hence the multiple-layer. However, although it seems a reasonable cost saver, it is nonetheless extremely costly in the long term. Especially since the dump and tear-off fees double when it is eventually time for a replacement or repair. We recommend tearing the original layer off before installing a new layer of shingles.
- As expected, higher quality roofs have a longer lifespan with the economic types having a relatively shorter one. When it comes to roofs, you pay for what you get.
- Improper or sloppy installation compromises the roof's lifespan. Over-driven fasteners, exposed fasteners, as well as missing or poor flashing at the edges and valleys of your roof will usually shorten the roof's overall lifespan.
Trees Close to the Roof:
- Acidity caused by leaf debris accumulation on roofs as well as branches continually rubbing on the roof are also factors that shorten the overall lifespan of the roof.
- The frequency of harsh weather conditions like winter storms, hail storms, hurricane force winds, etc., all have an effect on a roof’s lifespan.
Architectural Shingle Attributes
Architectural shingles have one of the longest roof lifespans in the industry. Fiberglass adds tensile and compressive strength to any material. Combining this with the sturdy composition of asphalt brings better longevity to the roofing material. On the other hand, laminate reduces the risk of moisture infiltration. This result prevents the growth of roof-damaging life forms such as mold, mildew, and fungi. Typical asphalt shingles have an average lifespan of 20-30 years. In contrast, architectural shingles live longer. Manufacturers estimate them to live as long as 30-40 years with premium architectural shingles surviving for 50 years or more. Below is a list of the attributes that contributes to the durability and longevity of architectural shingles.
Main Difference Between Standard Asphalt Shingles & Architectural Shingles
Asphalt shingles are one of the go-to choices for most homeowners. They are easy to install, cost-effective, and adds beautiful curb appeal to any home. However, asphalt shingles only last around 30 years or less. In addition, replacing aging shingles with asphalt on old properties only to do so much for property value. Standard asphalt shingles also comes in one standard cutout, making it look like 3 separate pieces of shingles when it is only one. Architectural shingles don't have any cutouts and have an additional asphalt layer laminated to the lower portion of the shingle. This gives the dimensional look that gives them their name. This dimensional look could provide a revived look to an older property, which will not only boost the property's curb appeal, but provide added strength to your roof, protecting your home from harsh climates.
Architectural shingles have a bolder, premium, and glamorous appearance. They look like embossed and engraved shingles if contractors install them properly. Architectural shingles are installed in the same manner as the other asphalt shingle variants. However, instead of three-tab patterns, contractors can install them in a symmetrical manner. The thicker material will make any roof appear strong and durable, which is helpful when trying to improve the home’s value. Asphalt shingles make a roof look durable during its early years, however, if left unattended to, the shingles could make properties look aged and troubled.
Our certified roofing contractors offer a wide variety when it comes to your choice of architectural shingles. The team at Infinite Roofing is certified in the IKO or GAF shingles installation, so you know that your roof will be installed correctly the first time and look great when it’s all done.
Standard asphalt shingles have pretty good durability and gorgeous curb appeal. However, their median prices will not make your property stand out in any neighborhood. The affordability of typical asphalt shingles will allow any homeowner to add them to their home. Therefore, you’ll need architectural shingles to upgrade your curb appeal. With your home standing out from the crowd, you can quickly improve its overall appraisal value and even hasten its sale in the future.
Asphalt shingles have an average lifespan of 20-30 years. On the other hand, architectural shingles have more than 30-40 years of lifespan. Premium asphalt shingles have around the same lifespan as architectural shingles. However, they have less curb appeal & functional features in comparison to architectural variants. Premium architectural shingle variants have a lifespan of 50 years or more, however, they cost just as much as metal roofs.
Architectural shingles cost about 30 to 50 dollars per bundle. Most manufacturers sell them 100 to 150 per square. Provided their thick material, and durability, the added expense is understandable. Typical 3 tab shingles cost about 10 to 15 dollars per bundle and 50 to 70 dollars per square.
Laminate resists scratches. If combined with fiberglass, they have improved resistance. Architectural shingles will withstand multiple hailstorms, heavy rainstorms, and snow. They are three to four times thicker and durable than three tab shingles.
However, it pays to have an inspection every few years. In fact, always have an inspection after a strong hailstorm. Both pea and softball-sized hailstones will damage even the sturdiest architectural shingle roofs.
Architectural shingles are multi-layered asphalt shingles. Therefore, they are inches thicker when you compare them to their predecessors. The fiberglass-asphalt and fiberglass-laminate composites in most architectural shingles also add to the thickness. However, the thickness is part of its appeal and adds strength to the roofing material.
Architectural shingles’ thickness contributes to its extra weight. They are 50 percent heavier than typical shingles. Therefore, contractors will suggest the construction of reinforced roofing joists. Asphalt shingles require no additional roofing joists even with thick underlayment in place.
The thicker material of architectural shingles requires a special, thicker adhesive and roofing nails. Due to these requirements, contractors may use additional manpower and specifically designed equipment to ensure proper installation. Architectural shingles can break apart if roofers hammer on a nail too long.
Therefore, architectural shingles are just a notch more difficult to install than asphalt shingles. Since your contractor will most likely use more time to install them, the installation service may be more costly, but would be worth the expense in return for proper installation. Trying to replace them on your own will still require special tools.
Although they may take longer to install, architectural shingles can be easy to cut and fit into difficult corners and crevices. This makes installing them relatively easier than other roofing materials like slate, tile, and stone, especially with roofs that have intricate architectural features. Architectural shingles don’t need extra support built under them as traditional asphalt shingles do, so despite being heavier, they actually put less stress on your roof. As a result, they are appropriate for a wide variety of ages and styles of housing including older homes. Altogether, the convenience of architectural shingles can save a lot in regard to roof installation costs.