With the wide availability of new roofing materials, like engineered tiles and galvanized metal, it seems like asphalt shingles should have gone by the wayside a while ago. Yet, they remain very popular among homeowners in a range of environments. Why is this, you ask? Well, for one, asphalt shingle technology has improved drastically over the last few decades, keeping shingle quality in line with that of other more modern roof materials. There are four features, in particular, that make modern shingles so much better than those of yesteryear.
It used to be that 3-tab shingles were the only style you could find. Now, most all shingles are architectural shingles. This type of shingle features uneven tabs of various sizes, rather than uniform, side-by-side tabs. Architectural shingles shed water better, and this means they are not exposed to water for quite as long as 3-tab shingles. As a result, they last longer and are less prone to issues like mold and mildew growth.
It used to be that if you had a shady roof, it would become covered in moss or algae within a few short years. And moss growth severely reduces the lifespan of the roof. Thankfully, there are now shingles that have copper built right into their granules. The copper is a natural fungicide and herbicide, and it prevents moss from growing. Shingle roofs can now be used where a metal roof used to be the only option.
The black shingle roofs that were popular 50 years ago were simply not energy-efficient. Think of black asphalt on a driveway and how hot it gets in the summer, and imagine that on your roof. Today, however, shingles are specially designed to reflect more sunlight and heat than they absorb. They are either made a bit shiny, or they are made in lighter colors. (Sometimes both is true.) This results in a cooler home and lower air conditioning bills. Absorbing less heat also makes the shingles last longer as they don't become brittle as quickly.
You'll now see shingles in beach areas where they never would have stayed on a roof before. That's because manufacturers have found ways to make shingles more wind-resistant. They make them thicker and heavier, and they use stronger adhesives to keep them on the roof. Wind resistant shingles are a good choice even in areas where storms are more occasional, as they can prevent leaks and damage.
Whether you need roof replacement or roof repairs, contact local contractors to learn more.