Look in any neighborhood in Louisville and Southern Indiana & you’ll see asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material. Shingles are used on homes because they are economical & versatile, work well on steep-sloped roofs, are sunlight & weather resistant, require little-to-no maintenance plus are reasonably priced.
Asphalt shingles used to be constructed around an organic base felt, but now virtually all shingles use a fiberglass mat. Fiberglass roofing shingles are more fire resistant, tear resistant, last longer, and are the most budget-friendly. They are also thinner, lighter & easier to lug around.
Asphalt roof shingles now come in all kinds of colors and profiles. Keep in mind that any & all additional features will increase the pricing of your roof, but asphalt shingles are still going to be the most affordable roofing option.
Over the past 10 to 20 years, black stains left on shingles from algae have been a problem. While usually not affecting the performance of the shingles, these stains are unsightly & can make a roof look like it’s prematurely worn out. These can be cleaned, but be careful not to use caustic chemicals that will harm landscaping (whatever goes on the roof washes out the downspouts) or high pressure power washing that will harm the shingles. The best answer now is to use newer algae-resistance shingles. These have zinc or copper granules in these that release a mild algaecide that washes down the roof and prevents algae from growing. Nearly all shingles nowadays are algae-resistant.
The main drawback to asphalt roof shingles is related to the service life. Asphalt roofing shingles are available in grades with a “limited warranty” of 20-50 years depending upon the price. Keep in mind that manufacturers’ warranties are not a reliable predictor of actual lifespan. Some of these shingles grades will only last 10 to 15 years, but their warranties are pro-rated (decrease in value for each year in service) & will cover only a part of the cost of materials.
These warranties differ greatly from a full system warranty typically available for a low-slope commercial roof system. Flat roof warranties are typically from 10 to 20 years, cover the full cost & performance of both the materials, installation labor & are not pro-rated.
Our recommendation is to select a roof system comparing performance, appearance, history, references & price; not just picking the highest number of years claimed by the manufacturer’s “warranty.” It’s easy to get fooled just playing a warranty numbers game.
Shingles are a great choice for a roofing material if you are looking for a fairly standard roof with good appearance, low maintenance, a great price & a reasonable service life. If you are looking for a new shingle roof or to repair an old one, contact Commonwealth Roofing & see why we have earned the title “The Roofers”.