Choosing Residential Roof Shingles.


Asphalt Shingles



Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used type of shingle. Today they are reinforced with fiberglass mat or an organic material such as paper, wood fiber etc, and range in durability / life expectancy, from 20 to 30 years for the ordinary (three tab) shingle.


Great improvements to the asphalt shingle have been made, resulting in a more durable product know as Laminated shingles. Laminate shingles are also known as "dimensional" and "architectural" shingles.


Laminate shingles are also made of asphalt but differ from the "three tab" shingle in design. They were designed to add character, color and depth to the roof aesthetics. They are made of multiple staggered layers of material, with a range of durability, typically 30 to 50 years.


Laminate shingles are thicker and heavier than "three tab" shingles thus are more resistant to wind. From a distance, some of the high grade (high quality) laminated shingles have the look of an expensive slate or shake material, by incorporating angled or rounded tabs, shadow lines and variant color patterns.


Wood Shakes and Shingles



Typically shakes are made of either cedar, spruce or treated pine. The hand-split shakes have a rough, textured look on the front and are usually smooth on the back.


Wood shingles are sawn by machine, and are smooth on both sides.


Cedar is the best performing wood for making shakes. But, treated pine shakes also do well. When first installed, shakes are a brown or reddish color, but will weather and fade in the first year to a gray color. Wood shakes can last up to 30 years, through out that time, they may shrink, warp or splinter which is inherent in any wood. We do install wood shingles and shakes, but the cost on the installation is typically 50% higher than a 50 year Laminate. There is also the fire concern in our area. Asphalt shingles offer a class A fire rating, whereas wood is vulnerable to fire exposure.


Slate / Stone Shingles



Slate (stone) shingles are highly durable, expected service life is from 45 to 75 years when installed properly. Some manufacturers make claims of 100+ years.


Slate roofs are about 3 times heavier per square foot than asphalt. Slate is a bit more difficult to work with and less forgiving than asphalt shingles because they break easily.


A slate roof can create a very rich, colorful, hand-crafted look that greatly adds to the overall appearance of a house. While it has its advantages, it is definitely a high-end roof product. Materials alone are approximately 400% more expensive than the materials AND installation of a 50 year high quality asphalt shingle.


Tile Roof Covering



Roof Tile can be made in a vast variety of styles, sizes, and colors made out of several different ingredients. Clay, Concrete, and new to the market is Rubber.


Clay and concrete tiles have similar physical properties and installation methods. Concrete is typically cheaper to manufacture than clay and it can be made anywhere. Clay tiles must be made near a clay quarry, so additional freight cost can be an issue, and add to the cost of the roof. A well-constructed clay or concrete tile roof should last more than 50 years.


This is also an expensive type of roof installation as the materials are more expensive and require a strong frame to support the heavy load of the tiles, which may require additional structure work.


Metal Roofing Shingles and Standing Seam



Metal roofing materials come in wide variety of styles; Standing Seam, Steel or Aluminum Shake Shingles, Metal Tile, Granular Coated Steel Shingles, Copper in Standing Seam or Shingles.


Metal materials range from, steel, aluminum, tin, and copper. Without a doubt, metal roofing can provide you with a long lasting roof if properly installed; of course a poor installation of any product will result in leaks and other damage.


Metal is less expensive than tile or slate, quite a bit more than a high quality 50 year asphalt shingle. In the past, the colored aluminum shingles have peeled, faded and oxidized after a short period of time. Some manufacturers claim to have solved this problem recently.


Hail is a problem for Metal shingles. While it will not typically cause the shingles to leak, it will dent, affecting the visual quality. Granulated coating on metal shingles has been introduced claiming to resist hail. Lifespan on a metal roof can be from 30 to 50 years if properly installed. Copper roofs have been documented to last 100 years (note, copper is much more expensive than and aluminum installation).


Composite Shingles



Recently new to the industry is the introduction of composite shingles. They are produced by a colorized, mineral filled polymer. This allows the manufacturers to produce different colors, textures and styles to emulate natural materials used in the roofing process such as slate, and wood shakes.


We install and recommend Tamko Lamarite shingles. We find them very aesthetically pleasing as well as durable. They are backed by a 50 year limited warranty and offer a Class A fire rating.


Tamko offers a variety of colors in the Lamarite line; mixing color choices give your roof a very distinct appeal. This is not your neighbor's roof!


While Lamarite Slate shingle is a high-end roof material, it is far less expensive than a natural slate.