When looking for an economical roofing material, nothing beats asphalt roofing shingles. This is why 4 out of 5 homes in the US today are roofed with asphalt shingles. Asphalt roofing shingles can compliment a wide variety of home styles, and offer good protection for your home at a fraction of the cost of other roofing materials. However, asphalt roofing shingles do have have their drawbacks in that they are not a green roofing material, and have a fairly short service life when compared to other premium roofing materials.
Benefits of Asphalt Roofing Shingles
The beauty of asphalt roofing shingles is that they match almost any type of architectural design, offering homeowners a wide range of colors, shapes, textures and styles. Asphalt shingles are specially manufactured to resemble the look of natural and premium roofing materials such wood, cedar shakes, tile or slate. Asphalt shingles can give your home an elegant and sophisticated look, without making a big dent in your budget.
Ease of installation
A major reason for the widespread popularity of asphalt roofing shingles is the fact that they can be easily installed and no special skills are required for their maintenance. Handy homeowners can often do roofing work themselves using asphalt shingles. Moreover, ease of installation and repair make asphalt shingles the roofing material of choice for many professional roofing contractors as well. Asphalt roofing shingles are also very flexible and sturdy, which means they can be easily installed on a wide variety of roof designs.
Since asphalt roofing shingles are manufactures in bulk, they are much cheaper than premium roofing materials. Over 12.5 billion square feet of asphalt shingle products are manufactured annually. This amount is enough to cover more than 5 million homes every year. Homeowners also save money on the installation of asphalt roofing shingles, because easy hassle free installation makes them cheaper to install when compared to other roofing materials. The cost of asphalt roofing shingles starts at around $0.80 per square foot installed.
When properly installed, asphalt roofing shingles require little regular maintenance. Also, they can be quickly and easily repaired when damaged. Unlike premium roofing materials such as metal or tile, asphalt roofing shingles can often be repaired without requiring the help of a professional roofing contractor, which means you can save money on repairs.
Disadvantages of Asphalt Roofing Shingles
Environmentally hazardous material
Asphalt roofing shingles are manufactured in a way that required the use of a lot of energy as well as petroleum, all of which causes air, water and land pollution, increases green house gas emissions and ultimately contributes global warming. Moreover, it is not possible to recycle asphalt roofing shingles at the end of their service life, which means that they have to end up in our landfills.
Comparatively short service life
While asphalt roofing shingles cost a lot less than premium roofing materials, they also do not last as long. You can expect your asphalt shingles roof to have a service life of about 20 years with regular upkeep. By comparison, more expensive roofing materials such as metal roofing shingles or clay tile last 50 years to a lifetime.
Poor resistance to adverse weather conditions
Asphalt roofing shingles can become damaged by heat,especially if you live in an area with excessively high temperatures. They will also trap hot air inside your roof, which means that you will be paying higher air conditioning bills to cool your home. Asphalt shingles are also susceptible to wind damage, as strong wind can easily lift and tear them off. Lastly, excessive rain and moisture causes asphalt roofing shingles to rot and creates mildew problems that can be a potential health hazard for the inhabitants of the home.
This concludes our overview of asphalt roof shingles. Discover other types of residential roofing materials to discover alternatives to asphalt roofs, such as metal roofing, cedar and synthetic roof shingles.