All You Need to Know About Architectural Shingles

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Architectural shingles are a popular roofing option for homeowners due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and long lifespan. Architectural shingles are still asphalt shingles, which can be confusing if you are used to traditional, three-tab shingles. We’ll explore the various benefits of architectural shingles and see if they’re right for your home.

What are Architectural Shingles?

Architectural shingles, also known as laminated or dimensional shingles, are a type of roofing material commonly used in residential and commercial construction. They are designed to provide both enhanced durability and an appealing aesthetic compared to traditional three-tab shingles.

Architectural shingles are made by laminating multiple layers of asphalt material together. This creates a three-dimensional appearance that mimics the look of traditional wood or slate shingles. The layers are usually composed of fiberglass mats or organic material saturated with asphalt, which provides strength and flexibility.

Read more about the difference between architectural shingles and 3-tab asphalt shingles.

What are Architectural Shingles Made Of?

Architectural shingles are made of asphalt. They’re made with multiple layers of the heavy fiberglass mat base and ceramic-coated mineral granules that are tightly embedded in carefully refined, water-resistant asphalt. In other words, the shingles are made up of two or more layers of asphalt fused together with a layer of fiberglass or other material sandwiched in between. Asphalt is a cost-effective option that’s tough, flexible, and waterproof, making it perfect for producing architectural shingles.

What are Laminated Shingles?

Laminated shingles are another term for architectural shingles. The name comes from the multiple laminated layers, which make them stronger and denser than 3-tab shingles. Architectural shingles can also be known as dimensional shingles or 3D shingles.

How Long Do Architectural Shingles Last?

Because of the architectural shingles strength and high-quality composition, they generally have a longer lifespan. Architectural shingles stand up better to weather conditions such as heat, snow, ice, rain, and strong winds.

Their average lifespan is around 20 years. However, they may last up to 30 years under optimal conditions, and many architectural shingle manufacturers have a 30 year warranty on their shingles.

Are Architectural Shingles More Durable? 

Yes! Architectural shingles are more durable than 3-tab asphalt shingles. The contoured look that makes these shingles so popular also adds an additional layer of strength. The added layers of dimensional thickness, coupled with the more staggered and staged the shingles are laid, offer better wind resistance and light reflection.

Are Architectural Shingles Worth the Cost?

Besides a greater curb appeal, longer warranty, improved home resale value, wind resistance, and impact durability, architectural shingles are undeniably a superior product and better option than traditional, three-tab asphalt shingles.

The product is so superior that it may be difficult to find a company that’s willing to install three-tab shingles.

Benefits of Architectural Shingles

The unique construction of architectural shingles gives them a more textured and varied appearance compared to the flat, uniform look of three-tab shingles. This texturing helps create depth and shadowing on the roof, giving it a more visually interesting and premium appearance that resembles higher-end roofing materials like wood or slate. They’re also available in colors from traditional blacks, grays, and browns to reds, blues, and greens.  Want more colors? Read about painting asphalt shingles.

Their thick fiberglass mat gives them increased durability over other shingle types. The design is especially more resistant to wind. An architectural shingle roof can last up to 30 years in all types of climates, and, with the right roofing system, can be warrantied for up to 50 years. 

Architectural shingles are being made with a variety of features that help homeowners combat the weather in their area.  For example, cooling granules help reflect heat, while algae-resistant shingles contain copper to keep algae from causing black streaks and damaging the roof. 

Maintenance and Care Of Architectural Shingles

On any roof, there is a level of maintenance and care to get the most out of your shingles. Like all shingles, architectural shingles require regular evaluations to make sure that your roof is still healthy. Visual roof inspections may uncover small leaks, missing shingles, or other damage that can be quickly repaired if caught early. A professional roofer can help identify larger issues before you need to replace your entire roof.  

Upgrade to Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles offer numerous advantages over traditional asphalt shingles, making them the most popular shingle choice for homeowners. While three-tab shingles were a popular roofing material in the past, architectural shingles have a huge advantage and should be the shingle of choice for most residential and commercial jobs. 

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