Your roof is a critical element helping to establish your home’s style and curb appeal as well as protecting your family and possessions from the elements. When properly installed your roof can last anywhere from 10 to 50 years depending on the type of material you use. Asphalt shingles are easy to install, durable, look great, and less expensive than other materials like slate, tile, and metal.
Residential Roofing Shingles Compared
There are four basic types of asphalt roofing shingles available for residential use. Each type of roofing shingle offers homeowners certain benefits. Here in sunny Florida, choosing the right shingle comes down to several factors including local building codes, the style of your home, aesthetics, and of course your budget. In this residential roofing shingles comparison, we’re going to look at the four types of roofing shingles commonly used in the Miami, Florida area.
1. 3-tab Shingles
These are the most common type of asphalt shingles used in residential roofing applications. They are called 3-tab shingles because they are composed of three individual tabs or shingles typically 12” wide with an exposure of 5 inches. 3-tab roofing shingles come with either 20, 25, or 30-year warranties. According to Consumer Reports, 3-tab residential asphalt shingles are typically rated for winds up to 60 mph and moderate impact from flying debris or hail.
2. Architectural Shingles
Most architectural shingles come with a minimum 30-year warranty and, thanks to improved manufacturing processes, many come with a lifetime warranty. Architectural shingles consist of two asphalt shingle strips have been laminated to form a single shingle. Originally designed to mimic wood shake roofs, the tabs on these types of shingles typically vary in width and have slightly different colors to give them an attractive, more dimensional look. Architectural shingles offer better curb appeal, a longer warranty, and higher wind resistance (up to 130 mph) than 3-tab shingles. They do cost more than 3-tab shingles, but in Florida where we’re subject to extreme weather like hurricanes, they offer better protection.
3. Premium Shingles
Often described as “laminated,” premium shingles are a higher-quality material and look different than standard architectural shingles. These are also dual or multi-layered products to give your roof a thicker, richer, multi-dimensional look. They have designs mimic “old-world” roofing shingles like natural slate or shake providing a greater aesthetic appeal. Some premium shingles are impact resistant which can better protect your roof from harsh weather and extend the life of your roofing system.
4. Green Roofing
Today, many homeowners are seeking to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Shingle manufacturers are listening and many have created lines which are strong, durable, and sustainably manufactured. Florida homeowners are even eligible for an Energy tax cut of up to $1500.00! We are a GAF MasterElite Roofing Contractor and install GAF/ELK Timberline Cool series shingles. GAF Timberline Cool series shingles are Energy Starr® certified and can help you to lower your energy costs. These shingles are highly reflective and help reduce temperatures in your attic keeping your home cooler in summer and saving on your air conditioning costs.
Choosing The Right Shingle
Choosing the right roofing shingle for your home rests on several factors. The budget is, of course, an important consideration. As a general rule, the longer the warranty, the more expensive the product. While 3-tab shingles are the most cost-effective, they generally do not last as long as architectural or premium shingles. 3-tab shingles are also only rated for 60 mph winds, whereas architectural or premium shingles can withstand winds up to 130 mph and are more impact resistant.
Another important consideration is the look of your home. You want to choose a color to compliment your home’s style and pair well with the color of your house. If you’re environmentally conscious, products like GAF Timberline Cool Series shingles are reflective. The fewer rays your house absorbs the cooler it will be and the lower your energy use and air conditioner costs. If you are on a tighter budget, as a general rule the lighter the color, the less heat absorption.
Your roofing contractor can help you to understand all of your options when it comes to choosing the right shingle to meet your needs. If you live in the greater Miami, Florida area, connect with the experts at A-1 Property Services. We are a GAF MasterElite Roofing Contractor and one of the leading roofing companies providing quality roofing services to Miami and Fort Lauderdale homeowners and businesses since 2006.