What Is The Most Common Type Of Residential Roof?

September 3, 2021

What Is The Most Common Roofing Product Used On Houston Homes?

And Why It’s A Great Choice For Your Home, Too

There are many roof styles to be seen on Houston area homes. There are gable roofs, hip roofs, and combinations of the two. Some have dormers, while others are simple with clean lines. What most of them have in common is the material used to protect them from the elements; asphalt shingles. Relatively inexpensive, durable, and attractive, asphalt shingles are on more American homes than any other protective covering.

Suppose you’ve had your roof inspected and been told that it’s time for a new roof. In that case, you simply can’t beat the combination of beauty, durability, and affordability represented by asphalt shingles.

Anatomy Of An Asphalt Shingle

Asphalt shingles have been around since the early 1900s and became popular in the 1920s to replace flammable roofing such as wood shake. Up until the 1950s, the backing material, called ‘felt’, wasn’t standardized, and you could find shingles backed by cotton rag, wool, and even wood pulp. Fiberglass slowly took over the other backing materials in the industry and remains the standard to this day, though other materials are still available.

Today’s standard asphalt shingle consists of a layer of fiberglass overlaid with asphalt, which is then covered with protective granules. Granule technology has advanced significantly since the days of mica and oyster shells.

Modern granules have properties that protect the shingles from UV Radiation, excessive heat absorption, and even the growth of algae and moss. The granules are also responsible for coloring your shingles, providing a surprising array of color choices for today’s homeowners.

Benefits Of Asphalt Shingles

Though there are a myriad of color, shape, design, and quality options available, modern asphalt shingles all share certain benefits.

  • Easy Installation – If you have a sloped roof, asphalt shingles are the easiest roofing material to install.
  • Self Sealing – Each shingle has adhesive strips that will self-seal within the first day or so of being properly installed. This seal creates a waterproof barrier across your roof and protects your shingles from pulling away from the surface in high winds.
  • Low Expense – Standard asphalt shingles are less expensive to purchase and install than any other roofing material. Besides the price of the shingles, the supporting materials are far simpler and inexpensive than those needed for other roofing systems.
  • Durability – Asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years when installed properly and maintained regularly. Some high-end shingles come with 50-year guarantees.

Types Of Asphalt Shingles

The standard asphalt shingles we’ve all known since childhood are single-layer sheets. Each sheet has two or three tabs cut into them to give them some shape and break up the visual lines when installed on your roof.

These shingles are slowly getting phased out as more popular options are taking over the market. The new options offer a much better look and increased durability over the old standard.

Architectural Shingles – Architectural shingles are multi-layered for a better aesthetic appeal. They can come with up to three layers per sheet, which lends a dramatic look to your roof with multiple areas of shadow and a greater sense of depth and dimension. This layering also makes them stronger and able to endure the elements better than the older style shingles.

luxury-shingles-mimic-slate-houston-roofingLuxury Shingles – Boasting as many as five layers, luxury shingles are much heavier sheets that can last up to 50 years if maintained as recommended. They can also give your roof a look of amazing depth and character. There are even luxury shingles available that mimic much more expensive materials like slate tiles or wood shake but without all the maintenance that comes with organic roofing.

Cool Roof Shingles – The idea of cool roofs isn’t a new concept, but it has been gaining traction as we learn more about the heat island effect caused by standard roofing shingles. The temperature difference between a standard roof and a cool roof can be as much as 50 degrees.

It used to be that the only way to qualify as a cool roof with asphalt shingles was to use light colors, preferably white. But we now understand more about the sun’s energy and how to reflect it away, which has given us the ability to have cool roofs with dark shingles. So you no longer have to sacrifice style to help keep your neighborhood cooler during the hot months of the year.

Do You Need A New Roof?

As durable as asphalt shingles are, they aren’t immortal. They do age, eventually, and become less effective at keeping the rain outside where it belongs. If you’ve begun to notice warning signs that your roof needs some attention, your first step is to get it inspected.

Sometimes, all you need is a roof repair, but there will come a time when it makes more sense to start fresh. When that day comes, modern asphalt shingles will give you that classic look and stay beautiful for decades with proper maintenance.

There’s a term in roofing for systems thrown together from multiple manufacturers. They’re called Frankenstein Roofs and are about as reliable as the good doctor’s science project was in the story. Check to ensure that the contractor you pick purchases your entire roof system from the same manufacturer as your shingles. 

A word on warranties. Almost all failures of asphalt shingle roofs are the result of poor workmanship at installation. So make sure that your roofing contractor offers a rock-solid workmanship warranty that doesn’t prorate itself into uselessness within ten years.

Manufacturers will never cover materials that were installed poorly, so make sure you can turn to your roofer if there’s ever a problem.

If you think your roof’s day has come, contact us at Houston Roofing and Construction for a free inspection. We’ll tell you exactly where your roof stands and give you a free estimate for the work you need to be done.

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