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Asphalt Roof Shingles

A roof replacement is a project that most homeowners only take on once or twice. That’s why it is so important to consider all roofing material options so that you find the right one for your house. It’s likely that asphalt shingles will appear on your list of options. Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials, as they are installed on more than 70% of residential sloped houses in the United States.

Brown asphalt shingles on a stone house

About Asphalt Roof Shingles

What makes asphalt shingles so popular? This guide breaks down the benefits of asphalt shingles that many homeowners have already taken advantage of.

What are asphalt shingles?

To begin with, it’s important to know the composition of any roofing material you consider for your house. There are two different types of asphalt shingles that vary slightly in composition.

The key feature of organic shingles is a paper mat coated in asphalt, which provides waterproofing. Organic asphalt shingles have become extremely uncommon, due to their very low fire rating and susceptibility to damage. Most manufacturers had stopped making organic shingles by 2008.

When looking for asphalt shingles, it is likely that most products you consider will be of the fiberglass variety. These shingles consist of a lightweight fiberglass mat, coated in asphalt, and covered in mineral granules. These granules color the shingles and provide UV protection. Additionally, each shingle has a sealant strip to bind the shingles together during installation.

Asphalt Shingle Styles

For many years asphalt shingles were only offered in one style, known as 3-tab shingles. However, in the 1970s manufacturers began to introduce architectural style shingles. While the two styles are distinct in appearance, there are also other factors that differentiate them.

3-tab shingles are flat with notches to create the appearance of slate tiles. They are thin and light, which allows for easier installation. They are more affordable than architectural shingles, but also have a shorter lifespan due to their thinner profile. Additionally, they are unsuitable for high wind and hurricane prone areas.

Architectural shingles are created by fusing asphalt shingles with a tabbed asphalt layer, which creates more pronounced notches. The overall appearance is thicker and has more of a 3D profile compared to 3-tab shingles. Many consider these to be the more visually appealing of the two styles. While they are the more expensive option, they have a longer lifespan and are more wind resistant than 3-tab shingles.

Pros and Cons


  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to install
  • Long-lasting and durable
    • Typically last 15-30 years
  • Easy to clean
  • Many color, style and texture options
  • Recyclable
  • Fire resistant


  • Maintenance required, but only a minimal amount
  • Possible decay with sudden weather changes

Care and maintenance requirements

  • Keep roof clear of debris that can cause water buildup
  • Inspect roof at least 2x per year for damage
    • Also inspect after storms
  • Keep attic properly ventilated to prevent heat or moisture damage to roof


One of Atlas’s most popular products is the Pinnacle Pristine Shingle. These architectural shingles are affordable and elegant. Available in 19 colors, they also feature Atlas Lifetime* Algae Resistance.

Two of CertainTeed’s most popular products are the Landmark and XT25 shingles. These shingles are available in up to 16 color options. XT25 shingles include a 20 year warranty while Landmark shingles include a 50 year warranty.

GAF manufactures a number of popular asphalt shingle products. These include the Timberline HD, Slateline, Camelot II, and Royal Sovereign shingles. GAF shingles are available in up to 8 color options. All GAF shingles include StainGuard protection that prevents algae discoloration.

Asphalt Roof Shingles Prices

  • 3-tab shingles installed starting from around $250 per 100 sq ft
  • Architectural shingles installed starting from around $315 per 100 sq ft

Due to the value and variety of asphalt shingles, it’s apparent why they are such a popular products among homeowners. By choosing asphalt shingles, you’ll be joining the ranks of millions of homeowners who have trusted this material to protect their home for decades. Additionally, the wide variety of color and style options gives you the ability to customize your roof to suit your style.

Still wondering if asphalt shingles are right for you? Our licensed experts can help answer any questions you may have. Give us a call at 888.392.4236 or visit to learn more.