Purchasing a new roof is a big investment. If you are like many homeowners, you avoid it as long as possible until you notice brown spots from the inside of your house or you have more granules in your gutters then you do on your roof.
Asphalt roofing didn’t have many options in the past. Shingles were made in a three-tab style, which is a flat style. Today, the vast majority are architectural shingles, which are dimensional shingles. Some shingles may cost less, but do they have the overall value as far as durability?
Three-tab and Architectural shingles are two types of asphalt shingles that are common throughout the U.S. and Canada. Three-tab shingles are the least expensive shingle. Architectural shingles are thicker and sturdier and are considered a high-quality, designer roofing product.
When it comes down to choosing the best roofing material, you basically get what you pay for. The three-tab shingles are cheaper upfront, but over the course of your roofs lifetime, architectural shingles can cost less. Three- tab shingles are also decreasing in popularity.
Difference Between 3-Tab Shingles and Architectural Shingles
First, we will start off with the 3 tab shingles, the three-tab shingles are distinguished by cutouts/tabs made along their long lower edge, they have only one shingle tab size and shape. They are flat, made up of less material, so they weigh less than the architectural shingles. Because of this, the three-tab shingle roofs need to be replaced sooner, due to problems with the wind blowing them off, costing you $300 or more for each repair.
In addition to the three-tab shingles there is a type of higher end shingle called Architectural shingles; this shingle is also known as dimensional or laminate style shingles. Architectural shingles have a rich looking appearance compared to a row pattern that the 3-tab’s represent. Architectural shingles have a cedar shake texture appearance that give a more dramatic look to a home and can hide some imperfections in the roof deck or structure due to their textured look made with a thicker layer of a more refined type of asphalt. Many homeowners and builders prefer to use them today due to this benefit alone. Architectural shingles are nearly twice as thick as the three-tab shingles. Since there are no tabs, they are less likely to be lifted up by the wind.
What are the Benefits?
One advantage the three-tab shingles have over the Architectural shingles is they have a lightweight design. The three-tab shingles can withstand winds up to 60 mph and have a warranty of 15-25 years. They are just slightly cheaper upfront than the Architectural Shingles. We at Brady Roofing don’t actually install the three-tab shingles unless you are trying to match an existing roof. The reason for this is simply because the savings with 3-tabs on an average size house is only about $100 to $200. But the maintenance when a shingle blows off is a considerable expense. When time to shell out money for repairs, the initial savings is not even remotely a consolation!
Architectural shingles are easier to install and can withstand winds up to 130 mph. They have a lifetime warranty through Certainteed (the manufacturer). When you consider purchasing the architectural shingles, you are extending the life of your roof for a very long time (with proper maintenance) and adding more bang for your buck. You can easily almost double your roof lifespan with the architectural shingle.
There are, of course, even thicker style asphalt shingles. These are the Designer Shingles which vary greatly in size, style and thickness. The price also increases due to the cost of material as well as the time it takes to install. There is more information about these asphalt designer shingles at bradyroofing.com.
For more information on the individual shingles we carry, select a shingle below:
Overall architectural shingles are a better product that performs better and is more aesthetically appealing.
The main reasons why 3-tab shingles are still available for purchase is because they cost less, and there are many roofs that already have 3 tab shingles on them that require repairs with the same type of shingle.
All in all, it doesn’t matter how good the shingles are if they aren’t installed properly. The last thing you want is to spend money for something that will blow off because of poor installation. With our experts at Brady Roofing we will make sure the work is done right the first time. Our guys are paid by the hour, not piece rate so they will spend the extra time as needed on your roof. This coupled with the fact they have been trained well and are certified by the manufacturer gives us the ability to provide you, the customer, with a beautiful long lasting roof.
Are you looking for a stand-out product, that lasts longer than the average architectural shingle? Check out our post covering all roofing shingles: Comprehensive Guide to Shingle Quality and Selection.
If you have any other questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 801-487-5151
Choosing the right shingle for your home or building is an investment. It is an investment into the aesthetic value of your home, but more importantly, it is an important factor in protecting your home and everything in it from the volatile weather elements.
A 3-tab shingle is the most basic shingle available. A typical 3-tab shingle is a flat, 2-dimensional mat, made of fiberglass, that is coated in asphalt and covered in ceramic granules to create different color blends. They don’t look as nice as architectural shingles, because they are 2-dimensional, while architectural shingles are 3-dimensional.
3-tab shingles are lower in quality; they will blow off a lot sooner than other economical options, which makes these shingles a more costly maintenance item in the long run. Many people are surprised to learn that 3-tab shingle are actually similar in price to their higher quality competitor, architectural shingles. The average homeowner saves only about $100 overall when installing 3-tab shingles on their roof.
Part of the reason for this is that it is easier to install an architectural shingle properly. Although it is more difficult to install a 3-tab shingle, they have less holding power as the nails penetrate only one thickness of shingle compared to the architectural shingle which has a double thickness or laminate at the nail line.
For these reasons, we have decided not to install 3-tab shingles unless half of the house is already done in 3-tab and we need to complete the second half. We always make sure that homeowners are aware of the potential problems.
CertainTeed 3-tab vs architectural in Weathered Wood
Architectural Shingles are heavier than traditional roofing materials, without the need of added roof support. They consist of a thick, heavy mat made of fiberglass or organic materials, then coated on the underside with a special material, with the top layer covered in colored granules. Because of the 3-dimensional nature of these shingles, manufacturers can create intricate color blends that will better compliment your color pallet.
If you are selling your house, architectural shingles are usually the best option. An economical architectural shingle will increase your homes curb appeal by a large amount, making it worth more than just the $100 more you will spend vs. a 3-tab shingle.
To give a bit of a history on the evolution of these shingles, a shingle that held a 25 year warranty a decade ago soon increased to hold a 30 year limited warranty without any increase in quality. Recently, and again without any quality increase, these same shingles have moved from a 30 year warranty to a lifetime limited warranty. One brand even decreased the amount of asphalt in their shingle as they increased their warranty period.
Basically, this means that these shingles that were initially 30 year shingles will still last essentially 30 years. If there is a manufacturing defect that causes them to wear out, the manufacturer will cover the costs of the shingles, but not the labor required to replace them (unless an upgrade warranty is purchased at the time of application). Keep this in mind as you select an architectural shingle.
Here is a guide to the expected life of the shingles we offer:
For more information on the individual shingles we carry, select a shingle below:
CertainTeed targets Landmark, Landmark Pro and Landmark TL’s as the main staples for the future. Landmark 40 is now known as Landmark Pro. Landmark Premium is predicted to disappear and be replaced by a lighter Landmark TL.
Designer shingles are asphalt shingles constructed to mimic real slate or wood shake shingles. They are very thick and heavy, with an elegant and intricate look. These shingles are about double the cost of architectural shingles. They typically cost about $3,000 more to install on an average house. However, they cost less to install than real slate or shake shingles.
These shingles look best on steep sloped roofs, where you can actually see the shingle and the pattern well. On a lower sloped roof, you end up only seeing the butt-end of the shingle which can be unattractive and disappointing.
If you like the look of designer shingles enough to spend the extra money, it is a great way to go because they are stout and last longer. Because they are so heavy, they can withstand winds up to 100-130 mph. Their thickness, proportions and natural color blends can give your home a perfect touch, increasing your curb appeal by up to 40%. People who invest are typically very happy with the end results.
We feature the following designer shingles:
Slate, Wood Shakes Clay and Concrete Tiles have all been used successfully as roofing products for many years. These can be a beautiful addition to your home. These roofs have a majestic, authentic air, and in some cases they are much more durable. However, these roofing materials are very expensive and may not be right for every home.
Slate roofs are the most versatile natural roofing material. GAF offers a slate roofing material that is thinner and lighter for your home, although it still offers the protection and look of traditional slate roofs. These roofs are very expensive, but are known to last for hundreds of years.
Clay and concrete tile roofs are very durable, but are also very heavy. Typically, it is best to plan to install these roofing materials as you are building the home, so extra support can be built into the roof structure. Tile roofs are popular in warm, dry areas because of their energy efficient properties.
Wood shake roofs have a look that some people love and some people don’t care much for. This is a very traditional roofing choice, dating back hundreds of years. The problem with wood shakes is that they require vigorous and consistent upkeep and typically are installed without a warranty period. Most authentic wood shake roofs last 25-30 years.
Brady Roofing can help you choose the right shingle for your home and situation. We offer a variety of shingle options and are generally willing to install other brands or materials you may be interested in. Contact us today for a free estimate, or browse our shingle selections.Share This:
SS675 Pitched Roof Panel Profile
SS150 Flat Panel Profile
By Dymon Brady
Unfortunately, living in Utah’s climate can be quite wearing on your home and your roof. Knowing the early signs of a roof wearing out can save you a considerable amount of time and money. You may be able to avoid buying a home or building with an unexpected roofing problem. If you are inspecting a home or building you own, predicting future problems can alert you in time to plan financially for a reroof and make the process go by smoothly. Also, if you detect areas that need repair before they become problems you can avoid costly damage from leaks.
First of all, it should be mentioned that almost all roofs require some periodic maintenance such as caulking the tops of pipe flashings, counter flashings, painting pipes and metal flashings to prevent rust, etc. A regular inspection of your roof can save you from fixing stains and sheetrock damage in the future!
The first thing you want to inspect is flashings to make sure they aren’t lifting from the roof or separating from the wall or curb. This is one of the most common areas a roof will develop a leak in.
If you are trying to determine the age of your roof, it may be easiest to begin learning about the expected life of the shingle on your home. For example, if you are trying to purchase a home, ask the current homeowners when their shingles were installed and what type of shingle they are, if possible. While this may not seem like essential information, this small inquiry may save you a lot of time when you discover that the shingle is 2 or 3 years away from its expected life. Also, be aware that a shingle’s expected life period almost always differs from it’s warranty period. For a guide to our shingle’s expected life, see our Guide to Shingle Quality and Selection.
If you own a pitched roof, you may have 3-tab, architectural or designer shingles on your roof, among other common materials. Each of these shingles can show wear in a different way.
A 3-Tab shingle usually has an expected life of 15-25 years, depending on the system. When inspecting a 3-Tab system for wear, look for:
• Bald spots or missing granules.
• Loose granules. Check to see if the granules will sluff off if something brushes against them.
• Vertical slits. During your inspection, be sure to focus on the top 3” of each vertical slit, as these areas wear out much faster than the rest of the shingle.
Standard architectural shingles will last anywhere from 20 to 35 years (though most manufacturers have given them a limited lifetime warranty). Look for these signs of wear:
• Spider cracking. When shingles first begin to wear out, you may be able to identify very small, web-like cracks that are called spider cracks. The deeper these cracks run, the more worn the shingle is, and hence the shorter the life expectancy. If you do notice these cracks forming while the warranty period is valid, talk to your roofing contractor to determine if they may be the result of a manufacturer’s defect.
• Thermal Cracking. Shingles with a higher ratio of fiberglass to asphalt can be particularly troublesome. The most common problem you will want to watch for is thermal cracking, especially in extreme climates like those we experience in Utah. You will find a large crack reaching completely through the shingle, usually vertically oriented. The crack is usually located over a joint in the shingles below. Some may assume that they would be able to see a crack like this easily from the ground, but the truth is that these cracks, though deep, can be paper thin and not visible from the ground below. Even with binoculars, these cracks are often left unnoticed.
Metal roofs last anywhere from 20 to 30 years without fading and up to 60 years or more with some fading. They can be very durable and cost effective because they typically last 2-3 times longer than a basic asphalt roofing shingle. However, if you have a metal roof on your home or building, you may be seeing signs of aging. Here are some things to look for:
• One thing to watch for is rust. If a metal roof is allowed to rust, it may create small openings in the roof, allowing water through into the building below.
• A metal roof should be checked continuously for loose fasteners. Sometimes fasteners may back out and become loose during the aging process.
• Sliding snow can tear the panels in the valleys as well as the eaves so each spring your metal roof should be given a quick inspection to make sure there wasn’t such an event over the winter.
It is important to note that the most important factor in your roof’s longevity is the workmanship in how it was installed. If the roof is not installed properly, it doesn’t matter how expensive the shingle is. I can’t tell you how many multi million dollar homes I’ve seen where the contractor did inferior work, requiring a new roof only after a few short years following the home’s construction. The level of workmanship in the application of a system can be determined with a trained eye. As with any roofing concerns, a simple answer is to contact a roofing contractor to come in and inspect your roof for you. Brady Roofing will do these inspections and estimates for free! Call today to schedule a free estimate or to discuss any questions concerning your roof.
Pictures of failing roofs: