Residential Roofing Tips

The Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Building a home or looking into a roof replacement? Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing choice. Asphalt shingle roofing is likely the most widely used roofing system in the United States, covering nearly 70 percent of residential structures.  There are several positive reasons to choose asphalt shingles, but like most anything else, there are some cons as well.

The Pros

  • Economical – Asphalt shingles are one of the most economical roofing materials you can choose, which is why most people select them. The initial cost is much lower than a metal or flat roof due to lower material costs and ease of installation.  With asphalt shingles, you get high performance for a low-cost.
  • Versatility – Asphalt shingles can be applied to all sorts of shapes and roof slopes and are suitable for a variety of climates and environments. 
  • Wide Variety of Style and Colors – If you seek a unique look, you can achieve that with asphalt shingles. Because they come in such a wide variety of styles and colors, you’ll be sure to find a combination that suits your home. If energy efficiency is a priority of yours, there are even solar reflective energy-efficient shingles on the market. 
  • Fire, Wind, and Impact Resistance Options – When it’s needed, higher-end shingles with increased protection from the elements are available at a relatively low-cost difference. 
  • Ease of Repair – Just as asphalt shingles are easy to install, they are also easy to repair.  With specialized systems like metal, slate, tile or wood shake you might have a hard time finding a roofer and the material to make a repair.  Most roofers can make a shingle repair and the shingles themselves are widely available.

The Cons 

  • Relatively Short Service Life – Asphalt shingle roofs will last 15-30 years before you’ll need to replace the whole roof. This might seem like a long time but is relatively short compared to the service life of copper, tile, or slate roofing, which can last up to 100 years. 
  • Lower Wind Resistance – Ok, we mentioned this as a pro for shingles and there are some options for increased wind resistance with asphalt shingles, but if you live in an area with the potential for strong winds like the beach or the mountains, you might consider other options like metal or tile.
  • Not Suitable for Low Slopes – This con doesn’t apply to most homes, but a roof must have a slope of at least 2:12 to be suitable for asphalt shingles. Otherwise, water buildup could damage your roofing, structure, and home. 
  • Not as Energy-Efficient – Unfortunately, asphalt shingles will not be as energy-efficient as metal or white flat roofs. Shingles are much better at absorbing heat than reflecting it, even when painted a lighter color. If energy efficiency is what you’re after and you’d like asphalt shingles, consider a solar reflective shingle. 

Now that we’ve reviewed the top pros and cons of asphalt shingles, we hope your roofing decision will be made a bit easier. If you have any roofing questions or you’d like to set up a consultation, contact the Bond Roofing team