It’s no secret to anyone: roofs in Florida take a beating worse than the Miami Dolphins have to start the 2019 NFL season. Harsh weather conditions from regular storms and massive amounts of rainfall contribute to the general wear and tear that your shingled roof experiences year-in and year-out. Add in the fact that hurricane season is in full-swing, and you’ve likely got many worries concerning the health, durability and overall status of your roof.
Whether you’re planning on getting a new roof after hurricane season passes, or deciding what to use on your new construction, we’re here to the 411 on what’s available to you and how you can make an informed and educated decision going forward.
Though there are a few varieties of roofing shingles available on the market today, the majority of those available are asphalt, fiberglass shingles. The fiberglass present in these shingles is there to provide strength and resistance against corrosion – two very important things that your roof will need in Florida’s harsh weather conditions. Diving in further, we note that asphalt shingles are broken into two different types: architectural and 3-tab. Both these shingles are popular because of their durability, but offer different degrees of durability individually. The most basic shingles on the market, 3-tab, are made up of a single layer of fiberglass. Architectural shingles, also known as laminated or dimensional shingles, are one of the highest quality roofing shingles available on the market today. As far as similarities go, they are both manufactured with heavy fiberglass base and mineral granules that have a ceramic coating and both the fiberglass and mineral granules are embedded within asphalt of the shingle; but what is it that makes these two different from one another?
The more cost-conscious option, 3-tab shingles typically last about 15-20 years. They are resistant to water, cold (not that we get much of that here) and fire. The draw-back to 3-tab shingles is that they are more susceptible to getting blown away by heavy winds, so they can create a bit of a liability when it comes to hurricane season. At a cost of about $0.75-0.90 per square foot, a bundle of 3-tab shingles will run you about $25-30 and will cover an area of about 33 square feet. Lighter in weight and lower in profile, 3-tab shingles are the most common type of shingles that you see on homes today.
Architectural shingles are the slightly more expensive option in asphalt shingles and typically stay strong for up to 30 years. Also resistant to water, cold, and fire; architectural shingles are more durable and resilient against high winds – ideal for Florida’s weather! Their strength is credited to them being about 50% thicker and heavier than the 3-tab shingle variety. Architectural shingles are also manufactured using better quality materials too: finer quality asphalt, stronger adhesives, more top surface granules and a sturdier base mat. Architectural shingles also have a bit of a three dimensional look, as their tabs aren’t all the same shape; as is the case with 3-tab shingles. Running about $1.2-1.8 per square foot or $35-45 per bundle, they are about 40-50% more expensive than 3-tab shingles, with some high-end, designer varieties coming in at upwards of $1.9-2.5 per square foot. Although still more expensive, their falling in price over the past few years has made architectural shingles a big hit among homeowners in Florida.
Be Aware of Algae
When the word “algae” comes to mind, you likely think about a dirty fish tank. It’s important to note, however, that before you purchase and install any shingles on your roof in Florida that they should be resistant to algae. Dangerous and harmful, blue green algae growth in asphalt shingles can leave your roof looking rather unsightly; the last thing you want after you just dropped a pretty penny on making it look nice again! To counter this, a small amount of copper is added to the shingle in order to prevent the growth of algae. The majority of shingles on the market have their granular surfaces treated with copper, but it’s still a good idea to check with your contractor beforehand to ensure that you and your roof are covered before installation begins.
Something for Everyone
Gone are the days of asphalt shingles only coming in one color: black. Available in a variety of colors, it’s now possible to select shingles that will can reflect and blend into your home’s surroundings; as well as compliment the architectural features of your home. In an economy where many are still focused on the bottom-line, it is still exceedingly important to invest your money where it counts and what counts more than the roof you have over your head at night? Good, quality shingles may be a bit more expensive than you had envisioned, but think about what they will be protecting: your home and more importantly, your family. Make sure to also check warranty information prior to purchase, as most asphalt shingles will come with somewhere around a 10-year warranty. The only rub here is that not many warranties cover damage caused by winds with a velocity of more than 85 mph.
Ready to start making up your mind, or do would you like to get a bit more input from a local, friendly roofing pro? Either way, contact us today and we’ll get you sorted!