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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?

3-Tab Shingles

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/Laminated Shingles

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!

Row of Architectural Shingle Roofs

Get the scoop on the most popular roofing choice in America

Asphalt shingles are economical, durable, attractive, and widely available in a variety of styles. Easily today’s most popular roofing option, they boast a guaranteed life span that makes them a great value for any homeowner. Although there are many manufacturers in the asphalt shingle market, GAF, CertainTeed, and Owens Corning are three of the biggest players. 

Depending on your location and the style of your home, you’re probably already living under an asphalt roof. From cozy historic bungalows to sleek modern havens to grand country estates, asphalt shingles are everywhere. But just because you see them on the daily, you might not know all the facts about this ubiquitous roofing choice. If you’re in the market for a new roof, read on to get all the 411 on asphalt shingles for residential homes. 

GET THE FACTS ON ASPHALT SHINGLES

Many people don’t realize that asphalt shingles come in fiberglass and organic options. With a higher fire rating, lighter weight, and longer warranty, fiberglass is the most popular option. Fiberglass shingles start with a fiberglass base mat, then layer on a waterproof asphalt coating, and finally add ceramic granules for UV protection. Although they are relatively new (they were developed in the 1980s), fiberglass asphalt shingles have virtually taken over the market in the United States. 

The old style of organic asphalt shingles are created from recycled felt paper that has been saturated in waterproof asphalt, then coated with adhesive asphalt with embedded ceramic granules. This process uses up to 40% more asphalt than fiberglass options, which makes these shingles thicker, heavier, and more expensive. All that extra asphalt makes the shingles rugged and flexible, but it can also cause warping over time.

THREE-TAB VERSUS ARCHITECTURAL SHINGLES

Whether they are fiberglass- or organic-based, asphalt shingles typically measure 12 by 36 inches. There are two main types: three-tab and architectural. Three-tab shingles have tabs along the bottom and a flat, single-dimensional appearance. They are a popular and budget-friendly option.

Architectural asphalt shingles contain no cutouts, but their lower portions are laminated with an additional asphalt layer. This creates a more three-dimensional look with shadows and depth. Architectural shingles are generally more durable and more waterproof, but they are not recommended for low- or no-slope roofs. 

GET THE ROOFING LOOK YOU WANT

Architectural shingles in a mix of weathered brown shades mimic a wood shake roof.

Architectural shingles come in a wide variety of shades and shapes. From pale grays to dark black, green, or even blue and orange, there’s a color for every style and taste. Some architectural shingles convincingly mimic slate, wood shake, and tile. If you have a Victorian style home, you might consider a scalloped-edge option. Not sure what will look best with your home? Many of the major manufacturers have design tools on their websites that will help you visualize the options—sometimes even on an uploaded photo of your own home. And our Coastal Roofing Pros staff is always here to help! 

NEW SHINGLE TECHNOLOGIES CAN HELP COMBAT COMMON ISSUES

Algae can form on roof shingles.
High moisture levels can cause algae to grow more quickly on shingles.

In addition to shape and color, you have a few other options to consider when choosing an architectural shingle. Many brands offer energy-conscious “cool-roof” technology to reduce heat absorption. Here in the Sunshine State, this can be a big deal—a 20% reduction in heat absorption can seriously impact your cooling bills! Another choice that makes sense for homeowners in Florida is algae-resistant shingles. These shingles are made to endure the types of humidity and moisture we see for a large part of the year. 

When it comes time to finalize your choices, our roofing professionals can help you choose right roof for your home. We’ll consider style, budget, and environmental factors to deliver the best roof every time. Give us a call to talk about roofing options today!