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Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Benefits and Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles


Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles can deteriorate with weather conditions.

Courtesy of Dale Showalter

Asphalt Shingles

One of the least expensive materials to be used as roofing material, and they are available in a wide variety of colors. Asphalt shingles are commonly used on sloped roofs, single homes and smaller residential projects. Asphalt shingles as roofing material is one of the most easy to install product. Nowadays, shingles are also available with different textures, thickness, and they can be treated against mold and mildew.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are divided in two categories: Organic and Fiberglass. Organic shingles are made up of paper with an asphalt coating that converts them into a ‘waterproof’ product. Fiberglass Shingles provides better fire protection than organic shingles. Like organic shingles, Fiberglass shingles are treated with a protective resin coating that converts them into ‘waterproof’ material. New developments and technology have been able to create architectural shingles, using two layers bonded with a special sealant that adds an eye-appealing visual effect to the roof.

Asphalt Shingles Pros and Cons


  • Easy to Install
  • Economic Alternative
  • Relatively large life span
  • Wide variety of colors to choose from
  • Cons

  • Can decay with sudden weather changes
  • If possible avoid installing them under severe cold weather
  • Attic ventilation problems can reduce the shingles’ life.
  • Although not high maintenance is required, it is recommended to have periodic maintenance routines

Asphalt Shingles Underlayment

For asphalt shingles, National Roofing Contractors Association recommends: ‘a single layer of No. 15 asphalt-saturated underlayment be used with roofs having slopes of 4:12 (18 degrees) or greater. For roof slopes between 3:12 (14 degrees) to 4:12 (18 degrees), NRCA recommends a minimum of two layers of No. 15 underlayment. If you are installing a heavier-weight shingle with a projected long service life, using No. 30 underlayment instead of No. 15 would be appropriate.’

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