How Architectural Shingles Can Prevent Roof Leaks


What are architectural shingles?

Spring has come, or so the calendar tells us, and summer has been here in full force. With fall on the way, it is time to get your roof inspected, making sure all the shingles are in place and in good condition before the fall rain and winter ice, and snow come. If the roofing contractor recommends new roofing, consider upgrading to architectural roof shingles instead of staying with the standard three-tab shingles you have now. 

Architectural asphalt shingles are high-quality dimensional shingles made from a fiberglass mat base. They have ceramic-coated minerals embedded in the water-resistant asphalt in several layers, thus creating dimensional architectural roof shingles.

Architectural roof shingles are synthetic slate, so while it looks like the real thing, it is a fraction of the weight, meaning no extra support is needed for installation. They are also available in a contemporary style that mimics cedar wood shingles but are fire retardant.

The standard architectural roof shingles are thicker, and architectural shingles’ colors are various, adding to the three-dimensional light that shadows the roof and complimenting any architectural design. They can be installed in different sizes and while they are heavier than standard 3-tab shingles, they can be installed with more flexibility of design, like a flat brick-work design.

What is the difference between architectural shingles and asphalt shingles?

Traditional three-tab asphalt shingles have distinguished tabs, or cutouts, along the long lower edge. This gives each shingle the appearance of three individual pieces once they are installed. This style of asphalt shingles has been the roofing material on most homes since the 1950s. 

The architectural roof shingles do not have cutouts or tabs. The lower edge portion of these is laminated with an extra asphalt layer, creating a dimensional look that is appealing to homeowners today. The asphalt sealant bonds the multiple layers and reinforces their waterproof capability. A durable roofing material for pitched roofs, but not recommended for low-slope roofing where the vulnerability of wind-driven rain is greater.

The superficial differences between the traditional three-tab asphalt shingles and the architectural roof shingles may not seem like much to homeowners, but most roofing contractors will recommend the architectural roof shingles. The slight difference in pricing is minimal when you consider the value it will add to your home’s appearance. 

Do architectural shingles add value?

When homeowners are recommended to go with the architectural roof shingles instead of the 3-tab shingles, pricing is the first thing they notice. While not significantly higher, it still brings out the question, “Why architectural shingles?” Besides the sophisticated appearance overall bonus with the dimensional look they provide, other reasons would include the following: 

  • A high-end product: Architectural roof shingles are the standard roofing material choice for higher-end homes where the three-tab shingle can bring the home value down. 
  • A versatile design: Architectural roof shingles can be manufactured to mimic other roofing materials with a higher cost like wood or slate. Architectural roof shingles are a fraction of the expense with the same appearance that can bring an added feature to your home.
  • An added value: With most home buyers looking for something that makes a home stand out, having architectural roof shingles will increase the resale value of your home. With the attraction that architectural roof shingles will give your home, it will give you a high ROI when you decide to sell. 

Do architectural shingles last longer?

Because of the durability of architectural roof shingles, and their high-quality composition, their lifespan is longer than that of traditional three-tab asphalt shingles. Once you have paid for new roofing, you’ll understand why they come at a higher price tag. The cost of traditional 3-tab shingles is less, but they will need repairs more frequently and replacing sooner than the architectural roof shingles. 

The number of materials that are used in manufacturing both creates a better overall quality with the architectural roof shingles. It is about fifty percent heavier with a thicker base mat. Making this a more sturdy roofing material is only one benefit. Other benefits are: 

The Aesthetics

The aesthetics of architectural roof shingles give a roof a dimension that the 3-tab shingles don’t. Instead of the flat uniform appearance, the roof will have a dimensional appearance, making it more appealing when on the market. The curb appeal is enhanced even more if you choose to go with slate-looking architectural roof shingles. It will look more expensive, but the price difference is nominal. 

The Wind Rating

The wind resistance ratings between the two types of asphalt shingles are significant. Your basic three-tab asphalt shingles are typically rated for wind speeds up to 60 miles per hour. The architectural roof shingles area higher quality and heavier weight, come with a wind rating up to 120 miles per hour.

The Lifespan

Architectural roof shingles have a composition of durability and higher quality, which will give your architectural shingles a lifespan of up to 30 years. Compared to the average maximum lifespan of 20 years from basic 3-tab asphalt shingles, even less when under extreme and severe weather conditions, you won’t be faced with this expensive home improvement too soon! 

At The Top Of The Roof – We Offer The Warranty

You’ll know architectural roof shingles are better when you check the warranties of both. Because the three-tab asphalt shingles have a shorter lifespan, the warranty matches. With the typical warranty between 25 and 30 years, with the actual lifespan MAYBE 18 to 20 years for 3-tab asphalt shingles. Architectural roof shingles will typically offer a warranty of up to 50 years, and some brands offer a lifetime warranty. Again, you get what you pay for! If you want any more info, reach out to our team by calling (817) 677-6664Roof