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Roof

6 min read

Why Use Asphalt Roofing Shingles?

Roof

6 min read

Why Use Asphalt Roofing Shingles?

RoofWhy Use Asphalt Roofing Shingles?

Traditional asphalt roofing shingles are still as sought-after as they were when they first came onto the scene, despite the onset of several competitors.

They're a definite favourite, deserving of the spotlight. Here’s a side-by-side analysis of two types of shingles, with a side of pertinent information. 

Say Yes to Which Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Asphalt roofing shingles

Source: Canva

Fibreglass Singles

As its name suggests, this type of asphalt shingle has a fibreglass base, and since it wasn’t dipped into a boiling pool of asphalt, the amount of bitumen required during its manufacturing process is significantly less. As such, fibreglass shingles aren’t as expensive as organic asphalt shingles. Note that the main reason behind this cost discrepancy is due to reduced bitumen use. What’s more, let it be said that fibreglass shingles better withstand heat exposure and shrinkage compared to their formerly mentioned counterparts.

As for composition, note that fibreglass shingles are made up of three layers (granules, asphalt, and matting) and are installed atop an underlayment. 

Amongst the downsides of fibreglass shingles, note that they aren’t as resilient when exposed to fluctuating temperatures and bad weather. As such, bear in mind that they’re also harder to install in cold weather, meaning temperatures below 5 degrees Celcius. Given our type of climate, fibreglass shingles may not be the best choice. For that reason alone, organic shingles are preferred. 

Organic Asphalt Shingles

These are very much like traditional asphalt shingles but have a cellular fibre substrate soaked in asphalt and pressure-heated. Since this type of asphalt shingle is more flexible, it’s much easier to install during cold fronts. Its weight is also considered an asset: since it’s heavier than fibreglass shingles, it tends to better withstand the adverse effects of a storm. Lastly, its ability to withstand fluctuating temperatures is likewise superior, and to top it off, organic asphalt shingles better conceal imperfections. 

How to Choose Between These Two Types of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roofing shingles

Source: Canva

Based on the fact that both options have their set of strengths and weaknesses, making a decision isn’t as easy as it might sound. To make your final decision, you first have to consider the climate inherent to your location. Since Canadian winters are known to be harsh, organic asphalt shingles are the best option since they’re more resilient when exposed to bad weather as well as fluctuating temperatures. 

Note that fibreglass shingles are most often retailed with a less advantageous manufacturer-provided warranty. In fact, once the full warranty period has expired, it may be that shingle repair costs aren’t covered by your insurance, unlike organic roofing shingles. 

What is the average per-square-foot cost of asphalt shingle re-roofing?

On average, an asphalt shingled roof costs $3 to $9 per square foot, depending on the product quality. For a 3,000-square-foot roof, it typically ends up costing between $9,000 to $27,000. 

What is the product range available?

In terms of quality, note that there are four distinct classes.

These range from A to D, the latter being on the low end, quality-wise. Naturally, costs tend to be steeper on the other of the quality scale. 

Looking to gauge the cost of a new shingled roof? Try out our cost estimator!

Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Pros of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roofing shingles

Source: Canva

Broadly speaking, one might say that asphalt shingles benefit from being a readily available material with an affordable price point. Furthermore, one can’t deny that installing asphalt shingles is relatively easy, and maintenance-wise, they don’t require much upkeep; they only need a few minor repairs and a yearly inspection.

Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Since both organic asphalt and fibreglass roofing shingles use petrol and are black, their presence tends to cause a spike in temperature. Also, from one shingle type to another, an improperly installed shingle risks causing water leaks and premature wearing. 

What is the average lifespan of asphalt shingles?

Asphalt roofing shingles are retailed in a wide range of models and have a decent lifespan estimated at around 20 years. 

Shingle Roof Maintenance

Asphalt roofing shingles

Source: Canva

To prevent your asphalt roofing shingles from wearing prematurely, inspect your roofing once a year. This inspection should be carried out preferably toward the end of winter. While doing so, note that several aspects should be verified, such as ensuring the flashing is still correctly installed as well as checking the attic insulation and vent. Furthermore, take advantage of this situation to make sure there are no cracks or fissures in your roofing. 

Roof Warranty Issues

Note that suppliers will void all responsibility if your asphalt roofing shingle problem results from installation. Finding yourself in this predicament means you’ll be forced to foot the repair bill. 

To limit the chances of such a situation happening, professional roofing associations suggest a solution: Once the roofing is installed, have an inspector come in and assess the quality of the work done. Should any flaws be spotted, the association will then reach out to the contractor in question and request them to carry out the necessary repairs. Once the repairs are done, the association in question will offer a 10-year installation warranty. Note that a quality-based agreement is made with the suppliers, which streamlines the process in the event a claim should be made.

Still regarding the warranty, note that the policy isn’t always transferable from one homeowner to the next. Therefore, you should always inquire as to this matter when installation is scheduled to be carried out. Moreover, the extent of the warranty may become restricted over time, which can also end up costing you quite a bit in the end. 

Is a DIY approach always a good idea?

While carrying out the work yourself often leads you to believe that savings can be made, it can also derail the process. Albeit, from an outsider's perspective, installing asphalt shingles might seem relatively straightforward, installing shingles around flashing, a vent, or dormers requires a certain dexterity. Even the slightest error can result in poorly sealed roofing, which will inevitably lead to water leaks.

Furthermore, note that you risk voiding your warranty by carrying out the work yourself instead of hiring a professional. Therefore, it’s best to work with a roofing professional to renovate your roof.  


Are you looking for more information about roofing options? Check out our Roof Renovation Guide.

Want to learn more about the different roofing options available to you? Check out our article Which Roofing Material Will Best Suit Your Needs?

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Last modified 2024-02-01

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