Architectural shingles have a
unique visual appearance. Instead of a running row pattern that is observed with
3-tab shingles, architectural shingles have a cedar shake texture appearance
that give a more dramatic look to a home. Architectural shingles are also
excellent for hiding roof imperfections due to their textured look. Many home
builders prefer to use them today due to this benefit alone. In addition, from
some builders’ perspectives, architectural shingles are also easier to install
then 3-tab shingles.
Architectural shingles are also
excellent for more complicated and higher end roof lines, such as hip roofs, or
roofs that include turrets and gables.
Architectural shingles are
manufactured using a mat base that is heavier than the standard 3-tab asphalt
shingle. The mat base is made from either organic materials or fiberglass
material coated with asphalt. Colored granules are then added to the top
surface. Unlike 3-tab shingles which have a ¼” notched groove every 12 inches,
architectural shingles are typically solid across their entire length. Multiple
layers are overlapped and laminated together to produce the textured appearance
found in architectural shingles.
Architectural shingles come in many
colors, textures and patterns. Some architectural shingles are designed to
replicate the look of slate shingles or cedar wood shakes, but without the same
high cost, heavy weight or susceptibility to insect damage.
Due to the heavier mat base,
architectural shingles are heavier than standard 3-tab shingles, thus making
them less susceptible to curling and wind damage. Some higher end architectural
shingles are rated for winds up to 120mph.
Typically 3-tab shingles weight about
240 lbs per square, where as an architectural shingle square can weigh 100 to
200 lbs more.
Architectural shingles that have
heavy coats of granules are also highly fire resistant.
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When looking for architectural
shingles make sure you select ones that are algae resistant. This is
particularly important for north facing roofs with light color shingles and in
high humidity areas. Early on architectural shingles had a susceptibility to
algae and you typically would see black algae streaks running down the roof
lines. Fortunately most types today are algae resistant. Most architectural
shingles that are manufactured today are coated with zinc or copper granules
which help to prevent algae growth.
Due to their rugged construction,
architectural shingles usually have longer life warranties than 3-tab shingles.
Architectural shingles typically have warranties of 30 to 40 years where as
3-tab shingles have warranties of 15 to 20 years.
Because of their higher quality
construction and longer warranties, architectural shingles are priced higher
than 3-tab shingles. Typically architectural shingles can cost 20-40% more than
3-tab shingles. In addition, though less complicated then 3-tab shingle
installation, they are more labor intensive due to the fact that more
architectural shingle bundles are required then 3-tab shingles to cover the same
square area. As a result, the overall roofing costs are considerably higher
using architectural shingles. This said, the benefits associated architectural
shingles far outweigh the added installation cost in most circumstances.
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