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Types of Metal Roofing Overview


If you don't work with asphalt shingles everyday, it can be pretty tricky for you to understand them all and to keep them all straight. What are the differences in asphalt shingles? How can you know if you are buying the right type of asphalt shingles for your home or business? These are good questions and we're here to solve them! In order to help you make the best decision possible, we've put together this asphalt shingles overview.


We're going to cover the four types of asphalt shingles (Traditional, Architectural, Premium, and Performance) and try to explain which is the best type of shingle for your needs and structural applications.

What's a Composition Asphalt Shingle?


A composition asphalt shingle is just a general term for shingles that are made up of more than one material, which is pretty much all asphalt shingles. There aren't many that are not composition shingles, but slate shingles are not composition shingles because they are only made of one material, which is slate. Besides that, all other modern asphalt shingles are made up of a combination of materials and therefore are composition shingles.

Traditional Asphalt Shingles Overview


Traditional asphalt shingles, also known as 3-tab shingles or strip shingles, are the oldest type of asphalt shingles that are still available for purchase today. How the traditional shingles are made today, however, is quite different then they were made in the past and now include fiberglass matting instead of cellulose as a core ingredient. That's not the only different, though, as asphalt shingles are also a lot bigger today than they used to be. Technology has come a long way since the 1950's  Now, asphalt shingles are faster and easier to apply than ever, which saves time and money in the process. Whether it is new material make up, availability of colors and finishes, or the size of asphalt shingles, they are still a staple on the home of the majority of the roofs throughout the United States.

Architectural Asphalt Shingles Overview


Architectural asphalt shingles have been around for a long time and go by many different names. Architectural shingles are also known by the names dimensional shingles or laminate shingles. The major difference between architectural shingles and traditional asphalt shingles is the way they are constructed. Dimensional shingles are composed of a two-layer design, both of which being asphalt & fiberglass. This makes dimensional asphalt shingles thicker, which increases their r-value, and gives them more of an advantage in weather resistance. Aside from the 2-layer design having practical purposes, manufacturers also created dimensional asphalt shingles to have a more appealing aesthetic due to their extra thick visual appearance. It's easy to identify architectural asphalt shingles because of this unique look.


Unlike traditional, 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles aren't made with identical shapes and have an off-set appearance that look like "dragon's teeth." Today's dimensional shingles also have a "shadow line" at the bottom of the shingle, which is made of darker granules and adds aesthetic and dimension to the overall look and appearance of the shingles.

Premium Asphalt Shingles Overview


Premium asphalt shingles represent the pinnacle of roofing material design, blending aesthetics, durability, and superior weather resistance. Engineered with advanced technology, these shingles feature multi-layer construction, often incorporating a fiberglass base and a protective outer layer embellished with ceramic-coated mineral granules. They are tailored to endure extreme weather conditions, offering high wind resistance and Class A fire ratings. Available in a variety of colors and styles, premium asphalt shingles mimic the appearance of natural materials like slate or cedar, enhancing a home's curb appeal while providing long-lasting protection. Their design ensures easy installation and comes with extensive warranties, making them an attractive option for homeowners seeking a balance between performance and aesthetic appeal.

 Performance Asphalt Shingles Overview


Performance asphalt shingles are specifically engineered for resilience and durability, addressing homeowners' needs for enhanced protection against harsh weather conditions. These shingles are crafted to offer superior resistance to impact, wind, algae growth, and fire, ensuring a longer lifespan and maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the roof. With a focus on performance, these shingles are ideal for regions prone to severe weather, offering peace of mind through their robust construction and protective features. They represent a smart investment for those prioritizing roof longevity and safety.

Traditional Shingles vs Architectural Shingles


Traditional (3-tab) shingles and architectural (dimensional) shingles offer distinct choices for homeowners. Traditional shingles, characterized by their flat appearance and single-layer construction, are valued for their affordability and classic look. They typically have a shorter lifespan and less wind resistance, making them a budget-friendly option for many.


In contrast, architectural shingles are known for their multi-layered construction, which adds depth and a more pronounced aesthetic appeal, mimicking the look of natural wood or slate. This type also boasts a longer lifespan, improved durability, and better resistance to wind and extreme weather, aligning with homeowners seeking a more robust roofing solution. While architectural shingles come at a higher initial cost, their extended durability and potential to enhance home value make them a worthwhile investment for those looking to combine functionality with aesthetic appeal.

Premium Asphalt Shingles vs Performance Shingles


Premium asphalt shingles and performance asphalt shingles cater to different homeowner priorities, both offering unique advantages. Premium shingles stand out for their superior aesthetics, mimicking natural materials like wood shake or slate, and enhancing curb appeal. They're constructed for durability and longevity, often featuring multi-layered design and advanced weathering technology.


Performance shingles, on the other hand, are engineered specifically for their functional benefits, such as heightened resistance to wind, impact, and algae growth, making them ideal for areas prone to severe weather conditions. While both types promise durability, performance shingles focus on maximizing protection and longevity under challenging environmental conditions, whereas premium shingles prioritize a blend of luxury appearance and robust performance.

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