Our roofs are one of the most integral elements of our homes. They protect us from the elements, including those harsh Canadian winters, and ensure that no small critters make their way into the attic space. Effective roofing also ensures that our heating bills don’t skyrocket, as it traps the heat inside and doesn’t allow it to escape. A compromised roof can negatively affect the structure and soundness of your home, so it’s important to maintain and replace it when necessary.
When it comes time to replace your roofing, there are so many options to choose from that it can feel overwhelming for those who are unfamiliar with the industry. From slate to metal roofing, there are several materials that you can select from. However, one of the most popular materials that homeowners go with in Canada is asphalt. But what are asphalt shingles, and what can they offer your home? Many roofing companies, such as Hubbard Exteriors, can educate you on how asphalt roofing can impact your home, but in the meantime, let’s do a quick breakdown below.
A Brief History
Asphalt shingles are one of the most widely used roofing materials in North America. First used in 1903 in Michigan, USA, they quickly grew in popularity; by 1939, over 11 million squares of asphalt shingles were being produced.
Benefits of Asphalt Roofing
One of the greatest benefits of asphalt roofing is its affordability. Compared to other roofing materials, asphalt shingles are definitely one of the most cost-effective options. This doesn’t mean it compromises on quality, however. Proven to stand up against Canada’s range of weather conditions, asphalt shingles are a solid investment that will last you years.
Asphalt shingles are also incredibly durable and reliable. Asphalt itself is known for being waterproof, so protecting your home with this material is a solid choice. Not only can you ensure there will be fewer leaks, but asphalt roofing is also fire resistant, offering you that extra peace of mind.
On top of all that, asphalt shingles come in a range of different colours, so you don’t have to feel limited in your choices. Instead, allow your roofing to match the aesthetics of your home.
Types of Asphalt Shingles
There are actually three different types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab shingles, dimensional shingles, and luxury shingles.
3-tab shingles are the most basic and economical choice. Made from fibreglass and coated in mineral granules, this single-layer shingle is lightweight and gives a clean, straight appearance. The main concern regarding this type of shingle is that they run the risk of blowing off when they begin to age.
Dimensional shingles are likely what you are most familiar with and account for the majority of asphalt shingles sales. Made from two or more layers, this option is more durable and offers more visual appeal. While dimensional shingles are more expensive than 3-tabs, the range of colours you can choose from is greater, and they are still less expensive than other materials on the market.
Luxury shingles are designed to replicate natural slate and cedar shake roofs, but at a fraction of the cost. Not only do they offer more texture and design options than other types of asphalt shingles, but their weight helps to protect homes that are more prone to hail damage.
When To Replace Asphalt Roofing
Fortunately, roof replacements aren’t a home improvement task that needs to be tackled often. However, if you’ve recently purchased a home or have been living in yours for decades, it’s a good idea to inspect your roof to determine its status. Signs of an ageing or compromised roof include:
- Curled or cracked shingles
- Missing shingles
- Ceramic granules (material from your shingles) accumulating in your eavestroughs