The roof arguably remains one of the most vital parts of any building. It plays a massive role in determining the aesthetics appeal of the structure and provides protection against environmental elements. Various materials can be used for roofing, but one of the most popular choices for homeowners and contractors is asphalt shingles. This article will delve deeply into various aspects of asphalt shingles, including its definition, types, benefits, cost, and much more. So, if you're considering using asphalt shingles for your building project, stay with us as we explore this subject in depth.

Understanding What Asphalt Shingles Are

Asphalt shingles can be broadly defined as a type of roofing shingle that's designed from a mixture of asphalt and either fiberglass or organic materials. Broadly considered a quintessential feature of the American dream, asphalt shingles are widely embraced in the U.S. and have made their way into other global markets. Asphalt shingles bring utilities in terms of aesthetics, durability, protection, and cost-efficiency.

Categories of Asphalt Shingles

While asphalt shingles may be known for their versatility, they fall into two distinct categories.

Organic Asphalt Shingles

Organic asphalt shingles are created from recycled layers of felt paper soaked in asphalt, which ensures water resistance. They are subsequently coated with adhesive asphalt and ceramic granules filled with copper or tin to make them more durable.

Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles

Fiberglass asphalt shingles are made from a woven fiberglass base mat, coated first with asphalt and then with mineral granules. They provide higher fire resistance than organic shingles.

Benefits of Opting for Asphalt Shingles

asphalt shingles

  • Durability: Asphalt shingles are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, making them a long-lasting roofing solution.
  • Aesthetic appeal: They are available in a plethora of colors, sizes, and styles that dramatically improve the visual appeal of your building.
  • Easy installation: Compared to other roofing materials, asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install.
  • Cost: When price is considered, asphalt shingles offer inexpensive yet quality and durable alternatives to other roofing options.

The Cost of Asphalt Shingles

The cost of asphalt shingles depends on various factors, including the product's quality, the number of shingles required (measured in squares), the roof complexity, and the location of the building. But typically, homeowners can expect to spend between $80 and $100 per square of asphalt shingles.

Sustainability of Asphalt Shingles

As sustainability increasingly becomes a global concern, it's essential to take note that asphalt shingles can be recycled. Post-consumer shingle recycling is a win-win situation for both the environment and industry players. Recycled asphalt shingles can be utilized in pavement, which reduces the need for virgin asphalt and shingle waste in landfills.

Repair and Maintenance of Asphalt Shingles

Although asphalt shingles are tough and durable, they are not completely damage-proof. But the good news is that they are easy and cost-effective to repair or replace if damaged. Their maintenance cost is equally less compared to other roofing materials.

Installation of Asphalt Shingles

While the installation of asphalt shingles may seem straightforward, it's vital to engage professional roofers for such services. Apart from the primary installation, the process also entails other details such as preparing the roof deck, installing leak barriers, and laying the asphalt shingles in an effective pattern, which may overwhelm an inexperienced person.

This article has provided in-depth knowledge about asphalt shingles. From their definition, types, benefits, costs, sustainability, repair, maintenance, to installation procedures, it's evident that they are an excellent option for your roofing needs. Remember, the installation of asphalt shingles is a technical task that requires the services of a professional. So, always hire an experienced roofer for your project to enjoy the myriad benefits that asphalt shingles have to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions about Asphalt Shingles

When choosing roofing materials, asphalt shingles often rank among the top choices for many homeowners or builders. However, you might have various questions about this popular roofing material. Below are responses to some frequently asked questions regarding asphalt shingles.

What are the different types of asphalt shingles?

There are primarily three types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and multilayered architectural shingles. These differ in weight, wind ratings, and aesthetic appeal, among other factors.

How long do asphalt shingles typically last?

The life span of asphalt shingles varies depending on the specific type, the climate, and how well they're maintained. Generally, you can expect them to last between 20 to 30 years in ideal conditions.

Are asphalt shingles suitable for all climates?

Asphalt shingles are versatile and can work in most climates. However, in extreme weather conditions, other types of roofing may be more suitable. For instance, metal roofing might be better in areas prone to hurricanes or wildfires.

How can I maintain and care for my asphalt shingles roof?

Routine maintenance such as removing debris, checking for damage, and correcting potential issues like moss or algae growth can extend the life of your asphalt shingles roof. It's also beneficial to have professional roof inspections every few years.

Are asphalt shingles eco-friendly?

Asphalt shingles are not the most eco-friendly roofing material due to their petroleum content and the fact that they are not easily recyclable. However, many manufacturers are now producing shingles with recycled content to create a greener product.

Can I install asphalt shingles on my own, or should I hire a professional?

While it's possible to install asphalt shingles yourself, it is highly recommended to hire a professional. Professional roofing contractors have the necessary experience and tools to install the shingles correctly, which can help prevent issues like leaks or shingle blow-off in the future.

What is the difference between architectural shingles and 3-tab shingles?

3-tab shingles are single-layered and have a uniform appearance, while architectural shingles are multi-layered, giving them a more dimensional look. Architectural shingles are also more durable and often come with longer warranties than 3-tab shingles.

How much do asphalt shingles cost?

Costs for asphalt shingles can vary widely, based on factors such as the specific type of shingle and regional location, among other things. On average, you can expect to pay between $1.50 and $5.50 per square foot, including installation, for asphalt shingles roofing.

What are the most popular colors for asphalt shingle roofs?

Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors, but the most popular ones tend to be shades of gray, brown, and black. Some manufacturers also offer more unique colors such as blue or green.

Can asphalt shingles be repaired?

Yes, asphalt shingles can be repaired, and doing so promptly can help prevent further damage. A professional roofer can replace damaged shingles, fix minor leaks and address other common problems.

What are the characteristics of high-quality asphalt shingles?

High-quality asphalt shingles are typically heavier, have a higher wind resistance rating, and come with longer warranties. They often contain more asphalt, which makes them more flexible and durable.

Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Pros of Asphalt Shingles


One predominant advantage of asphalt shingles lies in their affordability. One of the main reasons homeowners opt for this roofing material is they offer a cost-effective solution to other pricier alternatives. By choosing asphalt shingles, you can enjoy a substantial reduction in installation costs.

Variety in Design and Color

  • Asphalt shingles come in a wide range of colors, textures and styles to meet individual homeowner's preferences.

  • Because asphalt shingles can mimic the look of other materials such as slate and cedar, they offer an economical way to achieve a high-end appearance.

Easy Installation and Maintenance

Asphalt shingles are known for their relative ease of installation, a feature that can reduce labor costs. They also require less maintenance than other roofing materials, and when a repair is necessary, it can often be performed without professional help.


Despite their lower cost, asphalt shingles don't skimp on durability. Most asphalt shingles can withstand the elements for upwards of 20 years, and some high-quality options can even last up to 50 years.

Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Environmental Impact

  • Asphalt shingles are not considered environmentally friendly. Manufacture of asphalt shingles produces greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and because they are not easily recyclable, used shingles often end up in landfills.

  • Moreover, darker colored asphalt shingles can contribute to the "heat island effect," a phenomenon in which urban and suburban areas become significantly warmer than their rural surroundings.

What to Look for In Asphalt Shingles

  • Durability and longevity are the two most important factors to consider when shopping for asphalt shingles.

  • Consider the weight of the shingles as heavier shingles usually mean better quality.

  • The color of the shingles should complement the color scheme of the rest of your house.

  • Take note of the warranty that comes with the asphalt shingles. Most offer a warranty for 20 to 50 years.

Potential for Damage

Asphalt shingles can be prone to damage, particularly under certain conditions. High winds can lift the edges of shingles, creating a potential for water infiltration. Similarly, heavy hail can cause bruising or cracking in asphalt shingles.

Shorter Lifespan

While asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 20 to 50 years, other roofing materials such as metal or tile can last significantly longer. While they might have a higher upfront cost, these materials could end up costing less in the long run due to their longer lifespan.

Less Energy Efficient

As compared to other roofing materials like metal, asphalt shingles do not reflect solar heat as efficiently, which could result in higher cooling costs during the summertime.

In conclusion, taking the pros and cons into account can help you make an informed decision about whether asphalt shingles are the right choice for your home. It's crucial to evaluate your budget, aesthetic preferences, local climate, and long-term resale plans when making this decision.


Overall, the versatile nature of asphalt shingles makes them the most popular choice among homeowners and builders. The easy installation, resistance to water, and affordability should make them your go-to when undertaking a roofing project. A variety in colors and styles also offers aesthetic flexibility. Remember that maintaining your asphalt shingles is vital to prolonging their lifespan and retaining your home's curb appeal.

This is not to say that asphalt shingles are without their limitations. Like any other roofing material, they can deteriorate over time, requiring replacement services to preserve the integrity of your roof. However, the benefits greatly outweigh the cons, making asphalt shingles a worthwhile investment. They offer not just protection against weather elements but also aesthetic appeal for any home.

Choosing a roofing material requires considering many factors: cost, longevity, maintenance, and aesthetics. While asphalt shingles might not be the perfect fit for every single homeowner, their appeal lies in their balance of these key areas. Whatever decision you make, it's safe to say that asphalt shingles will continue to be a mainstay in housing design and construction, bringing beauty and resilience for years to come.

About US Quality Construction

Welcome to US Quality Construction, serving Kansas City, MO with top-notch construction services. As an industry leader in the construction sector, we're passionate about delivering custom construction solutions that meet our clients' unique needs. Based right in the heart of KC, we've been building dreams into reality, one brick at a time. With our hands-on approach and commitment to quality, we turn architectural visions into stunning buildings that stand the test of time. We're not just constructing structures; we're building sustainable relationships grounded in trust and exceptional craftsmanship. Get ready to explore a new dimension of construction with us!

Tags: asphalt shingles, roofing materials, home improvement,