You may be wondering why asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing materials being used on residential properties. While this is a case of the pros outweighing the cons, below are a few good to know facts about asphalt shingles and why they might be the best roofing option for your home.
The Good: Pricing, Color, Shape, & Ease of Installation
At around a dollar a square foot, asphalt shingles are one of the most least expensive roofing materials available. Other roofing materials, such as clay or slate tiles, metal roofs, and wood shakes and shingles, are easily three times as expensive. Aluminum shingles for example are about $1000 per 100 square feet.
If you want more of a selection of colored roofs to go with your house, asphalt shingles can still be the way to go. With dozens of color shades to choose from, along with a wide variety of shapes and patterns, asphalt shingles give you plenty of options for your new roof.
The ease of installation and its ability to be applied to nearly any style of roof can reduce the labor costs of your new roof. Asphalt shingles are among the lightest of available roofing materials. Therefore, structural integrity is less a concern, making it an option for more roof styles as well.
The Bad: Lifespan, Albedo, & Environmental
Asphalt shingles can have a lifespan from fifteen to thirty years. Although seeming to be a long time, comparably it is the shortest of roofing materials. The reason behind this is due to the asphalt construction itself. Asphalt shingles are most susceptible to the weather. Humid climates cause more organic build up, and ice dams in cold areas put extra wear on your roof. Climates with extreme temperature changes can increase the rate of deterioration as well.
Although the color options offer a nice selection, the albedo, or ability to reflect light, is low on asphalt shingles. This allows more heat to be absorbed that can increase wear and raise your utility bill.
Environmentally, asphalt shingles are on the low end of the green roof scale. Not being recyclable, asphalt shingles constitute 11 billion tons in landfills each year.