The 8 Types of Asphalt Shingles

Apr 12, 2024

Pinnacle Home Improvements is a leading home improvement company specializing in various services to enhance the beauty and functionality of your home. With a team of skilled professionals and a commitment to superior quality, Pinnacle Home Improvements offers a wide range of services to meet your needs.

This blog post focuses on the different types of asphalt roofing shingles available and how they can transform your home.

Your Comprehensive Guide to Choices and Benefits

Asphalt roof shingles have long been celebrated for their affordability, durability, and versatility in the home improvement sector. They are the quintessential choice for homeowners who seek a balance between cost-effectiveness and aesthetic appeal for their roofing needs. With a wide array of types available, asphalt shingles cater to a diverse range of climate conditions, architectural styles, and personal preferences.

Among the various options, homeowners can choose from basic 3 tab asphalt shingles, which are valued for their cost-effect efficiency and ease of installation, to more premium and dimensional shingles, known for their layered construction and ability to mimic the appearance of wood or slate. For those seeking an even more distinctive look, luxury asphalt roof shingles are also available, offering varied shapes and deeper shadow lines.

Experts at Pinnacle Home Improvements, renowned for their meticulous craftsmanship, understand the nuances of each shingle type. Our proficiency in roofing installations ensures that the selection tailored for the homeowner not only enhances the visual charm of the residence but also provides the formidable protection against the elements it necessitates.

Person Checking Condition On Asphalt Shingle

Asphalt Shingles Overview

Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material known for their cost-effectiveness and diverse range of options. They offer advantages including ease of installation and a variety of aesthetic choices.

Shingle Types

Asphalt shingles come in several types, each with unique characteristics:

  • Three-Tab Shingles

Three-tab shingles are a traditional and economical roofing option, known for their uniform, flat appearance. These shingles are characterized by three rectangular tabs of equal size, which create a repetitive pattern across the roof. With a lifespan of 15-20 years, three-tab shingles are a cost-effective choice for homeowners looking for a straightforward, classic look. They are lightweight and easy to install, making them a popular option for both new installations and roofing repairs.

  • Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles, also known as laminate or architectural shingles, offer a more modern and aesthetic appeal compared to traditional three-tab shingles. They are constructed with two or more layers of asphalt, creating a thicker, multi-dimensional appearance that adds depth and texture to the roof. This type of shingle mimics the look of wood shakes or slate tiles, providing enhanced curb appeal. Dimensional shingles are known for their durability and longer lifespan, often ranging from 25 to 30 years.

  • Luxury Shingles

Luxury shingles represent the highest quality in roofing materials, offering the most diverse range of styles, colors, and sizes. These high-end shingles are designed to closely replicate the appearance of natural slate or cedar shake roofs, providing an unparalleled level of beauty and sophistication. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, luxury shingles are constructed for superior performance and durability, capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions and lasting for decades.

  • Fiberglass Shingles

Fiberglass shingles are a type of asphalt shingle that feature a fiberglass mat base. This mat is coated with asphalt and topped with ceramic granules. The fiberglass reinforcement makes these shingles lightweight, fire-resistant, and durable. They provide excellent waterproofing capabilities and are resistant to UV damage, making them a popular choice in various climates. Fiberglass shingles come in a wide range of colors and styles, including options that mimic the look of wood or slate.

  • Organic Mat-Based Shingles

Organic mat-based shingles are constructed with a base mat made from recycled wood chips, rags, paper, and other organic materials. This mat is then saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof and coated with adhesive asphalt topped with ceramic granules. These shingles are heavier and more rugged than fiberglass shingles, offering good durability. However, they are less common in new installations today due to concerns over their environmental impact and susceptibility to moisture and warping.

  • Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles, a subset of dimensional shingles, are known for their high-quality, durable construction and aesthetic appeal. They are designed to provide a three-dimensional appearance on the roof, offering a more textured and layered look than traditional three-tab shingles. Architectural shingles come in various designs and colors, allowing for greater customization and architectural harmony with the home’s exterior.

  • Cool Roof Shingles

Cool roof shingles are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than standard roofing materials. These shingles are made with highly reflective granules that help in reducing the temperature of the roof surface. By minimizing heat absorption, cool roof shingles can lower energy costs by keeping homes cooler during hot weather, reducing the need for air conditioning. They are an environmentally friendly option that contributes to reducing urban heat island effects.

  • Impact-Resistant Shingles

Impact-resistant shingles are engineered to withstand severe weather conditions, including hailstorms and heavy rain. These shingles are tested and rated by their resistance to impact from hail and other debris. Constructed with a reinforced, modified asphalt formula or a rubberized material, impact-resistant shingles offer enhanced durability and longevity, making them an ideal choice for regions prone to frequent storms and extreme weather events.

By considering the specific needs and aesthetic preferences of a project, homeowners and contractors can select the type of shingle that best suits the home’s architectural style and the local climate, ensuring both beauty and longevity for the roof.

A roofing contractor with Pinnacle Home Improvements will be able to go over each of these in more detail in order to find the perfect option for your roof system.

Person Fixing Asphalt Shingles


The benefits of asphalt shingles include:

  • Affordability: They are among the most cost-effective roofing options available. This affordable roofing option has a price range from around $0.85 to $1.50 per square foot.
  • Ease of installation: Asphalt shingles are one of the easiest roofing materials to install, which can result in lower labor costs and shorter project times.
  • Variety: With a wide range of colors, styles, and textures, asphalt shingles can complement almost any home’s architecture and aesthetic.
  • Energy efficiency: Certain types of asphalt shingles can help reduce a home’s cooling costs by reflecting solar heat away from the roof.
  • Low maintenance: Once installed, these shingles require minimal upkeep compared to materials like slate or metal.

Selecting Asphalt Roof Shingles

When selecting asphalt roofing shingles for one’s home, it is crucial to consider specific factors such as climate suitability, long-term durability, and the aesthetic appeal of the shingles. These elements play a significant role in both the performance and the visual impression of the roof.

Factors Affecting Choice

  • Budget: Asphalt shingles are more affordable than other roofing materials. That being said, you’ll still want to assess the initial cost versus the long-term investment to find a balance that suits one’s financial plan.
  • Home Style: Match shingles to the home’s architectural style for cohesive curb appeal.
  • Roof Slope: Ensure the chosen shingles are appropriate for the roof pitch to prevent water infiltration.

One should also consider the warranties offered, as they can reflect the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s longevity and performance.

Climate Considerations

  • Wind Resistance: Areas with high winds may benefit from shingles with enhanced wind resistance features, like those found in GAF Advanced Protection Shingles, which are created to withstand up to 130 mph winds.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: In regions with significant temperature changes, one should look for shingles designed to expand and contract without damage.
  • Sun Exposure: UV-resistant shingles help in preventing premature aging in areas with intense sunlight.

It’s noteworthy that some shingles are specifically engineered to perform better under certain climate conditions than others.

Aesthetics and Durability

  • Color and Texture: The choice should complement the home’s exterior palette and can range from traditional three tab shingles to more dimensional options resembling natural wood or slate. Our professional roofers can guide you in the right direction.
  • Lifespan: Durability varies, with some shingles lasting 15-20 years and others lasting longer. Durability is often linked to aesthetic considerations since more durable shingles can maintain their appearance longer against the elements.

Installation and Quality

When choosing asphalt shingles, a homeowner must consider not only the distinct features and longevity of each type but also the importance of professional installation. Proper installation is crucial as it directly impacts the roof’s performance and the shingle’s lifespan. By using a professional roofer from Pinnacle Home Improvements, the quality of your installation will never come into question.

Photo Of Shingles On Roof

Expert Installation

Pinnacle Home Improvements understands that the quality of asphalt shingle installation determines the overall effectiveness and lifespan of a roof. We ensure that every step, from laying the starter shingles correctly to aligning the shingles with precision, is meticulously executed. Our team has a robust experience making sure that they adhere to the manufacturer’s installation guidelines, crucial for maintaining the product’s warranty.

Shingle Lifespan

The lifespan of asphalt shingles varies. A standard three tab asphalt shingle can last up to 20 years, while more premium options, like dimensional shingles, are known for their durability, potentially exceeding 30 years of service. CertainTeed’s luxury shingles, other asphalt shingles that are very well regarded, fuse multiple layers of asphalt to mimic a wood shake appearance and provide a thicker, more robust product. Pinnacle Home Improvements assures that its installation method maximizes these benefits, offering homeowners a reliable and enduring roofing solution.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining asphalt shingle roofs requires regular inspection and a proactive approach to care. The longevity of a roof’s shingles can depend greatly on routine upkeep. Homeowners should plan an annual inspection either by themselves or a professional to identify any potential issues early on. Issues such as cracked, buckled, or missing shingles should be addressed immediately to prevent water infiltration and damage.

Keeping shingles clean contributes to both their appearance and function. Over time, shingles can become host to algae, moss, and debris buildup, compromising the roof’s integrity. It’s recommended to clean the asphalt shingle roof carefully, using a soft-bristled brush to loosen dirt and organisms without damaging the shingles.

Here’s a simple checklist for shingle care:

  • Inspection: Check for signs of wear or damage.
  • Cleaning: Remove debris from shingles and gutters.
  • Treatment: Treat for moss, algae, and mildew as needed.

Additionally, ensuring good attic ventilation helps prevent heat and moisture buildup that could cause shingles to swell or deteriorate prematurely. Proper attic insulation can help protect the shingles from extreme temperature fluctuations. Familiarizing oneself with attic insulation and circulation is a beneficial step towards preventive care.

By adopting a consistent maintenance routine, one can extend the lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof and reduce the likelihood of costly repairs. Owners should not overlook the simple steps like gutter cleaning and removal of overhanging tree branches, which can deposit debris and risk damage to the shingles. The importance of regular care cannot be overstated — it’s the key to a healthy, long-lasting roof.

Trust Pinnacle Home Improvements for Your Roofing Project

We proudly install GAF Lifetime Architectural Roofing Shingles for homeowners throughout the region. These roofing systems are exceptionally durable and aesthetically pleasing. They feature a Class A fire protection rating and shingles that are able to withstand wind speeds up to 130 miles per hour. What’s more, they come in a wide range of color options so that you can choose the look and style that best suits the architecture and appearance of your home.

The roofing contractors of choice throughout Knoxville, Nashville, Chattanooga, Charlotte, and Atlanta is Pinnacle Home Improvements. Contact us today for more information and a free quote on our most popular roofing material, asphalt shingles.