Drive around most suburban neighborhoods in the US and you’ll see roof after roof made of asphalt shingles. If you aren’t well acquainted with roofing materials, you might wonder why. Why do so many homeowners choose to install asphalt shingle roofs? What makes them so desirable? Why do they dominate the market? And although asphalt shingles are clearly very popular, they must have some disadvantages as well. Why do some homeowners avoid asphalt shingles when so many others flock to them? To help you get to the bottom of these mysteries, today we’re discussing the pros and cons of asphalt shingles . . .
Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles
PRO: Asphalt shingles are affordable.
The low cost of asphalt shingles is what makes them so common and beloved. Compared to most other roofing materials, they’re a bargain. More importantly, they don’t compromise on appearance or durability to give consumers a low cost. They’re simply (and wonderfully) cost-effective.
CON: Asphalt shingles can decay due to sudden weather changes.
Frequent and extreme weather variations can cause asphalt shingles to expand and contract, leading to cracks and decay. If not properly installed (or if Mother Nature is being particularly violent), they can be blown away in strong winds. Finally, in very hot weather, they can crack or lose their color.
PRO: Asphalt shingles are versatile and come in a variety of colors.
No matter what your home’s exterior cladding (vinyl siding, brick, EIFS) and no matter what color that cladding is, you can find an asphalt shingle to work with it. They complement modern and traditional homes and a variety of roofing styles, and they’re available in numerous patterns and colors.
CON: They are not very environmentally friendly.
Unfortunately, asphalt shingles are not “green” and they’re not commonly recycled (though this could certainly change in the future).
PRO: Asphalt shingles are durable and long-lasting.
If it is properly installed and maintained, you can expect a roof made of asphalt shingles to last 15-25 years. Despite their lightweight materiality and low cost, they’re also quite durable and should hold up well over time.
CON: Asphalt shingles are not, however, as durable and long-lasting as some other roofing materials.
Yes, asphalt shingles are strong, but they’re not quite as strong as some of their alternatives. If you want an extremely tough, resistant, and long-lasting roof, look to slate shingles or Spanish tiles. Though they’re heavy and difficult to install, these roofing materials can last a lifetime.
PRO: Asphalt shingles are easy to install and repair.
Asphalt shingles’ easy installation is part of what makes them so affordable. Although they should still be installed by an experienced roofing contractor, they don’t take a lot of time to put into place. Plus, if one shingle falls off or becomes damaged, a skilled and willing homeowner can easily replace the shingle.
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So what do you think? Are you ready to install asphalt shingles or will you purchase another roofing material, like slate shingles, ceramic tiles, or wood shakes? Only you can decide which material best accommodates your budget, complements your home, and fits your maintenance and strength requirements. Good luck!
If you’re remodeling your house or building a new home and you live in the southwest Missouri area, please give Adam Cowherd Construction a call at 417-268-7199 or click here for a free quote. We would love to help you build the home (or roof!) of your dreams.