Asphalt Shingles

A Homeowners’ Guide To The Most Common Roofing Material

Michael Lawson, Writer
Reading Time: 3 minutes
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Asphalt roof shingles are the most common roofing material on single-family homes and small commercial buildings with sloped roofs. They have remained popular, year after year, because they offer more of the features that owners want for a roof, including affordable cost, an easy installation process, lower maintenance than other materials, and a vast variety of colors and styles.

Unlike other roofing materials, such as cedar shake or ceramic tile, asphalt shingles require no extra trussing or annual maintenance. Asphalt shingles are now engineered to stand up to wind, impact, fire and discoloration. The truth about asphalt shingles is that they answer more roofing needs than any other roofing product.

Now With Better Protection

Improvements in technology have resulted in shingle granule colors that are more effective at achieving a higher solar reflectivity, leading to greater energy efficiency. New granule colors also make possible a wider range of shingle color options. Adding copper granules to the mix helps resist algae growth. Going even further, shingles featuring Scotchgard™ Protector, such as Pinnacle Pristine and StormMaster Slate and StormMaster Shake from Atlas, help prevent black streaks caused by algae and provide an Atlas Lifetime Algae Resistance Limited Warranty.

A more recent technological advancement is SBS technology, a polymer additive, which helps make shingles more resistant to thermal cracking and damage from impact. Many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who install UL 2218 Class 4 Impact-Rated shingles.

The most popular asphalt shingles are sold in two design options: architectural (or dimensional) and 3-tab. A flat shingle made with a uniform shape and size, the 3-tab uses less material than architectural shingles and costs less to manufacture. Architectural asphalt shingles are produced to have the three-dimensional appearance of natural materials such as cedar shake. They retain the performance benefits of asphalt and are compatible with many roof designs. Architectural shingles are competitively priced compared to 3-tab shingles, and they carry longer manufacturer warranties and stand up better to the elements.

An Eco-Friendly Roof

Perhaps one of the best benefits of asphalt shingles is their sustainability. According to the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), it is estimated that 11 million tons of asphalt shingle scrap from tear-offs and manufacturing is produced annually in the U.S. Most of that is recycled each year to make hot mix asphalt and cold asphalt patching, or to be used as a fuel in cement kilns.

Atlas Roofing produces a broad range of asphalt shingles: StormMaster® Shake, StormMaster® Slate, Pinnacle® Pristine, ProLam™, GlassMaster® and Tough-Glass®. Available in a variety of styles and with a number of desired performance features, they also are priced to match virtually any homeowner’s budget. More information about asphalt shingles is just a click away.