Are you looking at getting a new roof soon? One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make involves selecting material and brand. Asphalt roofing shingles are the most popular roofing material in use today, thanks to their durability, low cost, and wide variety of style options. But did you know asphalt shingles are not the same? Yes, there are many types, qualities, and brands of shingles in the market today. We’ll cover these here and discuss the benefits of Owens Corning shingles.

Different Qualities of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

3-Tab Shingles

Also known as strip shingles, 3-tab shingles are the traditional and most basic asphalt shingles. They get their name from the way they are designed and installed. They are made out of a single layer of asphalt and feature three tabs, or cutouts, along the lower edge. Each shingle looks like three separate pieces that fit together when installed, but it’s actually one. The result is a nice, uniform pattern of rectangular shingles that lay flat next to each other. Strip shingles are the cheapest asphalt shingles. They are ideal for home builders that manufacture inexpensive homes or homeowners looking to cut costs on roofing systems. The main downside to 3-tab shingles is their poor wind resistance (wind rating up to 60 mph) and limited aesthetic options. Generally, 3-tab shingles have a life expectancy of 15-20 years in mild climates but only 7 to 10 years when exposed to extreme weather.

Architectural Shingles

Also known as “laminate shingles” or “dimensional shingles,” architectural shingles are the most prevalent asphalt shingles. They are made of two or three layers of asphalt tabs which are laminated together for a thicker, multi-dimensional appearance. Dimensional shingles are more high-end than strip shingles. They don’t have the cutouts you see with 3-tab shingles and are typically engineered to replicate the look of natural slate or cedar wood shake roofs. Dimensional shingles have high waterproofing capabilities, a wind rating of up to 110 mph, and more resistance to shingle curling. Their thick two-layer construction makes them more durable and weather resistant. They typically have an expected lifespan of 25 to 30 years and improved warranty protection of 30 to 50 years. One downside of architectural shingles is that they are typically heavier than 3-tab shingles, so they place more weight on your roofing structure. Also, they aren’t the best shingles for low-sloping roofs because of a high potential for water intrusion in wind-driven storms.

Luxury Shingles

Luxury shingles are also called “designer shingles.” They are the highest-quality laminated shingles available. They share the two-layer composition of architectural shingles but have a differentiated functionality and appearance that outclasses that of architectural shingles. Luxury shingles present the highest quality dimensionality and coloration. They offer the most realistic representation of quarried slate and wood shake roofing, giving your home a beautiful and unique look without the high cost and drawbacks of these old-world roof materials. 

Many premium shingle styles are the thickness of three plies. The tradeoff with the extra thickness is a heavier product – almost double the weight of 3-tab shingles. But with this weight comes enhanced performance benefits, such as hail, wind, and impact resistance. This is especially helpful if you live in a hurricane, tornado, or hail-prone area. Luxury shingles may last up to 30 years under optimal conditions.

Organic Asphalt vs. Fiberglass Shingles: Different Materials and Manufacturing Processes

There are two types of asphalt shingles available on the market today: organic and fiberglass. Both have an asphalt exterior and are manufactured in the same way, but their difference lies in the base of the shingle and the amount of asphalt used.

Organic shingles are the “old school” option for asphalt shingles. They are made from a single layer of wood fiber or recycled paper, which is saturated in asphalt. The shingles are then coated with an extra layer of adhesive asphalt and ceramic granules to give your roof UV protection. Organic asphalt shingles contain 40% more asphalt than fiberglass shingles. This gives them enhanced durability, longer lifespan, and the ability to stand up to cold climates. 

Fiberglass shingles have a fiberglass base instead of paper or felt. A mat of wet fiberglass is held together with resin and then soaked in asphalt that has mineral fillers in it. Like organic asphalt, fiberglass shingles are covered by a waterproof asphalt coating and topped off with ceramic granules. Fiberglass asphalt provides improved durability and fire resistance with less bulk because of the reduced amount of asphalt. However, they don’t perform as well in colder climates.

Both types are available in 3-tab, architectural, and luxury styles.

Why Choose Owens Corning’s Roofing Shingles?

Owens Corning® is one of the leading roofing materials manufacturers in North America. Their large selection of affordable and high-end asphalt shingles makes them worth a shout for homeowners. Owens Corning shingles are the best your money can buy, and here are the reasons why:

Superior Durability

Owens Corning shingles feature a patented fiberglass mat which adds a tough layer of defense against Mother Nature’s strong forces. The fiberglass mat has a Class A fire resistance rating and creates a barrier to protect the roof from water damage. Once your shingles are installed using Owens Corning’s proprietary heat-activated sealant and SureNail® Technology system, they can endure winds up to 130 mph. The EverGuard® technology makes Owen Corning shingles 50% stronger against wear and tear than other brands.

Wide Range of Options

Owens Corning shingles come in a wide range of attractive styles and color options. You are sure to find a hue or design which will complement the style of your home and provide a crisp, impeccable look to your roofline. Having options is very important to most homeowners as they begin the search for a roof that will meet the design needs of their home.

Algae Resistance

It’s essential to choose a roofing material that can withstand exposure to moisture and algae growth. Dark stains and discoloration on roofs are a result of algae growth. Owens Corning StreakGuard® protection is available in all shingle lines. The granules contain copper, which prevents algae growth.

Energy Efficiency

Some Owens Corning shingles deflect enough UV rays to qualify as EnergyStar-rated products. Energy efficiency is a very high priority for most homeowners. Deflection of the sun’s UV rays can significantly reduce your utility bills!

Get Expert Shingle Installation at Couto Construction

At Couto Construction, we offer high-quality roofing products and expert workmanship in the installation of your new roofing system. We install Owens Corning shingles in all varieties. We will help you pick the right quality and style for your budget and home situation. Contact us today to get a free estimate. We work with homeowners in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island.