Asphalt shingles –sometimes referred to as composite shingles– are the most popular material used when installing or replacing roofing. It’s popular for a good reason. With its budget-friendly nature and ease of installation, it’s not hard to understand why many people opt for this type of roofing.

But before you make your decision it’s important to take a look at all the pros and cons of asphalt roofs. In this read, we’ll take a look at all the reasons why you might want an asphalt roof and some considerations to keep in mind before making a decision. 

What is an Asphalt Roof? 

Asphalt shingles consist of either an organic or fiberglass center saturated in asphalt and coated in granules. The granules on the top can be a mixture of mica, schist, quartz, slate, ceramic, or stone. The back of the shingles are coated in sand, talc, or mica so they don’t stick together. 

There are three types of asphalt shingles:

  • 3-tab
  • Dimensional
  • Luxury

The most commonly used and cheapest among these three types is the 3-tab shingle. It gets its name from the tabs that connect them together.

Dimensional shingles are a bit more stylized. They lay in a more sporadic pattern to give the appearance of a wood-shake roof.

Luxury or “premium” shingles are the most expensive of the bunch. They are typically the largest type of asphalt shingles and are designed to look similar to a slate roof. 

three asphalt roofing types

Pros of Asphalt Roofs

There are quite a few benefits to selecting asphalt shingles for your roof. First and foremost, they are by far the most affordable of all the roofing materials. If you’re on a budget, you can count on asphalt as your best option. Although it only provides moderate protection, the low price point makes it a cost-effective choice. 

While we’re on the subject of how protective asphalt roofing is, let’s talk about the granules and how they keep your roof in good condition. The minerals that coat asphalt roofing help to deflect UV rays, keeping your home cooler in the hotter months and protecting your roof from damage. A well-installed roof can last about 20 years. They can be a good option for those who don’t plan on staying in a home for long and aren’t concerned about future replacements.  

An asphalt roof is also one of the easiest to install. The material is light, easy to cut, and doesn’t require a lot of prep work or specialty tools to work with. That doesn’t mean you can clip on your utility belt, grab a hammer and do it yourself. This process will still require a skilled hand to install correctly. 

This type of roofing is also the simplest to repair and replace. You can replace shingles one at a time if the damage is minor. Asphalt roofing also tears down easily so the total replacement isn’t too difficult of a feat either. In some cases you can even “re-roof” or lay a new layer of shingles on the old ones. This allows you to skip the tear-off which can save you a lot of time and money. However, you should only consider this re-roof option if your roof is in decent condition. 

One last benefit of asphalt roofing we want to note is the style versatility. There are many different colors and styles to fit your tastes. They are visually flexible and will match just about any home design.    

Cons of Asphalt Roofs

Now let’s get into the cons of asphalt roofing. While it is an all-around great option for a homeowner to select, there are some potentially negative aspects you should consider too. Since the materials are lighter and cheaper they can be more sustainable to damage than other types of roofing.

Strong winds can detach shingles. Hail and other forms of adverse weather can dislodge the protective granules on your shingles. Wear and tear lead to curling edges and corners. Cracks can occur in the face of fluctuating temperatures or impacts from hail or tree branches. Asphalt roofing is generally vulnerable to the elements and will need to be replaced around 20 years or sooner after installation.

Also, note that you should avoid installing asphalt roofing in freezing temperatures. This can lead to brittle, damage-prone shingles. Whether the damage is due to regular wear and tear or a poor installation, this will leave your roof vulnerable to leaks.

What’s the Best Material for Colorado Homes?

If you’ve lived in Colorado through a full cycle of the seasons, you’ve likely noticed how varied the weather conditions can be. Between snow in the winter, hailstorms in the summer, and 300 days of sunshine year-round our roofing takes on a lot of abuse. That being said, homeowners need to be mindful of the local climate while picking out a material for their roof. 

Asphalt roofing is a great option for a Colorado home. It is as versatile as it is protective. Waterproof and durable, this material can take on a range of weather conditions. If you’re unsure what roofing to install on your Colorado home, asphalt is generally a great option. Just be aware that you will have to account for maintenance and future roof replacements.  

Depending on where you live (up in the mountains or closer to the main cities), your roofing contractor may recommend another roofing material. Ask us when you are getting a quote!

Call on 970 Services For All Your Roofing Questions

Need help weighing out if an asphalt roof is a good option for you? 970 Services is here to help! Our team of licensed roofing contractors are experts in not only asphalt roofing but a slew of other options too. Get in touch with us today for more information. We offer a free estimate for any of our services!