If you’re considering hiring a roofing contractor to make a new asphalt roof for you, you certainly aren’t alone. Countless U.S. homeowners have made the same choice. In fact, asphalt shingles are arguably the most popular roof material nationwide—and for good reason. Learn more about the jack-of-all-trades of the roofing world below.

What Are Asphalt Shingles?

Shingles made of asphalt, you might think, but the reality is a little more complicated than that. While this type of shingle does contain asphalt, asphalt mainly acts as a waterproofing agent and doesn't make up the shingle’s entirety.

Materials such as fiberglass and ceramic bits make their way into the product to provide cohesion and sunlight protection, hence the reason that asphalt shingles are sometimes called “composition” shingles in certain locales.

Asphalt shingles generally come in two types:

●        Organic, in which relatively more asphalt is used in the final product.

●        Fiberglass, in which relatively less asphalt is used and fiberglass is present in the final product.

The two types vary in cost, quality, environmental friendliness, absorbance, and installation charges. More asphalt isn’t always better, so talk to your roofing contractor to learn more about what category might be right for you.

Stylistic Differences in Asphalt Shingles

In addition to their composition, these shingles are differentiated by their style. Architectural asphalt shingles have a visually appealing, 3D look thanks to their additional layer of material.

Three-tab shingles, on the other hand, have no such dimensionality; they’re the “standard” asphalt shingle that you’ll see installed on many suburban homes. As their name suggests, they come in tabbed strips of material that sort of resemble three shingles in one, but rest assured you’ll have a smooth, shingle-by-shingle look to your finished roof.

Though structurally asphalt shingles are easy to categorize, when it comes to color,  the sky’s the limit. These days more and more hues are readily available, from blue to green to your standard browns and grays; this lends this shingle type an aesthetic versatility found in few others.

How Are Asphalt Shingles Installed?

Quickly, that’s how! Midwest Exteriors MN can have a 2,000 square-foot home’s roof replaced in a matter of days. On a more technical level, though, how your shingles are installed will depend on their brand, the roofing company, and their structure. Broadly speaking, though, you can expect the following:

●        A preliminary stage, in which the roof deck (the flat area under the shingles) is prepared and old shingles are removed.

●        Drip-edge installation, which prevents water from climbing back up the roof after it has been shed near the eaves.

●        Underlayment and angle protection, in which your roof’s points and the roof deck are given weather protection.

●        Shingle application, in which the actual asphalt shingles are applied to the rest of the roof. Your roofing contractor will work from the bottom up with a set of nails, then finish by capping hips and ridges.

Always Hire a Roofing Contractor

There are plenty of DIY videos on the internet that tell you how to shingle your own roof. Perhaps this is the case because asphalt shingles are affordable and available at a variety of box stores—certainly it can’t be because they’re easy to install for the layperson!

As we’ve just described, a lot more goes into a proper roofing job than simply hammering down asphalt shingles. You’ll need to know roof anatomy, the best products to use for underlayment, the right length of nails for your particular situation, how to properly secure safety equipment… the list goes on and on.

If that’s not complicated enough, all of the aforementioned steps must be done with mathematical precision. Mismeasurements or miscalculations can spell the end of a project. Top that all off with the massive scale of a roofing job and it makes for an exterior renovation that’s definitely not suited for the novice.

Simply due to the complexity and demandingness of the job, Midwest Exteriors MN recommends that you hire a roofing contractor for any replacement project. Said contractors have teams that are specially trained to do roofing right—and to save you the hassle while they’re at it.

What Are the Benefits of Asphalt Shingles?

For one, they’re affordable, which makes them a favorite of contractors and homeowners alike. And you don’t have to compromise on quality to get that affordability; companies like GAF, which is our sole shingle brand, have invested tons of effort into making their products durable.

Finally, they’re a stylish fit for any home, given that they come in a variety of colors and shapes. What’s not to love?

Midwest Exteriors MN: Your One-Stop Exterior Shop

From siding installation to gutter installation, you can trust our team to get the job done right. If you’re interested in a new asphalt roof, you know who to call. You can reach our Lake Elmo office at 651-346-9477.