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All the Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Selecting the appropriate roofing material is of paramount importance when it comes to the well-being and longevity of your home. The roof serves as the first line of defense against various weather conditions, including rain, snow, wind, and extreme temperatures. It not only safeguards your home and its occupants but also contributes to the overall curb appeal and value of the property. Therefore, choosing the right roofing material is a decision that should not be taken lightly.

Among the numerous roofing options available, asphalt shingle roofing stands out as a popular choice for residential properties. Asphalt shingles are composed of a core material, often fiberglass or organic felt, which is coated with asphalt and then embedded with granules. This construction offers a durable and weather-resistant roofing solution.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

There are three main types of asphalt roof shingles commonly used in residential roofing:

  • 3-Tab Shingles: three-tab shingles are the most common type of asphalt shingle. They have a flat appearance and consist of a single layer with three tabs, giving them a uniform look. 3-tab asphalt shingles are lightweight, cost-effective, and suitable for most residential applications making them a popular roofing material. However, this traditional shingle offers fewer design options compared to other types of asphalt shingles.
  • Architectural Shingles (Laminated Shingles): Architectural asphalt shingles, also known as laminated shingles or dimensional shingles, are a popular choice among homeowners. They are designed to mimic the appearance of natural materials such as slate or wood shakes. Architectural asphalt shingles have multiple layers of asphalt, giving them a three-dimensional look and adding depth to the roof’s appearance. They offer a wider range of colors, textures, and thicknesses, allowing for greater customization and enhancing the curb appeal of the home.
  • Luxury Shingles (Premium Shingles): Luxury style shingles, also referred to as premium shingles, are the highest quality and most expensive type of asphalt shingles. They are often made from a combination of asphalt and other premium materials, such as fiberglass or organic felt, to achieve superior durability and aesthetics. Luxury asphalt shingles are available in a variety of styles, such as slate or cedar shake replicas, and offer enhanced dimensionality and texture. These roofing shingles provide a high-end, sophisticated look to a home’s roof while maintaining the benefits of asphalt shingle roofing, including ease of installation and affordability.

Each type of asphalt shingle has its own characteristics, appearance, and price point. Homeowners can choose the type that best suits their budget, desired look, and overall roofing requirements. It is advisable to consult with a roofing professional to determine the most suitable asphalt shingle type for a specific project.

Roof Shingles with Ridge Vent

Pros of Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingle roofs come in a wide range of styles, colors, and designs, allowing homeowners to select a roofing system that harmonizes with their architectural preferences. Whether your home exudes a traditional charm or embodies a modern aesthetic, there is likely an asphalt shingle option to complement your style. Here are some of the pros of asphalt shingle roofing:


  • Cost-effective option for homeowners: Asphalt shingle roofing is known for its affordability compared to many other roofing materials. It offers a cost-effective solution for homeowners who want a durable and reliable roof without breaking the bank.
  • Availability of various price ranges: Asphalt shingles come in different price ranges, catering to different budgetary needs. Whether you have a modest budget or are looking for higher-end options, there is likely an asphalt shingle product that fits your financial requirements.

Easy Installation

  • Quick and straightforward installation process: Asphalt shingle roofing is relatively quick and easy to install, making it an attractive choice for both homeowners and roofing professionals. The installation process is straightforward and efficient, allowing for a faster turnaround time compared to more complex roofing systems.
  • Requires minimal expertise: The installation of asphalt shingle roofs does not demand extensive technical knowledge or specialized skills. Roofing professionals with general roofing experience can handle the installation, reducing the need for highly specialized labor and associated costs.

Variety of Options

  • Wide range of colors, styles, and designs: Asphalt shingles offer a vast array of choices in terms of colors, styles, and designs. Whether you prefer a classic and understated look or a bold and vibrant statement, there are numerous options available to match your home’s aesthetic vision.
  • Allows customization to match home aesthetics: Asphalt shingles can be customized to blend seamlessly with the architectural style of your home. From traditional to contemporary designs, asphalt shingle roofing provides the flexibility to create a visually appealing and cohesive look for your property.

Durability and Longevity

  • Resistant to harsh weather conditions: Asphalt shingles are designed to withstand various weather conditions. They offer excellent resistance against rain, wind, hail, and UV radiation. High-quality asphalt shingles provide reliable protection for your home against the elements.
  • High-quality shingles can last 20-30 years: When properly installed and maintained, high-quality asphalt shingles have a long lifespan. They can last anywhere between 20 to 30 years, providing long-term value and peace of mind to homeowners.

Low Maintenance

  • Occasional inspection and cleaning: Asphalt shingle roofs require routine inspections and occasional cleaning to maintain their optimal condition. Regular visual inspections can help identify any issues early on, allowing for timely repairs or maintenance.
  • Limited need for repairs: Compared to other roofing materials, asphalt shingle roofs generally require minimal repairs throughout their lifespan. This translates into lower maintenance costs and less frequent disruptions to homeowners.

Asphalt shingle roofing offers several notable advantages, including affordability, easy installation, a variety of design options, durability, and low maintenance requirements. These factors contribute to its popularity among homeowners looking for a cost-effective and visually appealing roofing solution.

Asphalt Shingles Installation. Roofer Contractor Installing Asphalt Shingles on House Roofing Construction

Cons of Asphalt Shingle Roofing

It is important to recognize that while asphalt shingle roofing offers numerous advantages, it may not be the perfect fit for every homeowner. Read about the potential drawbacks of asphalt shingles to better evaluate your individual circumstances and make a well-informed choice that aligns with your preferences, budget, and long-term goals.

Vulnerability to Extreme Weather

  • Susceptibility to wind damage: While asphalt shingles are designed to withstand moderate wind conditions, they can be vulnerable to strong winds, particularly in severe weather events such as hurricanes or tornadoes. High winds can lift or dislodge shingles, leading to potential damage to the roof structure and an increased risk of leaks.
  • May deteriorate under severe heat or cold: Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can affect the performance of asphalt shingles over time. Prolonged exposure to intense heat can cause shingles to warp, blister, or crack, while freezing temperatures can make them more brittle, increasing the likelihood of damage during freeze-thaw cycles.

Limited Lifespan

  • Shorter lifespan compared to some other roofing materials: While asphalt shingles can provide satisfactory durability, their lifespan is generally shorter compared to certain alternative roofing materials such as metal or tile. Factors like climate, installation quality, and maintenance practices can influence the longevity of asphalt shingles.
  • May require replacement before reaching the end of life: Depending on various factors, including weather conditions and maintenance, asphalt shingles may need to be replaced before reaching their expected lifespan. Issues such as extensive damage, significant granule loss, or widespread deterioration can necessitate premature replacement, resulting in additional expenses.

Environmental Impact

  • Production involves fossil fuel consumption: The manufacturing process of this common roofing material requires the use of fossil fuels, contributing to carbon emissions and energy consumption. This aspect raises concerns regarding the environmental impact associated with the production of asphalt shingles.
  • Not as eco-friendly as some alternative roofing options: Compared to certain eco-friendly roofing materials like metal, clay, or slate, asphalt shingles have a higher carbon footprint. Additionally, asphalt shingles are not easily recyclable, which can further contribute to waste management challenges.
Worker Removing Old Roof Shingles for Replacement

Potential for Mold and Algae Growth

  • Shingles may develop discoloration and stains: In humid or damp climates, asphalt shingles have the potential to develop unsightly discoloration and stains caused by the growth of algae, moss, or lichen. These biological organisms can create black streaks or green patches, affecting the appearance of the roof.
  • Regular roof maintenance required to prevent growth: To prevent algae and mold growth, regular maintenance, such as cleaning and treatment, is necessary. This maintenance effort adds to the overall care and upkeep required for asphalt shingle roofs, which may require homeowners to allocate time and resources to maintain their roof’s appearance and integrity.

While asphalt shingle roofing offers numerous advantages, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks. Vulnerability to extreme weather, limited lifespan, environmental concerns, and the potential for algae and mold growth are factors that homeowners should weigh when making a roofing decision. By understanding these cons, homeowners can make an informed choice that aligns with their priorities and the specific conditions of their property.


Asphalt shingle roofing offers a cost-effective solution that can enhance the aesthetics and protection of your home. With a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from, it provides homeowners with flexibility in achieving their desired look. The durability of asphalt shingles, along with their resistance to various weather conditions, ensures reliable performance for many years.

However, it is important to recognize that asphalt shingle roofing may not be the perfect fit for everyone. Homeowners in areas prone to strong winds or extreme temperatures should consider the potential risks associated with asphalt shingles. Additionally, those with a strong focus on environmental sustainability may prefer alternative roofing materials with a lower carbon footprint.

Factors such as budget, climate, architectural style, and personal preferences should all be taken into consideration. Consulting with roofing contractors can provide valuable insights and recommendations tailored to your unique situation. They can assess your home’s structure, local weather conditions, and specific goals to help you choose a beautiful roof that requires minimal upkeep and can withstand the weather conditions in your area. By weighing the pros and cons of asphalt shingle roofing against your individual needs, you can determine whether it is the right choice for your home.

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