Choosing a roofing system is one of the most important decisions you can make as a homeowner. The roof over your head not only protects you, your family, and all your belongings from the elements, it provides comfort and a sense of security.
With the many choices of roofing shingles available today, trying to determine what will best meet your roofing needs, enhance the appearance of your home, and add to its value can be confusing and overwhelming. After all, you’ll be living with the quality, style, and color for 20, 30, or even 50 years or more.
Of course, performance is your top consideration when deciding on roofing materials—you want a roof that protects your home. Beyond that, you want it to look good and to last as long as possible.
As a leading roof service company in the Portland and Vancouver area, Executive Roof Services (ERS) is here to help you make the right choice. In an industry where experience counts, ERS professionals have been providing the best possible solutions in roofing for more than 40 years.
Why Use Composition Shingles?
Surface roofing is available in basically four styles—shakes, tiles, shingles, and metal surfacing. Wooden shakes are typically made from cedar or teak. Tile roofing includes natural slate, clay, terra-cotta or other sand polymers, and concrete. Metal roofing is primarily made of steel or copper.
Composition roofing shingles remain the most popular choice of all the surface roofing products currently used in the U.S. This is available in many attractive styles and colors, is dependable, affordable, and most often meets Energy Star standards.
Like all building materials, composition roof shingles have an expected performance longevity depending on product, conditions, and maintenance. Manufacturers’ warranties range between 20 and 50 years, but it’s important to know that these warranties cover only factory defects, and may be void without proof of periodic maintenance.
It’s rare for roofing problems to be attributed to a manufacturing defect. Most often the trouble can be traced to installation—another good reason to work with a qualified roof service company like ERS. We stand behind the quality of our installation and repair services.
What Exactly is a Composition Shingle?
Composition, asphalt, and fiberglass shingles are different names for the same product, constructed with a woven fiberglass mat between two layers of waterproof, roofing-grade asphalt. The final layer of stone or ceramic granules adhere to the exposed surface. The materials of the composite shingle provide a durable and reliable barrier against moisture, as well as some insulation from heat and cold.
Composition shingles are the easiest roofing surface to install. Qualified roof service professionals can complete the job in a short amount of time. Since most professionals base their price on the materials used and the time it takes to install the roof, a composition shingle roof is a less costly choice compared to other types of roofing.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, roofs are often exposed to extreme weather conditions. Wind, rain, snow, and ice can cause shingle tearing, blow-off, and breaching of the moisture barrier. The cost savings of choosing composition shingles carry through to any repairs that might be necessary.
Composition shingles are also more fire retardant than wood shakes, but less so than slate, tile or metal roofs—a consideration of more importance in possible wildfire areas.
There are three basic types of asphalt composition shingles to choose from—3-tab, dimensional, and luxury, offering a variety of pattern, color or tonal variation, and performance.
Function meets affordability in the standard, one piece, 3-tab roofing shingle. Easily recognized by the horizontal, brick-like pattern, they are lightweight and designed to last 20-years under normal conditions.
At the lower end of aesthetics among composition shingles, 3-tab shingles adequately protect your home from the elements and are still a good choice for those on a budget, though there is a higher probability of shingles tearing or blowing off in severe weather conditions.
Dimensional, or architectural asphalt shingles, are made of multiple, overlapping layers of shingles. This is more attractive and more durable than standard 3-tab shingles, making it the most popular of the composition shingles.
Available in more colors and tone variations, and with the characteristic depth dimension, these shingles are easy to spot on neighborhood rooflines. They will definitely give your home an upgrade in curb appeal.
Architectural shingles come at a higher upfront cost—as much as 20% more than 3-tab shingles. The payoff comes in longer warranties of 30-years to life, depending on the brand and shingles chosen, and installation. The increased performance and aesthetic adds to your home value.
At the top end of composition asphalt shingles, luxury shingles are designed to replicate slate or cedar shake roofs. More affordable and far easier to install than an authentic shake roof, a luxury shingle roof comes in at as much as 1/10th less the cost. This makes luxury shingles an excellent choice for period style homes when budgets are limited.
Luxury shingles are the most durable of all the composition asphalt shingles and the most resistant to tearing and damage from impacts such as hail, or flying debris in high force winds.
The extra layers that make these shingles so durable can add as much as twice the weight per-square-foot of standard 3-tab shingles. A qualified ERS professional can help determine if your structure has sufficient load-bearing capacity to handle the extra weight of luxury shingles.
Whether you’re building a new home, replacing or repairing an older roof, or are in need of regular maintenance for your existing roof, working with a professional roof service company ensures the best results. Your roof and you are worth it.