Asphalt Shingles Review: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Cost

March 19, 2023

You must have heard of asphalt shingles. This roofing material is fast becoming famous for homes, especially in North America. The reason they are so popular is that they last a long time. They can last longer in all kinds of weather and don’t cost anything to keep up. This article will discuss asphalt shingles’ advantages, disadvantages, and costs.

Table of Contents

Definition of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a type of roofing material made of separate elements overlapping. Asphalt shingles are from covering fiberglass and asphalt with granular material. The fine coating increases asphalt shingles’ surface area and blocks UV radiation. The more UV rays the shingles stop, the cooler the roof gets. 

The overlap of shingles prevents water from entering the roof. Asphalt shingles vary in form and appearance. You can also choose any color that will blend with your house. 

Types of Asphalt Shingles

Here are the three types of asphalt shingles:

1. Three-tab Asphalt Shingles

This is the most basic and cheap of the three types of asphalt shingles. Three-tab or strip shingles are asphalt shingles with tabs that make them seem like slate. Due to this asphalt’s single layer, three-tab shingles are lightweight and cost less. 

Most homeowners use three-tab shingles because of their low cost and easy installation.

2. Architectural Shingles

These types of asphalt shingles are also known as dimensional or laminate shingles. Architectural Shingles have a thick appearance from two asphalt layers bonded together. Architectural shingles, like wood roofs, give the house a natural aspect. 

Compared to the three-tab, The Architectural Shingles are more durable and last up to 50 years.

3. Designer Shingles

Designer or luxury shingles are high-quality roofing materials, as the name implies. They are classy and luxurious with heavyweight more than the architectural shingles. The heavyweight gives high-quality protection against harsh weather. Designer shingles have the same aesthetic look as the olden wood roof with their quarried slate.

Advantages of Asphalt Shingles

There are many advantages of using asphalt shingles for your roof, and they include the following:

1. Affordable and Available

Of all roofing materials available, asphalt shingles are the most affordable as they cost less than other materials. It is also inexpensive to manufacture these materials hence the low price. These roofing materials are high-quality, even if they’re cheaper.

2. Easy to install

Installing asphalt shingles is easy; most individuals can do it themselves or hire a contractor. Asphalt shingles come in different sizes, so you will likely get the perfect size for your roof.

3. Durable and long-lasting

Asphalt shingles are durable materials that endure snow, rain, wind, and sunshine. Asphalt shingles do not rust or wear out like other roofing materials.

4. Fire resistant

One feature of asphalt shingles is that they are fire-resistant and reinforced. With their Chemical treatment, asphalt shingles can extinguish the fire and reduce how they spread in case of an outbreak. 

5. Suitable for different weather conditions

Asphalt shingles can withstand areas with storms, humidity, and high winds. This makes Asphalt Shingles the most suitable roofing material.

6. Energy Efficient

Asphalt shingles can save energy as they absorb less heat. The light roof and specific reflecting granules absorb less heat from the atmosphere, keeping the house cooler on bright days.

7. Recyclable

Recycling asphalt shingles is possible and more accessible as they come from harmless raw materials. You can also use recycled asphalt shingles for other purposes. Making them and reducing waste.

8. Variety of Colors and Styles

You can choose various colors, shapes, and styles of asphalt shingles for your roof. There are suitable standards that are a perfect fit for all roof types. 

Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles have many advantages, but there are also some disadvantages attached to them. These disadvantages include the following:

1. Susceptible to Algae and Moss Growth

One common problem many users of asphalt shingles face is the susceptibility to mildew, moss, and algae growth. This mildew can grow and spread on the roof, giving the house an ugly look. Yet, one way to reduce this occurrence is to clean the top, but the buyer should only do the inspection and cleaning to avoid damaging the shingles.

2. Prone to Cracking and Splitting in Extreme Weather Conditions

Some asphalt shingles are lightweight and can crack or break when exposed to severe weather. Heat may expand and shrink asphalt shingles, creating splits and cracks.

3. Can be Noisy During Heavy Rain

Asphalt shingles can produce noise during heavy rain. In noise calculation, 0 decibels (dBA) show total silence, and the average rainfall noise is 50 dBA. The sound of rain on an asphalt shingle is about 46 dBA, while a metal roof produces about 52 dBA. This estimate shows that asphalt shingles are noisy as metal roofs.

4. Regular Maintenance

Asphalt shingles must be maintained as compared to other roofing materials. The regular maintenance is due to the susceptibility to mildew and algae growth. And the possible crack from extreme weather conditions. Regular Maintenance is time-consuming and possibly costly.

5. Shorter Lifespan Compared to Other Roofing Materials

Asphalt shingles last for some time; if installed, they can last for about 20 years. But other roofing materials can last as long as 50 years. Asphalt shingles are durable and can last long, but not as long as most roofing materials.

6. Vulnerable to Wind Damage

There are better options than asphalt shingles for places that experience high winds, as they can damage and rip off during high winds. If your house is in an area with high winds, using asphalt shingles for your roof is not advised.

7. Not Environmentally Friendly

According to the EPA, asphalt shingles create 11 million tons of garbage. Manufacturing and roof installation generate trash.

Cost Analysis of Asphalt Shingles

Different types of asphalt shingles come at different prices. The prices are flexible as many factors determine the cost. 

Factors that Affect the Cost of Asphalt Shingles

The factors that influence the cost and price of each asphalt shingle include the following:

  • The type of asphalt shingles 

The type you choose is one factor that affects the cost of asphalt shingles. There are many types, like the three-tab, architectural, and designer shingles. The designer is the most expensive, or luxurious shingles are the least costly, while the three-tab is the least expensive. Your choice and the type will determine the cost.

  • The square size of the asphalt shingles and roof

Before purchasing asphalt shingles, it is wise to consider the roof size as it will tell how many asphalt shingles to use. The more the roof size you have, the square measure asphalt shingles you will need; this will also influence the cost.

  • Brand and quality

Many brands of asphalt shingles are available in the market, each with its quality and specific material. And all these features give the materials different prices. Brands like Owens Corning and GAF have affordable prices compared to other brands like IKO and Tamko.

  • Geographic location

The location of your house will influence the cost of the asphalt shingles. The closer you are to a manufacturing company or wholesaler, the more affordable the asphalt shingles will be. Living in a farther location will cause other costs like transportation.

Average Cost per Square Foot

There is no fixed cost for asphalt shingles, and they vary. The average price of asphalt shingles for a 2,000-square-foot home can cost between $8,500 to $24,500. You can get the exact size of asphalt shingles in some places or brands for about $5,000 to $40,000. For a typical 3,000-square-foot roof house, the total asphalt shingles may cost $5,550 to $16,500.

The above price can change, especially if the company offers discounts. 

Comparison of the cost of asphalt shingles to other roofing materials

The cost of asphalt shingles differs from other roofing materials. Their prices vary due to the type of materials used in manufacturing them. Let us compare the cost of asphalt shingles to other roofing materials.

Roofing materials like asphalt shingles can cost about $1.50 to $5.50 for each square foot. And this cost is likely for the most affordable asphalt shingles. 

The concrete tile roof resembles clay and ceramic tiles and resembles asphalt shingles. Getting a concrete tile roof costs between $3 to $5. However, this price will change depending on the brand and quality.

Metal roofing materials are common, especially steel and aluminum types. The average cost of a metal roof is between $6 to $14; this type of material can change the price.

Yet, wood shake roofs are from natural hardwood cedar. Using this type of roofing materials for your house will cost between $5 to $7 per square foot. 

Maintenance and Repair Of Asphalt Shingles

Having asphalt shingles requires constant maintenance and repair. From time to time to help them last longer and prevent damage.

Regular Maintenance Tips Include:

  • Having a Regular Inspection of The Roof

Inspecting your asphalt shingles from time to time will help you identify the problems and issues that may occur later. Such challenges include Mildew, algae, broken asphalt shingles, soffits, and many more. 

Inspecting at least twice yearly, especially in the fall and spring seasons, will improve your roof. 

  • Regular Cleaning

Apart from inspecting the roof, remember to clean them from time to time to remove all debris. Using a brush or trowel to scratch or scoop out leaves from the funnels, vents, solar panels, eavestroughs, and other proof parts.

  • Trim nearby trees and plants

In some cases, nearby trees and plants can grow out and touch the roof, resulting in damage. Trimming these trees and plants can help prevent them from shedding their leaves or hanging over the top.

In cases where your asphalt shingles spoil, you can repair them as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Some of these repair options don’t need a contractor to fix, and they include the following:

  • Replacing damaged shingles

You can replace damaged shingles, especially if you have leftover asphalt shingles. You only need to remove the first nails by putting the bar under the shingle and pulling out the pins before removing the damaged shingle. After removing the damaged nail, place the new asphalt shingle and drive the nail over it.

  • Fixing curled roof shingle corners with caulking

It is common for roof shingles to curl when they are getting older; when this happens, you can glue the curled parts using glue. You will use a caulking gun to apply roofing gum under the corner. Place a brick on the glued shingle for at least 24 hours until it dries and strengthens.

  • Repairing shingle cracks

It is best to repair roof cracks when they are still small to avoid them crack becoming bigger. Apply a roof gum or sealant under the gap and press the shingle down while applying another gum bead on the crack. Be sure to spread the glue all over the break for better results.

Design and Styles of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles come in many designs, styles, and colors. 

Asphalt Shingles Styles

There are many styles of asphalt shingles depending on their make and composition. These styles include:

  • Traditional shingles like three-tab or strip shingles
  • Architectural shingles come in two layers, laminate and dimensional shingles.
  • Premium shingles or designer shingles
  • Performance shingles
  • Hip and ridge shingles
  • Starter strips shingles

Asphalt Shingles Colors

Before placing asphalt shingles on their roofs, homeowners generally match them to their house color. Some standard asphalt shingle colors include:

  • Light Brown Shades
  • Charcoal Gray
  • Pewter Gray
  • Tan Shingles
  • Green Shingles
  • Light Blue Shades
  • Black Hues (Midnight Black)

You can use colors like gray asphalt shingles for houses with gray siding. Suppose your home has stone or taupe siding for light green or light blue.

Asphalt Shingle Installation

Installing asphalt shingles is simple as they seem; you can fix them on your own without needing the service of a professional. But, depending on the type of asphalt shingles you are using, you can call a professional roofing contractor. 

Preparation for installation

  • Take note of the correct number of shingles for the roof

The first preparation for asphalt shingle installation is to take more of the correct number of shingles you need and get them ready. Measure the asphalt shingles to know the length of shingle you will need for the roof.

  • Remove the old asphalt shingles

Remove the old shingles using a garden fork, a trowel, or a roofing shovel to pull them off. Be sure to take note of the sides of the house and windows to avoid damage. 

  • Clean the Roof 

After pulling out the shingles from the roof, remove the nails and other debris. Use a broom to sweep off the dirt while pulling out leftover nails.

  • Examine the Roof Deck

Inspect the roof deck for damaged, spoiled, and rotten boards. Help repair boards and decks before adding asphalt shingles.

Installation process

Follow the steps below to install your asphalt shingles:

  • Lay the underlayment over the roof and staple it down from the lowest point of the top till you work upward. Lay at least 3 inches in each row and use many staples while working to avoid tears and damage. 
  • Cut the shingles according to the correct size of your roof. Make sure to get the right length for each tab and row.
  • Lay the courses in place, and keep them 6 inches from the lower edge. Drive in one nail about 2 inches from the edge of the shingle and drive in another above 1 inch of the cutout. 
  • Place the entire shingle against the cut shingle and drive in the nail. Use four pins for each shingle and six staples on each windward side of the roof. 
  • Trim off the excess asphalt shingles at the end of the row. 

Safety precautions during installation

Here are some safety tips you should consider when installing asphalt shingles:

  • Spread the bundles of the asphalt shingles on the roof; this will help you work faster and prevent mistakes.
  • Wear protective gear like safety boots, goggles, and a hard hat to prevent injuries and accidents.
  • Do not install your asphalt shingles in extreme weather conditions like snow, heat, rain, or ice.
  • Use a ladder and be mindful of your balance to avoid falls.
  • Hire a professional if you lack knowledge of asphalt shingles Installation.

Top Brands of Asphalt Shingles 

In the asphalt shingles industry, some brands have proven to be reliable and trustworthy over the years; these brands include:

  • CertainTeed
  • Owens Corning
  • IKO
  • Atlas Roofing
  • GAF Materials Corporation
  • Malarkey Roofing Products
  • Tamko Building Products
  • PABCO Roofing Products
  • Buckingham Slate
  • Englert, Incorporation
  • Owens Corning Oakridge
  • Pinnacle Pristine Natural Expressions
  • Siplast Incorporated
  • Polyglass USA, Incorporation
  • Owens Corning – Berkshire Collection
  • Interlock – Alunar

The lifespan of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles can be durable depending on the type you use for your house. But generally, asphalt shingles can last between 15 to 20 years. 

Average Lifespan of Asphalt Shingles

The three types of asphalt shingles – three-tab, dimensional, and luxury all have a different lifespans. 

The three-tab shingles come with a 25 years warranty from the manufacturer, so you should expect your roof to last you for 20 to 22 years. 

The dimensional shingles have a more extended warranty, about 30 years. So, your dimensional asphalt shingles will last for 25 to 28 years. Design asphalt shingles come with a 35 years warranty from the manufacturer. So it is likely that these roofing materials have a lifespan of 20 to 33 years.

Factors That Affect the Lifespan

Some factors will determine the length of time your asphalt shingles will last before wearing off; these factors include:

  • Attic ventilation

Habung proper attic ventilation will help remove hot and cold air from the sheets. Without proper attic ventilation, the trapped air will burn the roof system and shorten the lifespan of the asphalt shingles.

  • Weather conditions

Extreme weather conditions can cause the granular cover to wear off. Thus Exposing the asphalt shingles to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Harsh winds and storms are most likely to damage your roof.

  • The direction your house faces

The direction your house faces is a significant factor in determining the lifespan of your asphalt shingles. If your home faces a specific order, like the south or north, the direct light from the sun will affect your roof and wear it off.

  • Quality of installation

Having your roof installed will give you an average lifespan of 35 years. Using an incorrect installation process will only reduce the length of time your asphalt shingles will last. This factor is one reason why you should hire a professional roofing contractor.

  • Roof Maintenance

Maintaining and cleaning your roof of debris and dirt will make the asphalt shingles last longer. When your roof is clean, you can get the best out of your roof when it is clean.

Signs that it is time to replace the shingles

Here are some signs that will show your asphalt shingles are old and need replacement:

  • Curls at the edge of the asphalt shingles
  • Sagging roof
  • Water leaks from the attic or roof
  • Excess mold, mildew, and algae growth
  • Some parts of the shingles get missing
  • Parts of the gutter guards and flashing get cracked or missing.
  • Missing granules

Comparison of Asphalt Shingles to Other Roofing Materials

Other roofing materials include metal, wood, clay, slate, green, solar, and rolled roofs.

Asphalt shingles are the most affordable roofing materials; while they cost between $1.50 to $5.50, others cost from $6 to about $25 per square foot.

  • Durability

Asphalt shingles are not the most durable roofing materials and can only last about 20 to 30 years. Followed by green roofing, which lasts 30 to 50 years. Other roofing materials sometimes last for up to 80 and some 200 years.

  • Maintenance need

About roofing materials, asphalt shingles do not need the most maintenance; you only have to clean them at least twice a year. Others, like wood roofs and green roofing, need high care.

Factors to consider when choosing between different roofing materials

There are some factors you should consider when choosing roofing materials for your house; these factors include:

  • Your house budget and the roofing materials cost.
  • Weight of the material and the structure of your house.
  • Weather conditions of your area 
  • The color of your house
  • Maintenance need of the roofing materials.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Asphalt Shingles:

How long do asphalt shingles last?

It stands that asphalt shingles will last for 15 to 30 years. But, this time depends on how you maintain the roof and other factors like weather, attic ventilation, and quality of installation.

Can asphalt shingles be installed over an existing roof?

It is possible to install asphalt shingles over an existing roof or even old asphalt shingles, but this is not recommended as it may lead to damage.

How do I maintain my asphalt shingle roof?

Sometimes clearing garbage, removing moss and mildew, and cutting neighboring trees and plants. And fixing broken shingles is the best approach to preserving asphalt shingles.

Are asphalt shingles a good choice for a steeply pitched roof?

Asphalt shingles are only a good choice for a steeply pitched roof if it is 2:12. Although some people use them for steeply pitched roofs above or below 2:12, it is not advised.

What are the most common colors and styles of asphalt shingles?

Some standard asphalt shingles colors include light brown shades, charcoal gray, tan, and green shingles. Asphalt shingles include performance, hip, ridge shingles, traditional shingles, dimensional shingles, and design shingles.

How do asphalt shingles compare to metal roofing in cost and durability?

Asphalt shingles are more affordable than metal roofing materials. But metal roofs have to last longer and have durability.


Asphalt shingles are becoming more popular, not just in North America and other parts of the world. These roofing materials are durable, even with their low cost. Their maintenance rate is also low compared to some roofing materials.

Call Now Skip to content