Asphalt Roofing Essentials: What You Should Know Before Your Next Roof

asphalt roofing


Asphalt Roofing Basics & Importance

Choosing the right roofing is crucial for any homeowner, especially in places like Vancouver, WA, where the weather can be unpredictable. Asphalt roofing stands out as a preferred choice for many, offering a blend of durability, affordability, and aesthetic appeal.

At its core, asphalt roofing involves shingles made from fiberglass or organic materials saturated with asphalt and then coated with mineral granules. This composition provides excellent protection against the elements, including rain, wind, and sun, making it an ideal choice for homeowners looking for a long-lasting roofing solution.

Asphalt roofing shingles come in various types, including traditional 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and luxury or premium shingles. Each type offers different benefits in terms of cost, appearance, and performance, allowing homeowners to choose the best option for their specific needs and budget.

Here’s a quick overview to help you understand the basics:
3-tab shingles: Economical, with a flat appearance and a typical lifespan of 20 to 30 years.
Architectural shingles: Thicker and more dimensional in appearance, offering enhanced durability and a longer lifespan.
Luxury shingles: The highest quality, mimicking the appearance of slate or cedar shakes, providing maximum curb appeal and performance.

**Infographic: Choosing Your Asphalt Shingle Type** - Breaks down 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and luxury shingles with icons for durability, cost, and appearance. For durability, 3-tab shingles have 2 out of 5 stars, architectural shingles have 4 out of 5 stars, and luxury shingles have 5 out of 5 stars. Cost is depicted from $ to $$$, showing 3-tab as the most affordable and luxury as the most expensive. Appearance shows a flat icon for 3-tab, a textured icon for architectural, and a premium look icon for luxury shingles. - asphalt roofing infographic pillar-3-steps

Asphalt roofing is not just about protecting your home from leaks; it’s also about finding a style that complements your home’s aesthetic and fits within your budget. With the right choice, you can enhance your home’s curb appeal while ensuring it stays safe and secure through various weather conditions. Understanding these basics will guide you in making an informed decision that aligns with both your aesthetic preferences and functional requirements.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

When it comes to choosing asphalt roofing, knowing your options is crucial. Let’s dive into the three main types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab, Architectural, and Luxury. Each type has its unique benefits and characteristics, making it suitable for different needs and budgets.

3-tab Asphalt Shingles

3-tab asphalt shingles are the most basic and cost-effective option. They are named for the three tabs present on each strip, giving them a uniform and flat appearance. These shingles are lightweight and offer a clean, traditional look to your home. While they are the most affordable, they also have the shortest lifespan, typically lasting up to 20 years with a 25-year limited warranty from the manufacturer. They’re a solid choice if you’re on a tight budget or planning to sell your home soon.

  • Pros: Cost-effective, easy to install and repair
  • Cons: Shorter lifespan, lower curb appeal, prone to wind damage

Architectural Asphalt Shingles

Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional shingles, are a step up from 3-tab shingles in both quality and price. They are constructed with multiple layers of asphalt, giving them a thicker, more dimensional look that mimics the appearance of wood shakes or slate tiles. This type is more durable and has a longer lifespan of 22-25 years, with a 30-year warranty that can be upgraded to 50 years when you opt for a full roof system.

  • Pros: Affordable, improved durability, and aesthetic appeal
  • Cons: Slightly higher cost than 3-tab, needs yearly maintenance

Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Luxury asphalt shingles are the premium choice, designed to emulate the look of natural slate or cedar shakes. These shingles are larger and more durable, offering the highest level of aesthetic appeal and the longest lifespan, often exceeding 30 years. They come with a 30-year warranty, which can also be upgraded to 50 years. Luxury shingles are ideal for homeowners who want the best in terms of both looks and performance.

  • Pros: High curb appeal, durability, best for storm protection
  • Cons: Most expensive, longer installation time


When comparing these three types, consider your budget, the desired look for your home, and how long you plan to live in your house. 3-tab shingles are best for tight budgets and short-term solutions. Architectural shingles offer a great balance between cost and value, making them a popular choice for most homeowners. Luxury shingles are for those who want the ultimate in appearance and longevity, and are willing to invest more upfront.

Choosing the right type of asphalt shingle is about balancing your desires with practicality. Whether you prioritize cost, durability, or aesthetic appeal, there’s an asphalt roofing option that’s right for you. A well-chosen roof not only protects your home but also enhances its overall value and curb appeal.

asphalt roofing

Advantages of Asphalt Roofing

When it comes to roofing, asphalt shingles stand out for their mix of affordability, durability, and variety. Let’s dive into why asphalt roofing might just be the perfect choice for your home.


Asphalt roofing is known for its cost-effectiveness. Compared to other roofing materials, asphalt shingles offer a lower initial investment. This is a big reason why they’re so popular among homeowners. For example, 3-tab asphalt shingles, the most budget-friendly option, can cost as little as ≈$4.00 per square foot. This makes asphalt roofing an accessible choice for many, without compromising on quality.


Asphalt shingles are tougher than they look. They’re designed to withstand the elements, from blistering sun to heavy rain. While 3-tab shingles can last up to 20 years, architectural and luxury shingles have a lifespan of 30 years or more under ideal conditions. Additionally, many asphalt shingles come with warranties, offering peace of mind and protection for your investment.


There’s an asphalt shingle for every home. Whether you’re going for a traditional, modern, or luxurious look, there’s a style and color that fits. 3-tab shingles offer a clean, uniform appearance. Architectural shingles, on the other hand, add dimension and depth to your roof, mimicking the look of wood shakes or slate tiles. And if you’re aiming for the pinnacle of curb appeal, luxury shingles provide that high-end, natural slate tile look. With such a wide range, you can easily find asphalt shingles that complement your home’s aesthetic.

In Summary

Asphalt roofing combines affordability, durability, and variety in a way few other roofing materials can match. It’s a practical, attractive option that caters to a wide range of homeowner needs and preferences. Whether your priority is saving money, ensuring your roof stands the test of time, or giving your home a specific look, asphalt roofing checks all the boxes.

Choosing the right asphalt roofing for your home involves considering these advantages in light of your specific needs and preferences. With a clear understanding of what asphalt roofing has to offer, you’re well on your way to making an informed decision that you’ll be happy with for years to come.

Installation and Maintenance

Installation Process

Installing asphalt roofing is a process that requires attention to detail and expertise. Here’s a simplified overview:

  1. Preparation: The roof deck must be clean, dry, and flat. This step is crucial for a solid foundation.
  2. Underlayment: A protective layer is placed to add an extra barrier against water.
  3. Starter Shingles: These are installed at the edges to help with wind resistance and to create a clean look.
  4. Shingle Application: Shingles are then applied from the bottom up, overlapping as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Flashing: Metal or plastic flashing is used around roof features like chimneys and vents to prevent leaks.
  6. Ridge Cap: The roof’s peak is covered with ridge cap shingles for added protection and aesthetics.

Proper ventilation is key to preventing moisture buildup and ensuring the longevity of your roof.

Maintenance Tips

To keep your asphalt roof in top shape, follow these simple tips:

  • Regular Inspections: Check your roof twice a year and after major storms for any signs of damage.
  • Clean Gutters: Keep gutters and downspouts clear to prevent water buildup.
  • Remove Moss and Algae: Use specialized products to keep your roof free of growths that can damage shingles over time.
  • Trim Overhanging Branches: This reduces leaf accumulation and prevents damage from falling limbs.


The lifespan of asphalt roofing can vary:

  • 3-tab shingles last about 20 years.
  • Architectural shingles can last 22-25 years.
  • Luxury shingles have a lifespan of 30 years or more.

However, these numbers can vary based on maintenance, climate, and installation quality. Regular care and professional installation can help maximize your roof’s lifespan.

Choosing the right asphalt roofing for your home involves understanding the installation process and committing to regular maintenance. By doing so, you ensure that your investment offers the best protection for your home over the years.

Common Questions about Asphalt Roofing

When it comes to roofing, asphalt shingles are a popular choice for many homeowners. But with various options and considerations, it’s common to have questions. Let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about asphalt roofing.

What is Asphalt Roofing Called?

Asphalt roofing comes in three main types: 3-tab, Dimensional (Architectural), and Luxury.

  • 3-tab shingles are the most basic and economical option, known for their uniform appearance.
  • Dimensional shingles, also called architectural shingles, offer a more varied, textured look and tend to be more durable.
  • Luxury shingles are the premium choice, mimicking the look of natural slate or cedar shakes.

Is Asphalt Roof Good?

Yes, asphalt roofing is a good choice for several reasons:
Affordability: It’s one of the most cost-effective roofing materials on the market.
Durability: When installed correctly, asphalt shingles can withstand various weather conditions, including wind and hail.

However, it’s important to choose the right type of asphalt shingle that fits your budget and your home’s aesthetic.

What are 2 Disadvantages to Asphalt Shingles?

Despite their popularity, asphalt shingles have a couple of drawbacks:

  1. Temperature Fluctuations: Asphalt shingles can expand and contract with extreme temperature changes. This can lead to cracking over time, especially in climates with wide temperature swings.
  2. Heat Damage: In areas with high temperatures, asphalt shingles can absorb a lot of heat, potentially leading to quicker degradation and impacting your home’s cooling costs.

By understanding the types of asphalt roofing, their benefits, and potential drawbacks, you can make an informed decision about the best roofing material for your home. The right choice depends on your specific needs, including your home’s style, your budget, and your local climate.

Choosing the Right Asphalt Roofing for Your Home

Choosing the right asphalt roofing isn’t just about picking a color or style. It’s about understanding how different types of asphalt shingles can impact your home’s look, your wallet, and how well they’ll hold up under your local weather conditions. Let’s break it down:

Curb Appeal

Your home’s first impression matters. Whether you’re planning to sell soon or just want to be the envy of the neighborhood, the right asphalt shingles can significantly boost your home’s curb appeal.

  • 3-tab shingles: Basic, cost-effective, but with limited style and color options. They’re flat and uniform, offering a clean, simplistic look.
  • Architectural shingles: More dimensional and available in a variety of colors. They mimic the look of more expensive roofing materials and add depth to your roof’s appearance.
  • Luxury asphalt shingles: The top-tier in terms of aesthetics. They often mimic slate or cedar shakes, providing your home with a high-end look without the hefty price tag of genuine materials.

Budget Considerations

Your budget is crucial when choosing asphalt roofing. The cost can vary widely based on the type of shingle you select:

  • 3-tab shingles are the most affordable, but they offer less in terms of longevity and aesthetics.
  • Architectural shingles are a step up in both price and quality. They’re more durable and have more style options, making them a great middle-ground choice.
  • Luxury asphalt shingles are the most expensive. However, their superior durability and impressive curb appeal can make them worth the investment, especially if you’re not planning to move anytime soon.

Climate Suitability

Not all asphalt shingles are created equal, especially when it comes to weather resistance:

  • In areas with high winds, look for shingles with good wind resistance ratings. Architectural and luxury shingles often perform better in these conditions.
  • For hot climates, solar reflecting shingles can help keep your cooling costs down by reflecting sunlight away from your roof.
  • In regions prone to hail, consider shingles rated for impact resistance. This might mean opting for luxury shingles, which often come with the highest ratings.

The right asphalt roofing choice balances aesthetics, budget, and climate suitability. By considering these factors, you can select a roofing option that not only looks great but also protects your home for years to come. Alfred’s Roofing can guide you through this process, ensuring you make the best decision for your home.

Next, we’ll dive into some common questions about asphalt roofing to help you further understand this versatile roofing material.

Asphalt Roof


Choosing the right roofing for your home can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With asphalt roofing, you’re selecting a material that offers affordability, durability, and a wide variety of styles. Whether you’re drawn to the classic look of 3-tab shingles, the dimensional appearance of architectural shingles, or the luxury of high-end designs, there’s an asphalt roofing option out there for you.

At Alfred’s Roofing, we believe in making the process of getting a new roof as straightforward and stress-free as possible. We understand that your home is your most significant investment, and protecting that investment starts with a high-quality roof. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the best service and the highest quality asphalt roofing options. We’re here to guide you through every step of the process, from choosing the right type of shingles to the final installation.

A roof isn’t just about the shingles; it’s about the whole roofing system working together to protect your home. That’s why we focus on installing a complete system that includes proper ventilation, underlayment, and accessories, all designed to enhance the performance and longevity of your asphalt roof.

If you’re considering asphalt roofing for your home, Alfred’s Roofing is here to help. We invite you to reach out to us with any questions or to schedule a consultation. Let us show you why asphalt roofing is a smart choice for your home and how we can help you achieve the perfect balance of style, durability, and affordability.

Your home deserves the best protection it can get, and with Alfred’s Roofing, you can rest assured that your new asphalt roof will be a lasting investment in your home’s safety, comfort, and curb appeal.