5 Best Questions to Ask About Asphalt Shingles

Getting a new roof is an expensive proposition. First, you need to find the best local roofer, someone with a solid reputation, a history in your community and good references. Someone you can trust. Scammers and inexperienced operators are out there.

Next, in order to understand your estimate, you need to be comparing apples to apples, not apples to oranges. Since the most popular roofing material is the asphalt shingle, let’s start with that. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask:

  1. How long should asphalt shingles last?

The average asphalt shingle manufacturer’s warranty is about 20 years. The warranty is different for different types, and thicknesses of asphalt shingles. Some manufacturers will quote 30 years, or more. Keep in mind that the warranty for the shingles is not the same thing as the warranty for the labor to install the shingles.

What are 2 disadvantages to asphalt shingles?

  1. What are 2 disadvantages to asphalt shingles?

First, asphalt shingles are susceptible to harsh weather conditions. If your home is located in a Marin or Sonoma miniclimate that experiences long periods of high heat or sits on a ridgetop that gets high winds asphalt shingles may crack or tear over time, more readily than say a metal roof.

Second, shingles require more regular maintenance than other roofing materials. If you are someone who wants to be “one and done” with a roof you don’t need to think about much, you may want to explore other options. That, or secure a maintenance agreement with a local roofing company to keep your roof free of debris and in top shape.

  1. What is the best type of asphalt shingle?

The best type of asphalt shingle for your home may not be the best type of shingle for your friend’s home. The variety and style of shingle options is increasing every year. California is divided into 16 climate zones and local and statewide building requirements will apply, depending on your location. The California Energy Commissions’, 2022 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code) governs some regulations, including Cool Roofing materials. You will want to do your homework based on:

  1. Your home’s location and local/statewide roofing requirements (your roofer should know these requirements, including the Class A rating: recommended for wildfire areas, as they have highest fire safety rating),
  2. Your area weather conditions,
  3. Your surrounding landscape,
  4. The look and feel you want your home to have and,
  5. Last but hardly least, your budget.

How much do asphalt shingles cost?

  1. How much do asphalt shingles cost?

Asphalt shingles range in price depending on their thickness and style. The cost is also reflected in their fire rating from A-C and unrated. Other ratings include wind resistance and wind lift resistance, among others. Due to the pandemic and the rising costs of building materials in general, dialing in on an actual cost per sq. ft. would be unwise. Best to check with your local roofer prior to doing your roof. In fact, getting estimates from several roofers is the wisest first step (after you do your homework).

  1. Three-tab asphalt shingles are still the most affordable and popular roof covering. They come in a wide variety of colors to choose from.
  2. Dimensional roofing shingles are what you may be seeing on the roofs of houses in new, higher-end housing developments. They are also known as laminate or architectural shingles. They are thicker and give your roof a pleasing pattern, though they are trickier to install. They will cost more to buy and more to install than the three-tab asphalt shingles.
  3. Luxury designer shingles are crafted to mimics other long lasting materials like tile, shake or slate shingles. These are less expensive than the real materials they mimic but are at the top of the asphalt shingle range in both price and installation. They are a great substitute for homes that can no longer have shake shingles due to the fire hazard. They are also lighter in weight than the real material.
  4. What is the real lifespan of asphalt shingles?

No one can give you a solid estimate as to how long the shingles will last on your roof. That old adage, “it depends” comes into play. Where is your home located, what kind of weather do you get, how often do you maintain your roof? All these factors come into play.

Our best advice is to find a reputable roofer with experience in your geographic area and present your questions and concerns. If you’d like to talk with a professional with a long history in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially in the communities of Marin, Sonoma and Napa, give us a call today in Marin at 415-924-2733 or in Sonoma at 707-586-2656. One of professional will be happy to help you.