Most probably all of us have heard of metal roofing or three tab shingles. But what about architectural roofing shingles? What are these? Having appeared in 1970s, they take an important position among the most popular roof shingles nowadays. Architectural (also called laminated, composite or dimensional) shingles are a type of asphalt shingle providing a three-dimensional appearance and adding texture to the roof. They consist of 2-3 layers of laminated heavy fiber glass, water-resistant asphalt and mineral granules embedded in the asphalt base.
A great variety of manufacturers, including the most well-known GAF, TAMKO, CertainTeed and IKO, resulted in a wide range of prices, patterns, colors and textures with some of them imitating shakes, weathered wood, slate, clay tiles, cedar and other natural materials. But the benefits of architectural shingles are not only aesthetic. They are also better at preventing water seepage than regular shingles and have excellent tear, fire and wind resistance. They can withstand wind speeds up to 130 miles per hour and are warranted to last 25 to 50 years or even have a lifetime warranty. Most of those roofing shingles help to prevent mold growth and algae-caused black streaks.
Architectural Shingle Installation
Architectural shingles are quite easy to install because you don’t have to align tabs or match a specific pattern.
Things you’ll need:
- Work gloves;
- Roofing nails;
- Nail gun;
- Starter strips;
- Utility knife;
- Chalk line.
Follow 10 pieces of advice:
- Prepare all the tools and supplies needed.
- A starter strip should be installed along the roof edge. It will prevent the roof from leaking through the gaps between shingles. To save money buy pre-cut starter strips.
- Start laying down shingles from the lower left corner, proceed to the right and upward. Leave the first shingle in every row overhanging about 1/8 inch over the left roof edge to prevent any fascia deterioration.
- Nail each shingle below the tar strip with the help of a nail gun or a hammer. A nail gun would be preferable if you want to save time, as it would be three times quicker. But hand nail them if the quality plays a more important role for you. By using 4 nails across the center of a shingle, attach them to the roof. To count how many shingles you’ll need, multiply the width by the length of your roof, divide by 100, and then add 10 percent. Shingles are usually sold in squares which simplifies the calculations a great deal. Also buy 2½ pounds of nails for a square of shingles.
- To keep rows straight one may use a chalk line.
- The ends of the roofing shingles and the tab notches shouldn’t be directly above the gaps which are in the shingles below. Don’t line up the gaps, or water would seep through the roof sheathing and the nail holes.
- Take every precaution to avoid falling from the roof. While working on the roof drink a lot of water to escape heatstroke. To prevent slipping wear shoes with a sole made of rubber.
- Leave the same 1/8-inch overhang of shingles on the right side of the roof for the same reasons as in the tip #3. To cut off the shingles of needed proportions use a utility knife.
- Continue nailing roofing shingles until you reach the top of the roof.
- Install a ridge vent and over the vent attach ridge cap shingles.
Note that though those shingles are easy to install, it’s always better to hire a professional roofer to prevent costly mistakes.
Why Composite Shingles?
The answer to that is quite simple – because architectural shingles are highly beneficial in all respects. To receive evidence that this statement is not baseless let’s sum up all the advantages, including those mentioned above.
- They have a far better wind tear-off resistance than most of the other types of roofing due to their greater thickness and weight (around 480 pounds per 100 square feet).
- Because of the formula they are more durable and wearable, and may come with a lifetime guarantee.
- The fire resistance of architectural shingles is rated the highest class — Class A. That is provided by a thick layer of granulated top coat.
- Easy installation.
- They can also prevent algae growth when the granule coating is infused with copper or zinc. That would be of much help to those people whose houses are located in areas with high humidity or rainfalls.
- Besides, laminated roofing shingles give a three-dimensional look to your roof and are more pleasant-looking on the whole.
- There’s a great choice of styles and patterns of this roofing material on the market.
- They require less maintenance than other shingle types.
- Even though this type of shingles is more expensive than others, its benefits are worth the price.
Considering all the facts, one can say without exaggeration that architectural roofing shingles are a major landmark in the history of roofing shingles.