Getting a new roof can be an exciting investment in your home’s value, functionality, and appearance. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the material that will work best for your home, and in our previous post we talked about a checklist of questions to ask to help guide your decision.

In this article we’ll start to explore the pros and cons of the most popular roofing materials for southeast Pennsylvania homes, beginning with the most common type: asphalt shingles.

Asphalt shingles are a very popular choice for new roof installation. They are made up of asphalt and ceramic granules around fiberglass, and there are two basic types. The most common type is the standard three-tab shingle, which is made up of one, somewhat thin layer. Alternatively, there is a laminated version called an architectural shingle which is thicker and layered for a more dimensional look.

Pros of asphalt shingles: Asphalt shingles owe their popularity to the value they provide at a relatively budget-friendly cost. They are on the more economical side of roofing materials, and are often guaranteed to last 20 or 30 years.

Other pros of asphalt shingles are their light weight and ease of installation. They are also available in a wide range of colors, some of which closely resemble much more expensive wood or slate, which makes them suitable and attractive on many different styles of homes at a fraction of the cost.

Finally, fiberglass has fire-resistant properties, giving roofs done with asphalt shingles an added safety boost.

Cons of asphalt shingles: There are a few drawbacks to asphalt shingles. Firstly, although they are less expensive than many other materials, they tend to need to be replaced or repaired more frequently, which can result in a higher cost over the lifetime of the roof. And while their light weight makes them easier to install, it also makes them more vulnerable to wind than some other materials.

Additionally, their lifespan can be shortened, especially if you are using cheaper asphalt shingles, in very hot climates, in areas with extreme temperatures changes, or on houses where poor ventilation in the attic causes heat to build up. In these cases, the asphalt shingles can crack, making repairs and eventual replacement a more frequent necessity.

The pros of asphalt shingles outweigh the cons for many people, and they remain the most popular choice of roofing materials in southeast Pennsylvania. If you are considering asphalt shingles for your roof, consulting with a roofing expert can help you determine whether it is the best choice for your needs, and help you pick out the right type and color of shingle if you decide to go with asphalt.

professional roofer can also discuss other roofing materials with you, such as the two we will focus on in our next article: wood and metal.

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