What Makes Architectural Shingles Superior to Three Tab Shingles
Although architectural shingles have been around since the 1970’s, they’ve only reached their peak popularity until more recently. Sometimes referred to as dimensional or laminate shingles, architectural shingles are shingles with varying raised sections known as dragon’s teeth. Unlike the more common three tab shingles which just lay flat, an architectural shingle has more texture to it.
Many people like the dimensional look of an architectural shingle but shy away from the higher price tag before fully understanding the benefits. A common misconception is that their heavier weight has a direct correlation to their cost. This can be true, but not always. Here are three major advantages of architectural shingles:
When you look at an architectural shingle, you can see what might look like two layers; this is because there are actually two different layers stuck together with an extremely strong adhesive. The process of sticking those two layers together is a process known as lamination. This helps give the shingles more structure and resilience.
During heavy storms, gusts of wind blow up your roof and press against the tar and nails holding your shingle down. The increased structure provided by the laminated layers of your architectural shingle will help keep all of your shingles where they need to be: on your roof. While architectural shingles have tabs that are glued together on the side, the more common three tab shingle has tabs held together at the top, making it easier for the wind to tear the tabs off.
Almost all shingles have a fiberglass core, especially on homes here in the South. Fiberglass helps provide fire and heat resistance, making them ideal for warmer climates. This is why both layers of the architectural shingle have a fiberglass core. Furthermore, the bottom layer of dimensional shingles is one continuous piece of fiberglass.
This gives it a stronger structure that can hold up against severe weather and wind. The base of both layers of the shingle starts out being made the same. At a certain point, they branch off with the top layer having cuts known as dragon’s teeth. Those are then brought back down to adhere to the bottom layer, allowing the two cores to provide additional strength.
Again, a huge advantage to architectural shingles is just being able to have more layers per shingle. A single architectural shingle starts out as two shingles that are then stuck together. The extra layers provide more asphalt which, in turn, afford the shingle greater strength. In many cases, the architectural shingles use a higher quality asphalt meaning the granules end up adhering better to the shingle.
All these different structural implementations work as a chain effect to keep the granules adhered longer in order to better protect the shingle, which will, in turn, help extend the life of your shingle before it starts getting brittle.
As you can see, the architectural shingle regularly does weigh more than the common three tab, but the weight is not the sole reason for their longer lifespan. Also, depending on the manufacturing company, architectural shingles can vary vastly in weight, so it’s important not to judge a shingle by its weight alone; be sure to look for a shingle with a solid construction.
In the end, the textured look is just a bonus to all the other advantages of architectural shingles, including how they’re manufactured and how well they weather the elements in your area. Ask your roofer if architectural shingles are the right choice for your home!