When considering the type of roofing to select for a new home or replacement roof, many homeowners who choose asphalt shingles are surprised to learn that there are two basic types. There are Architectural Shingles vs. 3-Tab Shingles. Although both share similarities in the materials used, they have several differences.
Differences in Appearance
Three-tab shingles are the most popular choice for residential roofs in the United States. They lay flat on the roof with virtually no dimensionality. Architectural shingles, however, have a three-dimensional appearance that provides contrast and shadowing.
Differences in Longevity
As a rule, the thickest shingles offer the greatest durability, which gives architectural shingles the advantage for longevity. Most three-tab shingles have warranties between 10 and 30 years, with an average actual life of 15 to 18 years. Architectural shingles carry warranties ranging from 30 years to life; the actual life is typically around 30 years. Therefore, architectural shingles will last approximately twice as long as three-tabs, but architectural shingles normally cost less than 25 percent more than three-tab shingles.
Differences in Performance
Regardless of type, modern asphalt shingles withstand the damages caused by rain, sun and wind better than the shingles made just a few decades ago. However, architectural shingles are typically rated to resist wind speeds of 80 mph to 120 mph, while most three-tabs are rated around 60 mph. Since architectural shingles are heavier, they are more resistant to hail and warping.
Differences in Installation
In most cases, you can apply a second layer of three-tab shingles over an existing roof that features three-tab shingles without having to tear off the existing roof. However, you cannot apply three-tab shingles over architectural shingles. Most manufacturers also state that the warranty may be voided if architectural shingles are applied over existing roofing materials. Whenever an existing roof must be removed, the cost of removing and disposing of the old materials can increase the cost of installation. It is also important to remember that you are not actually eliminating the removal and disposal costs — you are simply delaying them until the next time you need a roof.
Differences in Roofing Contractors
Regardless of the type of shingles you choose, the key to obtaining the maximum life possible for your new roof is to hire a reputable, experienced roofing company in Austin. At Alpha Roofing, we have been installing asphalt shingles for over 30 years. We have the experience to deliver quality work at competitive rates. We offer a wide range of services, including metal roofing in Austin, roof repairs, siding installation, and chimney. If you have more questions about Architectural Shingles vs. 3-Tab Shingles, you can submit an online form or ask for a free quote at (512) 777-1086.