Asphalt Roofing

Most homeowners only replace their roof once, making the decision on what material to use so important. Asphalt shingles are a proven roofing technology, providing homeowners an unmatched level of beauty, affordability and reliability for more than a century. Below, you’ll find information on the characteristics of asphalt roofing, examples of the different types of asphalt shingles, and more.

Three Tab Shingles

If you try to picture an asphalt shingle in your mind there is a good change you are thinking of the three tab shingle. They are the most common asphalt shingle style and are one of the least expensive roofing option in terms of both the cost of the shingle and the cost of installation. Three tab shingles give the traditional rectangular look found on some many homes. They come in a wide variety of colors to fit your home design. The only drawback to a three tab shingle is their longevity. They typically have a 20 year warranty which is considered low among roofing materials. They also should be checked and cleaned for debris annually to get the most durability from this roofing type. They are considered recycled and do use reflective barriers that help with home heating / cooling efficiency but there are many more energy efficient materials available.

Architectural Shingles 

Architectural shingles are considered a premium type of asphalt shingle. They are also often called a dimensional shingles and like their three tab cousins, they come in a wide variety of colors. Although three tab shingles are the most popular, architectural shingles are growing in popularity and it may become the most popular in the not so distant future.

One of the draws to architectural shingles is the variety of looks that are now available. Manufacturers have created styles that are mimicking old European styles that look like wood shake or slate roofs. Architectural shingles have become so popular because they last longer than three tab, have better warranties, have varying visual looks, cost only slightly more money, are more durable in terms of physical abuse (hail, tree limbs, etc.), and withstand higher winds. No matter what type of roof style you have, there is probably an architectural roofing shingle that will fit your style, budget and expectations.

Why Choose Asphalt Shingles?

When it comes to selecting a residential roofing system for your home, asphalt roofing shingles continue to provide a beautiful, affordable and reliable roofing solution for any residence. In addition to having a variety of styles, textures and colors to choose from, asphalt roofing shingles are cost-effective, durable and relatively easy to maintain.


    • Wide array of rich, gorgeous colors
    • Wide selection of textures
    • Huge choice of shingle styles
    • Look like wood, cedar, or slate


  • 100-year proven track record in North America
  • Long life-expectancy
  • Ideal weight; not too heavy or too light
  • Fewer leak problems
  • Durable
  • Excellent uplift resistance
  • Excellent fire resistance


    • Relatively Low Cost
    • Many pricing options
    • Cost-effective
    • Superb value

Here are the most common Frequently Asked Asphalt Shingle Questions

  • Product Performance.Asphalt shingles perform well in extreme temperatures and in areas where wind, water, and ice are prevalent.
  • The efficient, high-volume production and relatively low application cost of asphalt shingles provide consumers with an overall value that’s tough for other roofing materials to match, especially in terms of comparable life expectancy.
  • Low Maintenance.Asphalt shingles, when properly chosen and applied, require little or no regular upkeep, and are easily repaired if damaged.
  • Ease of Application.Asphalt shingles are considered to be the easiest of all standard roofing materials to apply. In addition, the flexibility and strength of asphalt shingles supports their application on a wide variety of roof designs.
  • Fire and Wind Resistance. Asphalt shingles are manufactured to resist external fire and flammability standards, and carry Class A, B or C fire ratings, with Class A providing the greatest fire resistance. These fire ratings are defined by nationally recognized standards and tested by independent testing agencies. In addition, many asphalt shingles carrying a “wind resistance” label indicate that they have been manufactured and tested to demonstrate acceptable resistance in high-wind locations.”

Asphalt shingles are the leading choice for residential roofing in the United States because they provide quality, durability, versatility and economy. Over 12.5 billion square feet of asphalt shingle products are manufactured annually – enough to cover more than 5 million homes every year. Four out of five homes are roofed with asphalt shingles.

  • Strip Shingles — these asphalt shingles are approximately three times as long as they are wide. Manufactured in both standard and metric dimensions, strip shingles are distinguished by the number of cutouts or tabs that they have. The most common type of strip shingle is the “three-tab” shingle. Different textural and lighting/shadowing effects can be achieved with strip shingles depending on the number, shape and alignment of the cutouts.
  • Laminated Shingles — these special shingles contain more than one layer of tabs to create extra thickness. They are also referred to as three-dimensional or architectural shingles because they create visual depth on a roof and impart a custom look. Laminated shingles continue to be a favorite among builders, roofing contractors and homebuyers.
  • Interlocking Shingles — as the name suggests, interlocking asphalt shingles are individual shingles that mechanically fasten to each other, and are used to provide greater wind resistance. They come in various shapes and sizes providing a wide range of design possibilities.
  • Large Format Shingles — generally rectangular or hexagonal in shape, these shingles do not utilize cutouts or tabs.

In the United States, asphalt shingles are predominately fiberglass-based. Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles are manufactured with mat composed entirely of glass fibers of varying lengths and orientations. This fiberglass base is then surfaced with a specially-formulated asphalt coating, followed by weather-resistant mineral granules. Organic-based asphalt shingles were manufactured with a base (also termed mat or substrate) made of various cellulose fibers, such as recycled waste paper and wood fibers. This organic base was then saturated with a specially formulated asphalt coating and surfaced with weather resistant mineral granules.

Asphalt Shingle Gallery

Residential Asphalt Roofing Brands

Over the past century, asphalt shingle manufacturers have used research and technology to address specific roofing issues and create even better products. Enhancements in aesthetics and durability have kept asphalt roofing a top choice for homeowners in North America. Here is a list of the some of the brands that are available.