Asphalt Shingles Roofing Advantages and Disadvantages




For homeowners looking to do a re-roofing job on a budget, while maintaining a fairly attractive look and weather tightness of their home, a composition shingles roof (asphalt) may be a plausible and easy solution.

In a highly competitive residential roofing market saturated with numerous options, asphalt shingles is by far one of the most popular choices. While not as durable and long-lasting as some of the more premium roofing materials such as metal, cedar shakes, slate, or clay tiles, asphalt shingles can provide an adequate protection and sufficient aesthetic appeal at only a fraction of the cost of other systems.

Learning Objective:

In this guide you will learn about advantages and disadvantages of composition shingle roofs to help you decide if this popular roofing option is the best fit for your needs.

Two Types of Asphalt Shingles:

asphalt-shingles-roofAsphalt shingles come in two types: organic and fiberglass. Organic shingles are based on paper (waste paper) saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof, with coatings of adhesive salt and ceramic granules embedded on top. Fiberglass shingles are made with a base layer of glass fiber reinforcing mat. This mat is coated with asphalt, which contains mineral fillers and makes the shingle waterproof.

While organic shingles are more durable than fiberglass ones, they are more flammable and hence more prone to fire. They are less environmentally-friendly due to their high asphalt (oil based) content. Fiberglass shingles offer excellent fire protection. Today, fiberglass shingles are more commonly used …



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Roofing Shingles: Better Alternatives to Cedar & Asphalt

Depending on your environment, budget, and personal preferences, it can be difficult to know how to choose between roofing options. Obviously, you’ll want to discuss roofing alternatives with your roofing professional, but these tips should serve as a guide to understanding your choices especially if you rooting an environment friendly option.


Roofing currently ranks sixth in the list of most popular construction projects in North America, surpassed only by interior remodeling, repainting, flooring, windows, doors, and landscaping.  Worth $15 billion annually in material cost alone, the US roofing market is growing: the demand in US is expected to rise 3.5% annually to 268 million squares in 2017.

Popularity among two conventional roofing materials – cedar and asphalt – is decreasing, and for good reason: cedar has disappointed, as it is non-sustainable and very costly to maintain, while asphalt’s lifespan continues to decrease, leading to diminished aesthetics and the requirement for multiple re-roofs over the life of a home.

What’s wrong with Cedar or Asphalt?

TW Walker House old cedar


While the most conventional roofing choice, natural cedar shingles are going out of style, fast. And there’s good reason for that.

Traditional cedar shingles are made from old-growth western cedar. Although it is very easy to produce cedar shingles, harvesting of old-growth cedar is neither simple, nor sustainable in the long run. Cedar is very expensive to replace, and old-growth cedar is no longer commercially available due to cutting restrictions.

Cedar is naturally combustible; it cannot be used in areas with a high risk of brush or forest fires. To improve its fire resistance, cedar shingles are pre-treated with chemical agents. In fact, regular treatments are necessary to reduce rotting, warping, moisture absorption and moss growth. Regular maintenance costs for a cedar shingles can run up to $3,400 per year for a typical roof. While life expectancy of a natural cedar roof is around 15-20 years, it actually starts to lose its aesthetic appeal after 5-10 years.


Enviroshake in Multi-tone


Because of the low cost and ease of installation, asphalt shingles have largely replaced cedar and currently dominate the residential market at 57%. Use of asphalt shingles initially skyrocketed in late 70s – early 80s, when fibreglass-based shingles were introduced instead of existing asbestos paper based asphalt. Today, nearly 97% of all asphalt shingles used in North America are fiber-glass based.

Although cost effective, asphalt roofs have many issues associated with them. By replacing a cedar shake roof with asphalt, the home value automatically decreases. Asphalt roofs do not provide the same aesthetic of cedar, which has become a status symbol over the years. Asphalt roofs do not withstand winds well, and have many issues with cupping, curling, cracking, and granule loss as they age. Additionally, when exposed to high winds, asphalt shingles can be torn right off of a roof. The lifespan of asphalt shingles has also become significantly reduced since the change to fiber-glass based shingles. Most asphalt shingles will need to be replaced after 10-15 years, making them quite costly over the life of a home.

It is also worth mentioning that fiberglass used in asphalt shingles is bonded with urea-formaldehyde resin, a highly adhesive but toxic material that …


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10 Things Every Home Owner Should Know About Their Roof

“Roofing is one of the home aspects that is rarely discussed. We often talk about how we can update our home interiors or perhaps improve our curb appeal yet it is rare to hear topic about roofing. When it comes to your home, there are some things that you may need to be aware of as a home owner. Check out these 10 facts about home roofing.”


You’ve lived in your home for quite some time and have the interior well memorized – right down to the amount of bricks in the fireplace. But do you know anything about your roof?



1. What Pitch You Have

You need to be able to identify the pitch of your roof. Common roof pitches include flat roofs, shed roofs, gable roofs, hip roofs, and A-frame roofs.

2. The Slope of the Roof

What is the slope of your roof? Every roof has its own unique slope. The slope of your roof dictates the kind of materials you can use with it.

3. Do You Need A Permit?

Your particular community may require you to obtain a permit before you replace your roof. It’s important to do your research and find out about any regulations before you start on big projects.

4. Pay Attention to the Rafters

Rafters are sections of the roof where two different angles come together. They need to be sealed and laid out properly so you can avoid problems. Because troughs can form in these areas, you have to make sure that water can drain properly. A tight seal ensures water won’t get into your home.

5. Ventilation

Did you know your roof needs to breathe? It may sound strange, but proper ventilation is necessary to keep your roof dry and at an ideal temperature. You don’t want moisture or …


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Remove Moss on Roof…or Replace Your Roof. Which Will It Be?

“I guess some are indeed asking these questions primarily because they think it’s just OK to leave the moss on the roof. But what if it does you harm instead of good, will you still just ignore it? Read the article below to guide on making the right decision.”


Green moss growing on roof.


See the picture above? This is a picture of shake-shingle roof, with moss growing like a lawn. Think that’s bad? I’ve got a neighbor whose roof-moss is so thick, you cannot see shingles anymore. The moss is a good 1″ thick. It has practically become a living roof.

When I first moved to an area where moss is prevalent in shaded areas, I thought: How picturesque! It sure looks fairy tale-like, I thought. But owning a house with moss on the roof is quite a different matter.

Recently, the neighbor whose roof is shown above had to completely replace it because of this moss–over $10,000. He has a small roof, and he contracted with a super-bargain roofing company.

Liquid or Dry Applications

I like my Pacific Northwest home, but the same directional rule of thumb that applies to trees (moss grows on the north side of trees) definitely does apply to my house and everyone else around here. As such, due to the shorter daylight periods, moisture, and general gloom, I use moss-killer from Fall to Spring. Summer is the only season when moss does not grow


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