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Comparing Asphalt Shingles to Architectural Shingles


When it comes to selecting the ideal roofing material, asphalt shingles have gained immense popularity among homeowners. However, within the realm of asphalt shingles, a division arises between traditional three-tab shingles and architectural shingles. Although they might initially appear similar, these two types diverge significantly in terms of aesthetics, durability, and cost.

Appearance and Composition

While both asphalt and architectural shingles share the usage of asphalt and fiberglass in their production, their manufacturing processes and overall visual appeal differ distinctly. Traditional asphalt shingles, often called three-tab shingles, boast a single layer with evenly spaced cutouts, presenting a flat and uniform appearance. Conversely, architectural shingles showcase multiple layers of asphalt and fiberglass artfully bonded together, creating a multidimensional and textured look. These shingles often emulate the luxurious appearance of slate or wood shakes, elevating their visual charm and imparting a touch of sophistication.

Durability and Lifespan

Architectural shingles have carved a niche for themselves by offering enhanced durability and a lengthier lifespan compared to traditional asphalt shingles. Their formidable strength arises from multiple layers and thicker construction, bestowing them with superior protection against wind, impact, and inclement weather. These shingles exhibit exceptional tear resistance and the ability to withstand higher wind speeds. Moreover, architectural shingles usually arrive with generous warranty periods, ranging from 30 to 50 years, while their three-tab counterparts typically offer warranties of 20 to 30 years. The increased longevity and sturdiness of architectural shingles render them an economically wise choice, as they necessitate fewer repairs and replacements over time.


Despite their heightened durability and captivating appearance, it’s important to note that architectural shingles generally come with a higher price tag than traditional asphalt shingles. This disparity in cost stems from the additional materials and intricate manufacturing processes involved in creating architectural shingles. Three-tab shingles serve as a more budget-friendly option, so homeowners mindful of their expenses love them. The substantial difference in cost prompts the need for careful contemplation of your financial resources and long-term plans for your property before making a choice.

Installation and Maintenance

Now, let’s shift our focus to installation and maintenance. Although both asphalt and architectural shingles boast relatively straightforward installation processes, architectural shingles demand more meticulous attention to detail due to their layered construction. Achieving the desired visual effect may necessitate the implementation of specialized installation techniques to ensure precise alignment of the shingles. Additionally, the weight of architectural shingles often exceeds that of three-tab shingles, potentially necessitating additional structural support during the installation process. When it comes to maintenance, regular inspections and upkeep are essential for any type of roof. Fortunately, architectural shingles possess a unique advantage in concealing minor imperfections and weathering over time, courtesy of their textured appearance.

Resale Value of a Home

Over time, architectural shingles have witnessed a surge in popularity owing to their enhanced aesthetics and durability. Regarded as a premium roofing option, they possess the ability to significantly augment the curb appeal of a property. Consequently, houses adorned with architectural shingles tend to boast higher resale values in comparison to those featuring traditional asphalt shingles. If you envision selling your home in the future, investing in architectural shingles might prove to be a prudent decision, as they allure potential buyers and potentially yield a higher selling price. However, it’s important to note that market demand and resale value can fluctuate depending on location and the preferences of prospective buyers.

Impact on Environment

Now, let’s touch on the environmental impact of these shingles. Both asphalt and architectural shingles entail certain considerations concerning the environment. As asphalt shingles are primarily petroleum-based products, their production and usage contribute to fossil fuel consumption. However, many modern asphalt shingles incorporate recycled materials, such as post-consumer recycled asphalt and post-industrial recycled content, thereby mitigating their environmental footprint. On the other hand, architectural shingles, boasting longer lifespans and heightened durability, generate less waste compared to three-tab shingles. Furthermore, some manufacturers offer architectural shingles with higher levels of recycled content, further reducing their ecological impact.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency serves as another crucial aspect to contemplate. In this realm, architectural shingles often hold an advantage. The multiple layers and increased thickness of architectural shingles translate into improved insulation properties when contrasted with traditional three-tab shingles. This enhanced insulation facilitates a reduction in heat transfer, ensuring a cooler interior in hot climates while alleviating the strain on air conditioning systems. Architectural shingles foster energy savings and augment comfort within the building, making them an enticing choice for homeowners seeking to bolster energy efficiency.

Fire Resistance

While both asphalt and architectural shingles come with varying fire ratings, architectural shingles generally exhibit superior fire resistance owing to their thicker composition and multiple layers. Through proper installation and in conjunction with appropriate underlayment, architectural shingles serve as an additional layer of protection against fire, potentially bolstering the overall fire safety of the building.

Resistance to Moss and Algae

Another important advantage of architectural shingles over traditional asphalt shingles is their remarkable resistance to the growth of algae and moss. This attribute stems from the layered construction and the inclusion of special granules in the manufacturing process of architectural shingles. These granules contain additives that actively inhibit the growth of organic contaminants, preventing unsightly discoloration and potential damage to the roof caused by algae and moss. By effectively resisting the colonization of these unwelcome invaders, architectural shingles contribute to the overall longevity and cleanliness of the roof.

With their ability to maintain a pristine appearance and structural integrity over an extended period, architectural shingles offer homeowners peace of mind and help preserve the aesthetic appeal of their property. By keeping algae and moss at bay, these shingles minimize the need for frequent cleaning and maintenance, saving homeowners time, effort, and potential expenses in the long run. So, not only do architectural shingles offer exceptional durability and visual charm, but they also actively protect the roof from the uninvited presence of algae and moss, ensuring that it remains a reliable and beautiful shield for years to come.

Wind Resistance

While both types of shingles offer protection against wind, architectural shingles are often designed to withstand stronger gusts. The multiple layers and dimensional construction of architectural shingles provide added strength and stability, making them more resilient in high-wind conditions. This feature can be particularly advantageous in areas prone to severe storms or strong winds. By opting for architectural shingles, homeowners can have greater confidence in the ability of their roofs to withstand turbulent weather, ensuring the protection of their property and the safety of their loved ones.

Contact Us Today!

At Quality Roofing in Pensacola, Florida, we provide roof replacement, repairs, and maintenance for your homeowners. Our skilled team also handles gutters, storm damage, and flat roof repairs in the area. Our team can even help you with custom roof design to help you bring your vision for your roof to life. Contact Quality Roofing today for more information or to schedule an appointment at your home.

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