There are several different types of roof shingles out there, and understanding the difference between them can help educate you if and when you’re looking to replace your roof. One thing is for certain though, a bad roof can lead to a host of different problems, including leaks, pests, and costly repairs. Make sure you have the right roof and the right shingles for what you need.
The most common type of shingles on the market today are 3-tab shingles. Made of asphalt and often reinforced with organic material or wood, the surface of 3-tab shingles are coated with tiny metallic granules that provide protection against damage from the sun. They’re also lightweight, very easy to install, resistant to light weather, and hardly require any maintenance – aside from your occasional roof cleaning.
Typically, 3-tab shingles tend to carry the shortest warranty of all types of shingles, and under ideal conditions, they’ll usually last between 15 and 20 years.
The elements are constantly bombarding shingles, and thus, hail, high winds, or a severe storm can damage them. They’re meant to take the beating.
When hail strikes a 3-tab shingle roof, the impact can cause the protective granules to be knocked away, exposing the asphalt base to the elements. This can cause some problems, including cracking, curling, and even leaks – ultimately shortening the lifespan of your roof.
Strong winds or tornados (obviously) can tear off shingles, rendering your roof inadequately repelling water and protecting your home. Long-term exposure to moisture on a damaged roof can lead to rotting wood, ultimately comprising the structure and can lead to your roof caving in.
With a wide range of shapes, sizes, and color blends that can give a roof a 3-dimensional or layered look, architectural shingles are becoming more popular by many homeowners. Architectural shingles are heavier, more substantial, provide greater storm resistance and are less likely to sustain damage during a light storm than your 3-tab shingles. However, they’re still susceptible to being damaged during moderate to severe hailstorms, windstorms, and of course, tornados.
Typically, architectural shingles carry a longer warranty, usually up to 40 years. However, it’s important to note that storm damage isn’t covered by most warranties and more than likely, you’ll have to look at your homeowner’s insurance policy for coverage.
If your home has been hit by a hailstorm or severe windstorm, you’ll want to have your roof inspected by a qualified insurance restoration contractor, as soon as possible.
Discontinued since 2005, T-lock shingles are shaped like a “T” and was originally designed to offer better performance in strong windstorms and act as a high-wind resistant alternative to 3-tab shingles.
Made from asphalt and covered by protective metallic granules, T-lock roofs are still susceptible to bruising; this happens when hail knocks away granules creating a “bruise” in shingles.
Since these shingles are no longer manufactured and can’t be repaired, if your roof has sustained damage, chances are you may be able to qualify for a full roof replacement.
Designer shingles are the top-of-the-line shingles offered by manufacturers. Much heavier than your basic roof shingles, most designer shingles are made from reinforced asphalt and a variety of composite materials, giving a roof a distinct and unique appearance – hence, “designer.”
Outperforming your basic shingles by a longshot, designer shingles may offer added features such as impact resistance, fungus resistance, and longer warranties – with it, though, is a high price tag. However, just like any other shingles, the loss of protective granules, cracking, loosening, or missing shingles are commonplace after severe storms.
Mother nature always wins.
Cedar Shake Shingles
An attractive and natural looking shingle, cedar shake shingles are usually popular in upscale neighborhoods. These shingles are highly durable and resistant to sun exposure, insects, and stand up very well in heavy rainstorms and moderate hailstorms and windstorms.
Moisture is a natural enemy of wood, and thus, cedar shake shingles require ongoing maintenance and usually installed in drier climates. Areas prone to fire should consider applying fire retardant coating to these shingles.
Although cedar shake shingles outperform asphalt shingles in light to moderate weather, they’re not impervious to the elements and can still be split, cracked, and blown off.
Typically made of concrete or clay, tile shingles are very heavy and come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and styles. Quickly becoming one of the most popular roofing materials, tile shingles are gorgeous, remarkably durable, energy efficient, and are highly fire resistant. They’re especially prevalent in areas with high wind exposure, hurricanes, and tornadoes – like good ‘ole Florida.
Aside from the occasional roof cleaning, tile shingles require very little maintenance and carry a Class A fire rating, which may reduce the cost of your property insurance.
Although tile shingles outperform asphalt shingles, they’re not invulnerable to storm damage. Severe hailstorms can crack or break tiles, and high winds can rip shingles off, exposing the underlayment.
At the end of the day, whichever type of shingle protects your roof, it’s important to remember that storm damage can seriously impact your roofs life expectancy, and it’s ability to protect it from the elements.
Should your home ever be hit by a hailstorm, heavy winds, rain storm, hurricane, or tornado, be sure to have a full damage inspection performed by a qualified insurance restoration professional as soon as possible.