Facts About Dimensional Shingles
There are many types of roofing materials available, and dimensional shingles are one of the most popular choices for new construction in the United States. Also known as architectural shingles, they can mimic the look of more expensive, higher end shingles, and can provide an interesting three-dimensional quality to the look of your roof. In addition to their unique appearance, architectural shingles have many other qualities that make them a good choice for a roofing material. If you are building a new home or re-roofing an existing one, you should give careful consideration to the type of roofing material you choose. Depending on your particular needs and situation, architectural shingles may be the best choice for you.
Composition shingles, or asphalt shingles, are the most commonly used shingle in the United States. Dimensional shingles, which are generally made from two asphalt shingles laminated together, have many similarities to composition shingles but also have several distinct advantages, and are consequently the most popular roofing material used in the construction of new homes. They are thicker than other types of shingles, and provide added strength to the roof; the thickest type can withstand winds blowing at a rate of 120 mph. Architectural shingles can withstand extreme weather of many types and can be expected to last for 40 or more years, 10 to 20 years longer than the life expectancy of a roof shingled with composition shingles. While composition shingles are a bit less expensive, the increased lifespan of dimensional shingles can make them worth the price and make them a good investment for your home. They can be particularly cost-effective if you are planning to own your home for several decades; you may find that you will never have to re-roof your house again while you own it.
Architectural shingles are a great choice to create a more interesting, custom roof, and resemble more expensive roofing materials like tile and slate. They can also resemble a shake roof, but are significantly more fire resistant and last longer than shake shingles. A shake roof provides a traditional look and is often used to compliment the architecture of historic homes and buildings, so achieving the same look with longer lasting, safer architectural shingles can be desirable. In some communities, shake shingles are not even allowed because of the fire hazard they can pose, or you must pay extra to have specially treated shake shingles that are more fire resistant. Using the already fire-resistant dimensional shingles may be a better option, and may not even cost significantly more over the lifespan of the roof.
Just as with composition shingles, moss buildup is one of the biggest problems with dimensional shingles. To keep your roof attractive and in good condition, be sure to provide simple maintenance. The simplest way to avoid buildup of moss, algae, and mildew is to remove wet leaves and other debris that can accumulate on your roof. It is also extremely important that your roof have adequate venting, an issue that should be addressed when installing your dimensional shingles. While it is generally easier and safer to hire a roofing professional, dimensional shingles are not particularly difficult to install, and can be installed as a do-it-yourself project if you are comfortable with roofing and have the appropriate tools.
If you are contemplating a roofing project, be sure to consider the advantages that dimensional shingles have over some of your other choices of roofing materials. They are extremely durable, and can allow you to customize the look of your home's exterior. While they are initially a bit more expensive than some other roofing materials, dimensional shingles have a lot to offer and can even be an economical choice in the long run.