Asphalt Shingles: The Popular, Affordable, and Varied Roofing Choice

When it comes to roofing your home, asphalt shingles stand out due to their popularity, affordability, and the wide variety available. These shingles are not only cost-effective but also offer versatility to match any home style. Whether you’re dealing with weather damage, an aging roof, or simply looking for an update, asphalt shingles can offer a reliable solution without breaking the bank.

  • Popularity: Asphalt shingles are the go-to for many homeowners, thanks to their ease of installation and maintenance.
  • Affordability: They present a budget-friendly option without compromising on quality.
  • Variety: With options like 3-tab, architectural, and luxury shingles, you can find the perfect match for your home’s aesthetic.

Homeowners in the Northland region, who prioritize quality and reliability, will find that asphalt shingles meet their needs, offering a balance between durability and aesthetic appeal. Whether your concern is weather damage or simply updating an old roof, exploring the different types of asphalt shingles reveals a world of possibility that won’t strain your finances.

Asphalt shingles have evolved to offer features like enhanced wind resistance, algae resistance, and a range of warranty options, making them a smart choice for those wanting peace of mind alongside style and functionality.

By choosing the right type of shingle, homeowners can ensure their roof stands the test of time, providing security and enhancing curb appeal.

Understanding Asphalt Shingles: A Quick Guide - asphalt shingles infographic pillar-5-steps

Types of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing choice for many homeowners due to their affordability, durability, and variety. Let’s dive into the three main types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab, architectural, and luxury. Each type comes with its unique features, costs, lifespans, warranties, pros, and cons.

3-Tab Shingles

Cost: Approximately $4.00 per square foot.

Lifespan: Up to 20 years.

Warranty: 25-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.


  • Most affordable roofing material.
  • Easy to repair and install.


  • Shorter lifespan compared to other types.
  • Being phased out due to advancements in roofing technology.
  • Requires yearly maintenance.
  • Lower curb appeal and prone to wind damage.

3-tab shingles are named for the three tabs on each strip, laying flat when installed. They were once the go-to choice but are now being overshadowed by more advanced options.

Architectural Shingles

Cost: Approximately $5.86 per square foot.

Lifespan: 22-25 years.

Warranty: 30-year warranty, with an option to upgrade to a 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty as part of a full roofing system.


  • Affordable and easy to repair.
  • Wide availability of materials and colors.
  • Better aesthetic appeal than 3-tab shingles.


  • Requires yearly maintenance.
  • Can be prone to hail damage.

Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional shingles, offer a more dimensional look to your roof, mimicking the appearance of wood shake. They are the most common type installed on homes today due to their blend of affordability and durability.

Luxury Shingles

Cost: Approximately $8.00 per square foot.

Lifespan: 30 years or more in optimal conditions.

Warranty: 30-year warranty, with an option to upgrade to a 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty as part of a full roofing system. Features like StainGuard Plus™ and WindProven™ Limited Wind Warranty offer additional protection.


  • Highest durability and curb appeal.
  • Excellent storm damage resistance.
  • Longest lifespan.


  • Most expensive option.
  • Installation may take longer.

Luxury shingles are designed to mimic the look of natural slate or wood shake roofs, offering the highest curb appeal and durability among asphalt shingles. They’re an excellent choice for homeowners looking for top-tier aesthetic appeal and performance.

GAF Products: GAF, a leading name in roofing materials, offers a wide range of products across all three types of asphalt shingles. Their products come with various warranty options, including the GAF Roofing System Limited Warranty for architectural shingles and the enhanced warranties available for luxury shingles, featuring StainGuard Plus™ and WindProven™ Limited Wind Warranty.

Choosing the right type of asphalt shingle for your home involves considering your budget, desired aesthetic, and the specific needs of your home’s location. Whether you opt for the affordability of 3-tab, the balance of architectural, or the premium appeal of luxury shingles, understanding these options can help you make an informed decision.

By prioritizing quality installation and regular maintenance, you can maximize the lifespan and performance of your asphalt shingle roof. Empire Roofing, with its expertise and commitment to quality, stands ready to assist homeowners in selecting and installing the perfect roofing solution.

As we move into the next section, we’ll explore the importance of professional installation and how it can impact the longevity and effectiveness of your asphalt shingle roof.

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Installation of Asphalt Shingles

Installing a roof might seem like just another DIY project. But, when it comes to asphalt shingles, getting it right requires more than just enthusiasm. It’s about ensuring your home stays dry, warm, and looking great for years. Here’s why professional installation, especially from a trusted company like Empire Roofing, is non-negotiable.

Importance of Professional Installation


Before a single shingle is laid, a lot goes on behind the scenes. Proper roof installation begins with meticulous preparation. This includes an inspection of the existing roof structure, measuring the roof area accurately, and choosing the right type of asphalt shingles. Each step is crucial to ensure the new roof will fit perfectly and last longer.

Tools and Materials

You might have a hammer, but do you have a roofing nailer, a shingle remover, or the right kind of underlayment? Professional roofers come equipped with all the necessary tools and materials, saving you from making multiple trips to the hardware store. They use quality materials like GAF Starter Strips, which are essential for a strong and durable roof. These starter strips help in preventing shingle blow-off and promote better adhesion of the first course of shingles to the roof.


GAF Starter Strips

Speaking of starter strips, they’re not just any piece of material. GAF Starter Strips are specifically designed to work with GAF shingles, providing an optimal fit and performance. They’re a small but critical component of the roofing system, contributing significantly to the roof’s overall wind resistance and longevity.

Empire Roofing

Choosing Empire Roofing means you’re not just getting a roof; you’re getting peace of mind. With years of experience and a commitment to excellence, Empire Roofing professionals understand the ins and outs of asphalt shingle installation. They know that it’s not just about nailing down shingles; it’s about creating a cohesive system that protects your home from the elements. From selecting the right shingles to ensuring each one is properly aligned and secured, Empire Roofing takes care of every detail.


The importance of professional installation cannot be overstated. It’s the difference between a roof that might leak and one that stands strong against wind, rain, and time. By choosing a reputable company like Empire Roofing, you’re investing in the longevity and durability of your home.

As we’ve seen, the right preparation, tools, materials, and expertise are crucial for a successful asphalt shingle installation. Next, we’ll delve into how to maintain and care for your newly installed roof to ensure it continues to protect your home for years to come.

Maintenance and Care for Asphalt Shingles

Maintaining and caring for your asphalt shingles is key to maximizing their lifespan and ensuring they continue to protect your home effectively. Here’s how you can keep your shingles in top shape:

Regular Inspections

Regularly inspecting your roof can catch potential issues before they become major problems. Aim to inspect your roof at least twice a year, in the spring and fall. Look for signs of wear such as cracked, curled, or missing shingles. Also, check for loose or exposed nail heads, which can lead to leaks.


Keep your roof clean to prevent the buildup of moss, algae, and debris. These can retain moisture and cause damage over time. If you notice algae growth, which is common in many areas of North America, address it promptly. However, be cautious with power washing, as it can damage the shingles. Instead, opt for a gentle wash with a solution designed to kill algae without harming your roof.


If you spot any damaged or missing shingles, it’s crucial to repair or replace them as soon as possible to prevent water from infiltrating your home. Small repairs done in time can prevent bigger, more expensive issues down the road.

Algae Resistance

Many asphalt shingles now come with algae-resistant granules, which are designed to prevent the growth of blue-green algae. This not only helps in keeping your roof looking better for longer but also avoids the potential damage algae can cause. When choosing shingles, consider those with built-in algae resistance, especially if you live in an area prone to algae growth.

Fire Resistance

Opting for shingles with a Class A fire resistance rating is wise, especially in areas prone to wildfires or frequent lightning storms. These shingles are designed to offer the highest level of protection against fire. The entire roofing system needs to be installed correctly to ensure you benefit from this fire resistance.

Remember: Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. By following these maintenance and care tips, you can help ensure your asphalt shingles continue to protect your home effectively. Regular maintenance not only extends the life of your roof but also helps in maintaining its appearance and functionality.

We’ll explore some common questions homeowners have about asphalt shingles, including which type is best for different needs, how long they last, and what disadvantages they might have. This information will further guide you in making informed decisions about your roofing materials and care.

Common Questions about Asphalt Shingles

When it comes to roofing, asphalt shingles are a popular choice for many homeowners. But with various types available, it’s natural to have questions. Let’s dive into some of the most common queries.

What type of asphalt shingle is best?

Choosing the right type of asphalt shingle depends on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and specific needs. Luxury shingles stand out due to their unique appearance and wind resistance. Designed to mimic the look of natural slate or cedar shakes, they offer the highest curb appeal and durability. If you’re looking for a blend of style, durability, and performance, luxury shingles might be the best choice for you. They’re especially recommended for areas prone to severe weather, thanks to their enhanced wind resistance.

How long do asphalt shingles last?

The lifespan of asphalt shingles can vary significantly, ranging from 15 to 30 years. Several factors influence this, including the climate in your area, the quality of the installation, and the type of shingle you choose. For instance, 3-tab shingles may last up to 20 years under ideal conditions, while architectural and luxury shingles can last 25 to 30 years or more, especially if they’re part of a GAF Lifetime Shingle system. It’s crucial to consider your local weather patterns, as extreme temperatures, heavy rain, and strong winds can shorten a roof’s lifespan.

What are the disadvantages of asphalt shingles?

While asphalt shingles offer many benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider. Temperature fluctuations can cause shingles to expand and contract, leading to cracks over time. This is particularly true for lower-quality shingles. Additionally, asphalt shingles can suffer from heat damage, especially in areas with high temperatures and direct sunlight, which can accelerate aging and fading. Regular maintenance and choosing higher-quality, reflective shingles can help mitigate these issues.

In conclusion, asphalt shingles are a versatile and popular roofing choice for many homeowners. By understanding the pros and cons of each type, considering the climate in your area, and opting for professional installation, you can ensure that your roof will protect and enhance your home for years to come. Whether you’re drawn to the affordability of 3-tab shingles, the durability of architectural shingles, or the luxury appearance of designer shingles, there’s an option that will meet your needs and budget. Regular maintenance is key to extending the life of your roof and preventing common issues.

asphalt shingles


Choosing the right type of asphalt shingles for your home might seem like a daunting task at first. But, it’s really about understanding your needs, preferences, and the specific challenges your roof might face due to your local climate. Whether your priority is affordability, durability, or a unique appearance, there’s a shingle type out there that’s perfect for your home.

At Empire Roofing, our expertise goes beyond just installing shingles. We’re here to guide you through the selection process, ensuring you make the best choice for your home. Our years of experience, coupled with our commitment to quality, mean we’re well-equipped to handle any roofing project, big or small.

As a GAF master elite contractor, we’re not just any roofing company. This designation is a testament to our superior craftsmanship, our commitment to ongoing professional training, and our proven reputation in the community. When you choose us, you’re getting the best in the business. We use only the highest quality materials, including GAF’s industry-leading asphalt shingles, to ensure your roof is as durable as it is beautiful.


Your roof is one of the most important components of your home. It protects you, your family, and your belongings from the elements. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a roofing contractor you can trust and shingles that offer the best in protection and style.

If you’re ready to start your roofing project or just looking for more information, we’re here to help. Visit our roof replacement service page to learn more about how we can transform your home with a new roof. Together, we’ll ensure your roof is built to last, providing peace of mind and adding value to your home for years to come.