Differences in Roofing Shingles

If you are planning for a roof replacement, asphalt shingles are a popular choice for many homeowners. Pinnacle Roofing install asphalt shingles. They are relatively inexpensive, durable, stylistically diverse, and easy to install. These types of shingles require very little maintenance and last between 20-30 years. Asphalt shingles have become far and away the most popular roofing material because they are relatively inexpensive, durable, and easy to install. In fact, more than 15 billion square feet of asphalt roofing shingles are installed every year. Good quality shingles can be great insulators for keeping your home properly insulated against extreme thermal changes. That means the right quality of shingles can help you save on the cost of air conditioning as the temperatures in your home are often well regulated requiring little or no extra regulation. Since there are many options within this category, it is helpful to be familiar with the various types and aspects of asphalt shingles before making a decision. We will look at composition, as well as design.


Contrary to what you might think, asphalt shingles are not made entirely of asphalt. The composition varies with each manufacturer, but most of the content of asphalt shingles is mineral fiber and cementitious fillers. Pinnacle Roofing and Restoration uses GAF roofing materials which offer the best system and warranties in the entire roofing industry. There are two main types of composition:

  1. Organic shingles are composed of waste paper saturated in asphalt, which makes it waterproof. A thin layer of asphalt is then applied as an adhesive along with ceramic granules to protect the shingles from UV rays. While the name may imply they are eco-friendly, organic shingles are not made up of materials that are necessarily environmentally friendly, in fact, they are not being made at all anymore due to their lack of fire resistance at only a class C fire rating.
  2. Fiberglass shingles are manufactured in nearly the same way, yet contain less asphalt. In this case, random-laid fiberglass is bonded with a formaldehyde resin, which is then coated in asphalt followed by the superficial layer of adhesive, and finally the ceramic granules (*see below). Fiberglass shingles resist fire far better than organic shingles ever did.

*Ceramic Granules are small particles applied on top of the fiberglass base. Ceramic granules also contain UV Blocker ingredients that protect against the damaging exposure of sunlight for durability and longer life.

Some of the granules contain a leachable coating composed of zinc or copper, which is ceramically coated and designed to protect your roof from the discoloration caused by algae growth, which can cause those black streaks and stains which you might notice growing mostly on the North side of your home. The resistance provided by these specialized granules typically lasts for about 10 years. If parts or all of your roof is in constant shade throughout the day, this would be a smart option to take advantage of.

detail on roof

Design and Appearance

The aspect that concerns most homeowners when choosing a material for their roof is the design and appearance. The look of the roof reflects the style of home that each individual wants, and there are many color options and styles now available. Although there is a price difference between two types of shingles listed below, both offer many color choices.

Three -Tab Shingles are composed of one flat layer and come in just one size and shape. They are thinner than other types, making them less expensive, but this also means they will be less resistant to wind and wear. In regions that are particularly warm, windy, or subject to significant temperature changes, the three-tab shingle will not last as long as other varieties. For these reasons, three-tab shingles are declining in popularity but still remain favorable for budget-conscious projects. Three-tab shingles come in a variety of colors to complement architectural  styles and personal preference.

Architectural shingles or dimensional or laminate shingles differ from the traditional 3-tab asphalt shingle look. They differ because the actual shingle tabs have various sizes and shapes. These various sizes and shapes give a more “dimensional” look to them. They also have diamond-cut granules that a visual depth to the shingle with their multifaceted design and light-reflective construction. Architectural shingles are a lot more durable than the average three-tab shingle. All those layers make them heavier and harder, helping them resist damaging weather elements and last much longer. In fact, most architectural shingles come with a lifetime warranty. These shingles also come in a variety of colors.

shingles roof background and texture

Although there are different types of roofing materials, most generally have a lifespan of 20-30 years, roofs and will wear out sooner or later. The lifespan and durability of a roof depends not only on the produc, but on the installation as well.  Properly installed roofs, keep out wind and cold and help to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home. Roofs last longer with proper installation. The various layers that are applied (the ice and water barrier, asphalt felt and the metal flashing at corners and around chimneys and vents are a few examples) need to be done carefully to protect against leakage from rain and snow. And it is also critical to consider your geographic region and weather conditions. Different shingles are better suited to certain climates.  It is very important to hire a roofer that you can trust, with experience and a long list of satisfied customers.

To find out what kind of asphalt shingles are the best for your home, contact Pinnacle Roofing at (910)-250-2607, and one of our helpful, qualified staff members will be happy to answer any questions that you have!