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Union County Roofers: Article About Architectural Vs. Three Tab Asphalt Shingles

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Asphalt shingles dominate the roofing materials market, covering approximately 70 percent of the homes in America. However, not all asphalt shingles are created equal. Asphalt shingles come in two varieties: three tab and architectural. Reputable Union County roofers can install either, but, before a homeowner decides, it is important to understand the difference between the two.

First installed in 1901, three tab shingles are the traditional shingles. They are distinguished by the three cutouts, or tabs, along the lower edge of the shingle. This gives each shingle the appearance of three separate pieces when layered over the roof deck and can create a dimensional appeal.

The architectural shingle, also known as a laminated shingle, does not contain cutouts. Instead, the lower portion of each shingle is laminated with an additional layer of asphalt, giving the shingle a contoured look. Architectural shingles were developed in the 1970s to mimic the appearance of cedar shakes while maintaining the durability of asphalt.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both traditional three tab shingles and laminated architectural shingles. Some of these differences include cost and durability. Roofing contractors often have personal preferences as well. Homeowners should ask roofers about their preference before hiring anyone to repair or replace an existing roof.

Three tab shingles are less expensive than architectural shingles.

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Three tab shingles can cost as little as .50 to 1.50 per square foot. Three tab shingles are also thinner and more flexible, making them perfect for creating a closed valley water draining system. Architectural shingles cannot be used in closed valleys because of their three dimensional texture. However, a three tab shingle roof system only has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, shorter than that architectural shingles.

Architectural shingles are more expensive than three tab shingles. On a large roof, this could mean an increase of as much as $1500. However, architectural singles are more durable and have a life expectancy of up to 25 to 30 years. This means that laminated shingles have a longer manufacturer's warranty. Architectural shingles also have a higher wind speed rating. At 120 miles an hour, the wind speed on laminated shingles is twice as high as that for traditional three tab shingles.

Finally, roofing contractors often have their own personal preferences between three tab shingles and architectural shingles. If a roofer recommends closed valley runoff systems, the preferred roofing material will be three tab shingles. However, many roofers find that architectural shingles are easier to work with and will charge more in terms of labor costs to install traditional three tab shingles.

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