Benefits of Asphalt Shingles
- Ease of Installation: Asphalt shingles are one of the least labor intensive – and therefore one of the cheapest – roof coverings. As long as your roof doesn’t have too many layers of existing shingles, you should be able to save even more on installation by having new asphalt shingles installed directly atop the old ones (note that due to weight concerns adding an additional layer is typically only advisable when there is currently one, or at most two, layers of shingles).
- Available Products: In addition to being sold in dozens of colors, asphalt shingles come in two distinct styles for further customization. Three-tab shingles are what come to mind when most people think of asphalt shingles. They offer basic protection from the elements and may come with a warranty of up to 25 years. Compare these to architectural shingles, which are thicker, more weather-resistant, and designed to replicate the look of a traditional wood shake or slate roof. Architectural shingles cost a bit more than tabbed shingles but this is mostly offset by a better warranty and quicker installation.
- Easy to Repair: Unlike wood shake, slate, or metal roofing (or just about any other type of roof material, for that matter) asphalt shingles are extremely easy to repair. While weather and falling debris can harm asphalt shingles, all but the most extreme damage (i.e. that affecting the structure of the roof or a very large section of shingles) can be repaired in as little as one hour.
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Asphalt Shingle Maintenance
Asphalt shingles are sometimes perceived as having higher-than-average maintenance requirements, although this reputation is mostly unwarranted. What is true about asphalt shingles is that they’re susceptible to algae, moss, and fungus growth – especially in hot, damp, and shady conditions. To avoid the growth of these organisms you should limit the amount of shade your roof receives by removing objects that block sunlight. If this isn’t an option professional roof cleaning services are available for a minimal fee. In most cases, a professional cleaning once every 3-5 years is sufficient to protect an asphalt roof. Aftermarket products are also available to help limit the growth of algae, moss, and fungus. Zinc strips installed atop a roof just under the ridge cap shingles emit zinc that coats the entire roof during a rainstorm and kills any harmful growth.
Asphalt Shingle Roofing Costs
- The cost to install asphalt roofing, including materials, is $5 to $8 per square foot. For an average sized 1,600 square foot roof, that works out to a total price of $8,000 to $12,800.
- Adding a layer of asphalt shingles to existing shingles can cost as little as $3 per square foot, or just under $5,000 for a 1,600 square foot roof.
- Installing zinc strips on a roof typically costs $100 to $300.