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Different Types Of Roof Shingles And Their Advantages And Disadvantages


Roofing has come a long way since the days when your choices boiled down to galvanized corrugated panels or 3-tab asphalt shingles. Now there’s a wide variety of roofing shingles that can meet almost any need or material specification. While factors such as pricing, durability, and weight vary between the different types of roofing materials in Sandy Springs, shingles collectively continue to be one of the most popular roofing materials in use today in residential applications.

The old standard 3-tab shingle is still a popular choice in applications where cost is a concern, though modern architectural shingles offer enhanced durability and wind resistance at a reasonable price point. If you want maximum life span and dependability under adverse conditions, stone-coated steel shingles can provide an excellent option when budget isn’t an obstacle. Each type of shingle currently available today has its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to educate yourself about their merits when preparing to install a new roof. Keep reading to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of the various types of shingles used by roofing contractors today.

3-Tab Asphalt

This shingle is traditionally used when light weight and low cost are important, and they’re commonly seen on multifamily dwellings such as apartments. They’re constructed of asphalt laid on a layer of fiberglass or cellulose. They’re the most affordable type of shingles, and because they’re thin relative to other shingle types, they’re lightweight. Other notable qualities are flexibility, water resistance, and moderate impact resistance. The average lifespan of a 3-tab shingle roof is about 15 to 20 years.

Architectural or Structured

Architectural shingles are also constructed of asphalt, but they’re more advanced and more durable. Most architectural shingles, also called structured shingles, are about twice the thickness of standard 3-tab shingles, so they have enhanced impact resistance that comes at the price of increased weight. They have higher wind-resistance compared to 3-tab shingles, and some are even guaranteed to withstand hurricane-force winds. They also have an extended life span, with some roofs guaranteed to last 20-30 years. They also have an improved appearance that presents a 3-dimensional look, and some also have energy efficiency qualities that can qualify you for a tax break when installing a new roof.


Not all shingles are made from asphalt-based substances. Singles can be made from a wide variety of raw materials. One such material is metal. There are shingles available in steel, aluminum, copper, or alloy. One of the most attractive advantages of metal shingles is their energy efficiency because metal reflects a larger portion of the sun’s energy instead of absorbing it. Another significant benefit of metal shingles is their extended life span; metal shingle roofs can be expected to last 50 to 70 years before they need to be replaced. Metal shingles are also highly customizable. They can be found in a rainbow of colors and a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures. Metal shingles are among the most fire-resistant types of shingles available, which is of particular concern in areas prone to wildfires.

Stone-Coated Steel

While technically still made from metal, stone-coated steel offers yet another shingle option that offers extreme longevity, durability, and resistance to the elements. These shingles present the appearance of a traditional asphalt or tile roof with the benefits of modern roofing technology. They’re made from metal and coated with a layer of stone material that mimics other roofing types. That’s where the similarities end, however. They feature a life span of up to 100 years, are lightweight, have superior fire resistance, and are extremely low maintenance. They’re among the most expensive shingles listed here, but because of their long list of benefits, they still offer great bang for the buck.

If you plan to install a new shingle roof in Sandy Springs, make sure you research these shingle options and others before deciding on a specific type. The available options can help you get a roof that perfectly matches  your needs in terms of life span, cost, weight, and durability. To learn about what shingles are right for you, contact Superior Roofing Company of Georgia at (770) 279-2621.