Are you feeling overwhelmed about the infinite options and questions when it comes to shingling your roof? You’re not alone.
In this article, we’ve compiled the most common question that frustrated homeowners ask but can’t find answers to.
And the best part?
We’re answering directly from our years of experience in the roofing industry. In other words, these aren’t textbook answers. They are tried and true, proven answers.
Ready to clear the air of your questions about shingles and get answers from the Perry Roofing Contracting team?
Let’s get started!
Questions on Types of Shingles
What is the difference between an “asphalt shingle” and an “architectural shingle”?
Asphalt shingles are any type of shingle that consists of either a fiberglass or felt paper base coated with a waterproof layer of asphalt and topped with ceramic granules.
Architectural shingles are simply a specific type of asphalt shingle. They are unique in their 2-ply design, which gives them a exquisite, three-dimensional appearance.
That’s why architectural shingles are most commonly chosen by homeowners that want to enhance the visual appeal of their home.
PRO TIP: the other common style of asphalt shingle is known as a “3-tab shingle.” 3-tab shingles are aptly named since they are designed as a single-ply shingle with three tabs. They provide a classic shingle look but are not as aesthetically pleasing as architectural shingles.
What is better to use in Florida weather: 3-tab or architectural shingles?
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Florida?
Probably something to do with hot weather!
Heat can play a role in the degradation of your roof system, so this is a good question.
There isn’t much difference in the performance of 3-tab and architectural shingles when it comes to the Florida sun. However, the extra ply on architectural shingles provides superior resistance to the wind when properly installed.
And as we all know, when hurricane season rolls around, shingles that resist the wind are a big deal!
Questions on Shingle Lifespans and Warranties
What is the average lifespan of asphalt shingles in general?
Most asphalt shingles last between 15-25 years before needing replacement.
Most homeowners want to ensure they are closer to the 25 years than the 15 years. Here are a few things to do to make sure you maximize the lifespan of asphalt shingles:
- Properly ventilate your attic. Poorly ventilated roofs don’t allow moisture in attic spaces to be expelled to the exterior. Moisture under shingles causes the wood under the singles to swell and buckle, leading to premature failure.
- Keep roofs clean and don’t allow tree branches or anything else to rub or scrape across the roof.
- Increase the pitch of your roof. Steeper roofs shed water faster, which keeps the shingles in better condition.
- Replace cracked or curling shingles as soon as possible. This allows you to avoid the snowball effect of a failing roof that defective shingles cause.
What is the average lifespan of shingles in the Florida climate?
In the warm, windy climate of Florida, 3-tab shingles generally last around 15 years.
Architectural shingles can last up to 25 years, though our experience at Perry Roofing shows that an average lifespan of architectural shingles in Florida is around 22 years.
Do architectural shingles have a longer average lifespan than 3-tab shingles?
Many variables affect the longevity of a roof.
For example, if your roof isn’t ventilated properly or if the shingles on your roof weren’t installed correctly, you may be in trouble regardless of the shingle type you use.
It’s true, though, that the quality of materials plays a significant role in the longevity of a roof.
In general, architectural shingles have a lifespan that is approximately ten years longer than 3-tab shingles.
Are shingles with over a 30-year warranty worth the extra money?
The answer is “yes,” but it comes with an asterisk.
Just make sure you read the fine print, and ask plenty of questions to ensure the warranty covers significant damages.
Do 30-year shingles really last 30 years in Florida?
Most shingles will begin to break down before 30 years – usually due to poor roof ventilation.
The warm, Florida climate makes ventilation more crucial than ever. Shingles endure scorching heat when roofs aren’t adequately ventilated, which causes them to break down at an advanced rate.
The fine print on most 30-year warranties states that a shingle has to age within a specified time allowance for the warranty to be valid.
That means that as long as a 29-year old shingle is aging as a 29-year old shingle should age, the product is performing adequately, and replacement coverage is not warranted.
What are some trusted shingle roofing brands?
At Perry Roofing, we exclusively use Owens Corning. We believe they manufacture the highest quality shingles and offer solid warranties. Certainteed, Malarkey, Atlas, and GAF are also reputable shingle brands.
Questions on Re-roofing with Shingles
Is it always better to remove an old layer of shingles before putting on a new layer?
Most people live life with the tension that comes when buying a product or service – should you pay more money for a high-quality product, or settle for a lower quality item that costs less money?
Sometimes it makes sense to choose the cheaper option, but when it comes to protecting your roof, that’s not the case.
When shingles are placed directly over previous shingles, the old nails often back out and harm your brand new roof.
And don’t forget that shingles are heavy! Chances are, your roof structure was designed for one layer of shingles, plus extra for safety margin. Installing new shingles over old ones doubles the weight, so you’ll have to make sure your roof can handle the extra load.
Furthermore, the warranty for new shingles automatically voids when they are installed over an existing roof system.
Also, the cost to tear off a shingle roof is a fraction of the overall re-roof cost and completely worth the expense of getting a dependable new system.
And finally, part of a re-roof inspection includes checking decking for adequate fastening. This can only be performed if the old roof system is removed. This does provide the added benefit of allowing for a wind mitigation inspection to be completed, which will typically save more money on homeowners insurance than the cost of the tear-off.
When is it OK to put a new layer of shingles over the existing shingle roof?
Technically, code allows for up to 2 roof systems to be installed on a building.
But you already know our opinion on this – it is always best practice to remove the old system and inspect the deck before installing new shingles.
Can you put a metal roof over an existing shingle roof?
Yes, installing a metal roof over an existing shingle roof is possible. The rigidity of metal lessens the risk of old fasteners poking through the metal panels.
However, there are still significant risks involved with installing a metal roof over an old shingle roof.
Even a metal roof shows the imperfections of badly curled shingles or a warped roof deck. To combat this, choose a striated metal and avoid flat-panel metals.
Since tearing off shingles is a relatively minor cost, it is usually best practice to remove the old shingles and install new underlayment for the best possible roof system.
Questions on Preparing for a Roofing Project
What color of roof shingles is the best value or quality (sun reflection value, etc.)?
A properly insulated and ventilated attic gives you the option of choosing any color shingle you want with little impact on heating and cooling costs.
However, in our experience, dark shingle colors tend to break down faster than light colors.
If you are proud of your home, this is great news because lighter colors can make your home appear larger and make it stand out amongst the neighboring properties. Darker colors, meanwhile, decrease attention from your home and put other elements into a more prominent focus.
What is the average price per square foot for a shingle roof?
$3.50 is the average price per square foot for a shingle roof, but be aware that many factors affect price.
For example, if your roof has difficult access, steep pitches, special features, or lots of penetrations, the price may be higher than average.
For reference sake, a standing seam metal roof costs around $8-$12 per square foot. That means that a shingle roof is around three times less expensive than a standing seam metal roof.
What should I be asking my roofing contractor to make sure I am not fooled?
There’s nothing more unsettling than the feeling in the pit of your stomach that says you are overpaying for a service or not getting the help you really need.
With that in mind, here is a list of questions to ask your roofing contractor to make sure everything is clear and above board.
- Do you offer a workmanship warranty outside of the shingle manufacturer’s warranty? If so, how long does your last?
- What shingle manufacturer are you using for your roofing system?
- Will flashings be replaced?
- Do you use your own labor, or do you hire subcontractors?
- What kind of underlayment are you using?
- Can you explain the warranty coverage if my shingles fail prematurely? (Different manufacturers’ versions of a 30-year warrant vary tremendously on what is covered.)
Better yet, get a personal recommendation on the roofing contractor that you are working with. Ask for a few references and see what others say about them.
If a contractor is hesitant to give references or show you examples of work they’ve done in the past, you might want to consider hiring someone else.
Are there any kinds of shingles that qualify for a tax credit?
There are no asphalt-based shingles that provide a tax credit, but there are stone-coated metal shingles that potentially offer tax credits.
This is because stone-coated metal shingles reduce a home’s overall energy consumption. They can give your home a 45% reduction in heat transfer compared to asphalt shingles.
Questions on Stone-coated Metal Shingles and Tile Roofing
Are stone-coated metal shingles better value than asphalt shingles (especially in Florida weather)?
Stone-coated metal shingles have a lot of upsides. Here are a few benefits of stone-coated metal shingles:
- Lightweight (1.5 pounds per square foot)
- Extremely durable (they won’t crack, break, burn, curl, or split)
- Foot traffic permissible
- Low maintenance
- Tough in the face of extreme weather. (2 ½” hail impact rating and 120 mph wind warranty)
- Eligible for potential tax credits
These benefits come at a price, though. The average cost of stone-coated metal shingles is between $5.50 to $12.00 per square foot of roofing space.
However, if you plan to stay in your home for good, there’s no better way to protect your roof.
What advantages do tile shingles have in Florida?
Like stone coated steel, tile roofs are extremely durable and last a long time.
However, for tile roofs, their strength is also their weakness.
Tile roofs are heavy – they add significant weight to roof systems. This added weight helps protect against high winds in coastal communities and aids in longevity in general.
Unfortunately, the weight of tile roofing can also cause problems for the structural integrity of a house. At a minimum, structural engineering is needed to determine if your home can support the weight of a tile roof.
How much on average do stone-coated metal shingles cost compared to standard asphalt shingles?
As we mentioned earlier, stone-coated metal shingles are more expensive than asphalt shingles. In general, stone-coated metal shingle roofs are about two times as expensive as a standard asphalt shingle roof.
Will stone-coated metal shingles lower my home insurance and help protect against fire?
These two questions are inextricable – and the answer to both is yes!
Stone-coated metal shingles are a class-A rated material, which means they are non-combustible.
Since stone-coated metal shingles are fire resistant, they aid in lowering home insurance. Just check your insurance policy to what kind of savings you might get – it’s as simple as that!
Do certain tile or stone-coated metal shingle colors help lower cooling bills?
The answer to this question is similar to the question about the color of asphalt shingles and how it affects how long they last.
The most significant factors in heating and cooling costs is proper ventilation and attic insulation – not the color of your roof.
Stone-coated steel reduces attic temperatures when properly installed, regardless of the color you choose. For example, attic temperatures on a home with asphalt shingles can reach 150 degrees, while stone-coated steel usually keeps temperatures to 90 degrees or less.
Are stone-coated metal shingles better for the environment than asphalt shingles?
Yes, stone-coated metal shingles are better for the environment than asphalt shingles in several ways.
The first is that they last up to twice as long compared to asphalt shingles. With less roof-related waste over time, more natural resources are preserved.
The second is that stone-coated metal shingles are not water-proofed with asphalt. That means that petroleum based waste is eliminated when the roof is finally replaced. In fact, stone-coated metal shingles are made from recycled materials and can be recycled when they wear out.
Does a tile roof add value to my home?
Most people are willing to spend a little extra money if they know it results in long term value for their lives. And so it should be! Decisions that add value to our lives over the years are usually worth it.
Both tile and stone-coated steel have a higher return on investment than asphalt-based shingles.
That means that tile and stone-coated steel add value and resale appeal to your home. Both are wise investments and usually pay off over the years.
There are countless options when it comes to materials for your roof – and along with them, lots of questions!
No matter what you choose, you deserve to feel confident in the decision you are making. And every time you check a question off your list, you move closer to that confidence.
That’s why we’re glad we could share our experience in the roofing industry with you.
If you are looking for a roofing contractor in Gainesville, FL, or the surrounding areas, contact us at Perry Roofing today. We offer both residential roofing services as well as commercial roofing options. We even have a 24/7 emergency roof repair and service for when you are in a pinch.
Contact us today to see how our team can help make your dream roof a reality. We look forward to meeting you!