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What Are the Best Roof Shingles? (2024 Analysis)

Different colored shingles

When it comes to roofing shingles, homeowners want durability, aesthetics, and value for their money. With a plethora of options available, it can be challenging to make an informed decision.

However, CertainTeed roofing shingles have consistently proven to be the best choice for many homeowners. Not convinced? In this blog post, we will explore:

  • The pros and cons of asphalt shingles
  • The differences between 3-tab and architectural shingles
  • Some of the best shingle brands
  • Why CertainTeed stands out from the rest
  • When to replace your roof

Keep reading to discover the best roof shingles for your home!

Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

A close up of an asphalt shingle roof

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the United States, and for good reason. They offer a range of benefits, but they also come with some drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of asphalt shingles:

✅ Pros:

  • Affordability: Asphalt shingles are one of the most cost-effective roofing materials available, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners.
  • Variety: They come in a wide range of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to choose a shingle that complements their home’s architecture and personal taste.
  • Ease of Installation: Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install, which can help reduce labor costs and installation time.
  • Decent Lifespan: While not the longest-lasting option, asphalt shingles can provide reliable protection for your home for 20-30 years.

❌ Cons:

  • Limited Lifespan: Compared to other roofing materials like metal or slate, asphalt shingles have a shorter lifespan and may require replacement sooner.
  • Vulnerability to Weather: They can be vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, such as high winds, hail, and severe temperature fluctuations.
  • Environmental Impact: Asphalt shingles are petroleum-based products, and their production has an environmental impact. However, some brands, including CertainTeed, are taking steps to improve sustainability.

Now that we’ve covered the general pros and cons of asphalt shingles, let’s delve into the differences between two common types: 3-tab and architectural shingles.

The Difference Between 3-Tab and Architectural Shingles

When choosing asphalt shingles, homeowners often encounter two main types: 3-tab and architectural (also known as laminated or dimensional) shingles. Understanding the differences between these options is crucial for making an informed decision:

3-Tab Shingles:

  • Affordable: 3-tab shingles are the more budget-friendly option among asphalt shingle choices.
  • Simplistic Appearance: They have a flat, uniform appearance with three tabs per shingle strip.
  • Shorter Lifespan: Typically, 3-tab shingles have a shorter lifespan compared to architectural shingles, lasting around 20 years.

Architectural Shingles:

  • Enhanced Aesthetics: Architectural shingles offer a three-dimensional appearance, mimicking the look of wood or slate shingles.
  • Durability: They tend to be more durable and have a longer lifespan, often lasting 30 years or more.
  • Greater Cost: While more expensive than 3-tab shingles, the enhanced aesthetics and durability make architectural shingles a popular choice among homeowners looking for long-term value.

The Best Shingle Brands

There are several reputable shingle manufacturers on the market, but some have consistently stood out for their quality, innovation, and commitment to customer satisfaction. These brands include GAF, Owens Corning, Tamko, and, notably, CertainTeed.

GAF (General Aniline & Film)

✅ Pros:

  • Longevity: GAF is known for producing durable shingles that can last for decades, often up to 30 years or more.
  • Wide Range of Styles: GAF offers a diverse selection of shingle styles, including architectural and designer options, giving homeowners plenty of choices to match their home’s aesthetics.
  • Strong Warranty: GAF provides robust warranty options, such as the GAF System Plus Limited Warranty, which covers not only manufacturing defects but also workmanship errors for a specific period.
  • Good Reputation: GAF has a solid reputation among roofing contractors and homeowners for delivering quality products and reliable customer service.

❌ Cons:

  • Price: GAF shingles tend to be on the higher end of the cost spectrum, which may not be suitable for budget-conscious homeowners.
  • Environmental Concerns: Some environmentalists have raised concerns about the sustainability practices of GAF, though the company has been taking steps to improve its environmental footprint.

Owens Corning

✅ Pros:

  • Energy Efficiency: Owens Corning offers shingles with advanced energy-efficient technology, such as the Duration Premium COOL shingles, which can help lower cooling costs in hot climates.
  • Strong Warranties: Owens Corning provides a variety of warranty options, including the Total Protection Roofing System Warranty, offering comprehensive coverage for extended periods.
  • Diverse Color Options: They offer an extensive palette of color choices, allowing homeowners to find the perfect match for their homes.
  • Respected Brand: Owens Corning has a long history and is a trusted name in the roofing industry.

❌ Cons:

  • Premium Pricing: Like GAF, Owens Corning shingles can be on the expensive side compared to other brands.
  • Limited Architectural Styles: While they offer a wide range of colors, some homeowners may find their architectural shingle styles to be somewhat limited in comparison to other brands.

Tamko

✅ Pros:

  • Affordability: Tamko is often praised for its affordability, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners.
  • Color Choices: They offer a good selection of color options to suit various home designs.
  • Reliable Performance: Tamko shingles are known for their reliable performance and longevity, often lasting 20-30 years.

❌ Cons:

  • Limited Style Variety: Tamko’s range of architectural styles and designs may be more limited compared to some other brands.
  • Warranty Limitations: While Tamko does provide warranties, they may not be as comprehensive as those offered by competitors like GAF and CertainTeed.
  • Regional Availability: Tamko shingles may not be available in all regions, limiting accessibility for some homeowners.

Why CertainTeed Stands Out

A brick house with black asphalt shingles

CertainTeed has earned its reputation as one of the top shingle manufacturers for several compelling reasons:

  • Quality Assurance: CertainTeed is known for its rigorous quality control standards. Their shingles undergo extensive testing to ensure they meet industry standards for performance and durability.
  • Variety of Options: CertainTeed offers a wide range of shingle styles and colors, allowing homeowners to find the perfect fit for their homes.
  • Warranty Coverage: CertainTeed provides strong warranty coverage, offering peace of mind to homeowners. Their SureStart PLUS warranty, for instance, covers manufacturing defects, labor, and materials for up to 50 years.
  • Sustainability Efforts: CertainTeed is committed to sustainability and environmentally responsible manufacturing practices. They recycle asphalt shingle waste and have made significant strides in reducing their environmental footprint.
  • Positive Reputation: Homeowners and contractors consistently give positive reviews for CertainTeed shingles, citing their durability and performance.

6 Signs About When to Replace Your Roof

Knowing when to replace your roof is crucial to maintaining the integrity of your home. Here are some signs that it might be time for a roof replacement:

1) Age 👶🏼

If your roof is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, it’s wise to start planning for a replacement. Asphalt shingle roofs typically last 20-30 years.

2) Visible Damage 🔨

Look for signs of shingle damage, such as curling, cracking, or missing shingles. These issues can lead to leaks and water damage.

3) Interior Water Damage 💧

If you notice water stains on your ceilings or walls, it may indicate a roof leak. Address this issue promptly to prevent further damage.

4) Moss or Algae Growth 🌱

Excessive moss or algae growth on your roof can be a sign of underlying moisture problems and may warrant a roof inspection.

5) High Energy Bills 📈

An aging or damaged roof can result in poor insulation and increased energy costs. If your energy bills have spiked, it may be time to consider a replacement.

6) Roof Sagging 🏚️

A sagging roof is a severe issue that requires immediate attention. It indicates structural damage and potential roof collapse.

Work With a Quality Roofing Contractor

In the world of roofing shingles, CertainTeed stands out as a top choice for homeowners seeking quality, durability, and aesthetic appeal. While asphalt shingles have their pros and cons, CertainTeed’s commitment to excellence and sustainability sets them apart from the competition. When considering a roof replacement, take into account the age of your current roof, any visible damage, and signs of interior water damage. By choosing CertainTeed roofing shingles, you can ensure that your home remains protected and beautiful for years to come. At O’Donnell, we’re proud to be a certified CertainTeed shingle installer. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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