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architectural shingles vs 3-tab shingles. Which one is better?

Which One Is Better? Architectural Shingles vs 3-Tab Shingles

By : Guillermo Molina Matus

When thinking about replacing your roof, you’re most likely going to run into the two types of shingle roofs, Architectural and 3-Tab.

What are 3-Tab Shingles?

3-Tab shingles are made of a strong, mineral granule-coated, fiberglass base mat. With this build, 3-Tab shingles a light ply and can endure 60 to 70 mph winds.

3-Tab shingles may look like multiple pieces but in reality, is a shingle ply. This design is attractive due to its symmetrical look. They are the most basic shingle option but if not installed correctly can make your house look non-symmetrical.

Pros of 3-Tab Shingles

3-Tab shingles are lightweight, simple to install, and do not have some of the drawbacks that tile roofing, concrete, or clay roofing have.

These types of shingles are very durable and resistant to weather. However, improper or careless installation can put a lot of stress on your roof deck. This is why it’s important to choose a reputable installer.

Another benefit of 3-Tab shingles is that they’re relatively inexpensive compared to other roofing materials.

While 3-Tab shingles offer a simple design, they don’t necessarily make a roof look dull. Rather, 3-Tab shingles typically make your roof appear clean, minimal, and symmetrical.

Cons of 3-Tab Shingles

One of the most significant disadvantages of using 3-Tab shingles is having thin frames. This makes it susceptible to wind uplifts. In addition, without proper maintenance they can become loose, allowing strong winds to damage your roof.

Remember, a 3-Tab shingle can only endure winds of 60 to 70 mph. High-wind zones have wind speeds that exceed 70 mph. With this in mind, take extra precautions if you live in areas prone to high winds.

If you suspect that your shingles have been damaged or displaced, it’s important to get a free roof inspection as quickly as possible to avoid further damage. When shingles are damaged, moved, or missing, they can no longer protect the underlying roof structure and additional, more expensive damage, can occur.

What are Architectural Shingles?

Architectural shingles – sometimes referred to as laminated shingles – are specifically engineered to have a unique cut, contour, and dimensional thickness. They are often manufactured to mimic the impressive, sought-after appearance of authentic cedar shakes or natural slate tiles, achieving the same look without the weight, installation, flammability concerns, maintenance, and expenses involved with natural wood and stone roofing materials. Manufacturers like GAF have a wide range of colors.

While the primary reason for their use is a high-end look, they come with other advantages as well.

Pros of Architectural Shingles

Architectural asphalt shingles are designed with three-dimensional textures. Tab slots, as in standard 3-tab roofing, are not required. They are stronger and heavier than 3-Tab shingles, but they typically don’t need extra support built underneath them.

Architectural shingles are made of multiple layers of material, asphalt, and granules, instead of standard asphalt shingles, which have a layer of material over a glass mat. Its asphalt is more durable and refined. They are more wind resistant due to their thickness and composition with some architectural shingles able to withstand winds of up to 120 mph. They are also more fire-resistant than standard composition shingles.

Architectural shingles can be tailored to your specific preference and their depth and texture, giving your home unprecedented curb appeal.

Cons of Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles weight is up to 50% heavier than 3-Tab shingles, which could be an issue for some roofs (an inspection will reveal whether or not architectural shingles are a good fit for your home). They are also more expensive than 3-Tab shingles.

Even though they tend to be higher quality and sturdier, architectural shingles can be damaged by bad weather and debris. When damage occurs, architectural shingles are more expensive to repair.

Which one is better?

There are many different points to consider when weighing the choice between architectural shingles and 3-Tab shingles. Honestly, it often comes down to your specific home, location, and situation. If you live around the Eastern Shore area which consists of places like Salisbury, MD; Berlin, MD; Ocean City, MD; or Bethany Beach, DE, we would recommend architectural shingles due to our high winds.

If you want our expert advice, we can take a closer look at your house. We offer free proposals and guarantee professional service from start to finish. In addition, G and Bros Roofing offers GAF’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 5-year workmanship warranty with all of our architectural shingles installation. Schedule a roof inspection today!

Downward view of black shingles roof installation
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