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A simple explanation of what roof renovation takes.

 A wardrobe malfunction is easy to correct, such as wearing gym shoes with a tuxedo… but an ugly roof may take time and serious consideration to correct. Your roof shingles offer so much more than protection, so making the appropriate adjustments to your home is not only for safety… but it for style as well. Sitting on both ends of the spectrum, it should be no surprise that asphalt shingles are widely known for their timeless look and efficiency. Their broad range of effectiveness are why so many contractors turn to them when repairing or installing shingles… but what does this mean to anyone who isn’t a roof contractor?

So with this being said, we’ve compiled everything you’d like to know about asphalt shingles and roof renovation into layman terms… this way any novice can sound like a veteran when discussing shingles with their roofing contractor. Whether for repair or cosmetic, here are a few reasons why so many contractors turn to asphalt shingles.

What Are Asphalt Shingles?

So before we go into the visual benefits of using asphalt shingles, here’s some background on what these shingles actually are.

Fiberglass Shingles are covered with ceramic granules to shield it from harmful ultraviolet rays. These shingles are comprised of a woven fiberglass base mat and coated waterproof asphalt. Less asphalt is necessary for strength and durability due to the composition of the fiberglass mat, which makes it thinner than most roofing material and lighter in weight.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

As every asphalt shingle comes in either organic or fiberglass form, there’s differences as to how they can look on a home. There are only two different types of shingles used for roofing a home:

Architectural Shingles – Architectural Shingles are very durable because they’re layered with an extra layer of asphalt to suit the needs of their service. They have an especially strong waterproof capability due to asphalt sealant being applied to their layers. It is definitely worth noting that architectural shingles shouldn’t be used on low-sloping roofs, as they are more vulnerable to rain driven by the wind.

Three-Tab Shingles – These have remained popular for many years due to the fact that they make each shingle appear to be installed individually and a lower cost. However, many roofers regard these as the weakest style and poorest functioning shingle choice.

Colors of Shingles

The color wheel of asphalt shingles isn’t necessarily staggering, but there’s more than likely an appropriate match to coincide with your home. Some of the selections are:

  •     Charcoal – Dark Gray
  •     Barkwood – Brown
  •     Weathered Wood – Muted Brown/Beige
  •     Slate – Cool Gray

As these are only a few of the selections, other colors can range from green to red. What makes the colors so appealing is that they can mimic the colors of wood, slate, or tile. This selection of colors tends to match any property… complementing the home and adding curb appeal in the process.

View some colors and styles available in your area from CertainTeed. Different regions of the US receive different colors, styles and brands. Areas like Cincinnati and Chicago will have a wide range but lack many colors associated with forest living and dessert living (Greens, Golds and Reds). Most manufacturers will only let you view colors online by typing in a zip code so you don’t get your hopes up.

Another fun fact is that there are asphalt shingles that can lower your energy costs when heating or cooling. Some shingles have solar reflecting technology that can keep your roof up to twenty percent cooler in the summer (which keeps the need to heat or cool a home at a minimal.)


Shingles Complimenting Your Home

Now that you have more than enough information regarding asphalt shingles, it’s about time to put that knowledge to use. Here’s some excellent color schemes to make your dream home hues within reach.

  • Green Shingles – Green shingles look great when paired with wood siding. This also goes for grey and white… or pretty much any color that’s lighter than green. A red or maroon home may be a harsh contrast, so avoid if necessary.
  • Brown Shingles – Brown shingles often compliment cream, yellow, tan, off-white, or a slightly different shade of brown. Grays or blues may not work with brown shingles, so try to stay away from cool colors as the shingles may take all the energy from how the home looks.
  • Black Shingles – Black shingles often help a home look wider and seemingly make the home seem lower. Black shingles can’t work for every structure, as they make smaller homes seem burdened by the weight of the color. This color choice is often paired with homes that are white, blue, grey, green, and some brick homes for safe measure.
  • Grey Shingles – Grey shingles often look great with traditional homes, as they can match black, green, white, or blue homes. Pairing grey shingles with bold colors on the shutters or main entry door can really compliment your home in the best way possible.
  • Terracotta Shingles – Terracotta shingles look great with brick or stucco homes, but look even better with stone and homes using a wide variety of materials in their structure. For painted homes, terracotta shingles look exceptionally well on white by complimenting both color schemes.
  • Red Shingles – Red shingles look great on warm brown color schemes or grey. If a country look what you’d like, pairing red shingles with cream or white exteriors will help project the image you’re looking for.

If you’re still having trouble finding out what color would work best for your home, there’s plenty of colorists that will gladly help you bring your vision to life. If that sounds like too much trouble, there’s online applications that can give you a rough idea of how your color scheme works on your home before construction begins. You can also utilize your Roofing Contractor for opinions – they’ll know what works, what’s popular, and what to avoid.


Shingle Durability

Now here’s where things may get a bit confusing, so we’re going to break this into layman terms so you know what kind of deal you should look at before calling a contractor. Finding a contractor hint: Only use a roofing contractor certified by the manufacturer as an expert installer. In areas like the suburbs of Chicago or Cincinnati you’ll have the widest variety of Roofing company types so look for those with stamps like GAF Master Elite and CertainTeed Master Shingle Applicator.

Manufacturers normally hold a fifteen to thirty year warranty for asphalt shingles. Although this may seem like an awfully long time, it’s mostly due to the fact that weather may be unpredictable in regards to the shingle’s lifespan. Areas with long summers and exceptionally high temperatures can significantly shorten the lifespan of your shingles, as areas with cooler weather need less repair.

How steep your roof is may also be a contributing factor to your shingle lifespan. The roof pitch (steepness of your roof) makes it easier for snow or other harmful weather to roll off your roof, as a roof with a moderate incline stays in contact with the inclement weather for longer periods of time. This basically means that the longer snow is on a roof, the more damage and stress it causes for the shingles.

Fungus and algae growth can cause significant damage as well. Purchasing algae resistant shingles can add ten to fifteen years to its lifespan.


Shingle Cost is the #1 Factor in a Roof Renovation Project

Shingle cost can vary by where you live and differences in labor cost. The labor cost can vary due to the repair or renovation you would like your roofing contractor to adhere to. A small repair due to light weather damage isn’t nearly as expensive as a renovation, but having a contractor to look at your roof at least every other season is helpful to address small problems before they become a serious issue. If that’s too much of a problem, checking your roof for cracks with binoculars or looking in the attic for leaks on your own help address what’s wrong before a contractor arrives.

Most importantly, you may even have a few pointers for your roofing contractor after digesting this information. Either way, happy roofing everyone!


Want to have a roofing expert take a look at your roof? If you live in the Cincinnati or Chicago suburbs you can get a free inspection and consultation from the professionals at Roofing Annex! We are intimate with neighborhoods like Batavia and Lemont, Illinois that have a great deal of discontinued shingles, storm damage, and remodeling needs. Roofing Annex knows know what it takes to renovate in towns like Indian Hills and Mason, Ohio. Steep slope residential & commercial roofing mastery, Insurance Claim Advocacy™, financing options, and the best warranties out there are what make us the leaders of our industry.

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