Asphalt shingles are considered the most common roofing material in the country and for a good reason. The material is the safest bet on almost every home. Most roofing companies, if not all, are also familiar with installing these shingles. Asphalt shingles strike a balance between cost-effectiveness, easy installation, and a lifespan of 15 to 20 years.
So if you're considering asphalt shingle roofing for your Portland home– let's discuss everything you need to know to determine if it's the right choice for your home needs.
Why are Asphalt Shingle Roofs the Most Popular Choice?
The popularity of asphalt shingle roofs is partly because of their versatility. Asphalt shingles are created with a fiberglass mat, asphalt layer, and a layer of granules. Typically, it is manufactured by spraying hot asphalt on a fiberglass mat and applying the granules. Once it is pressed, rolled, and cooled– the material bonds together. Asphalt roofs have a decent fire rating and can stand different weather extremes. This roofing material is suitable for different climates, whether in Portland or other parts of the country.
Here's a quick rundown of the most critical considerations to consider, along with the advantages and disadvantages of asphalt shingle roofs for your Portland home.
A versatile material in all climates
Requires high maintenance
Suitable with most homes
May not complement old or rustic homes
Will need replacement after 20 to 25 years
Durable given proper maintenance
Not known as the most eco-friendly
Not the most energy-efficient roofing material
Like every other roofing material, asphalt shingles also have their fair share of drawbacks. The material isn't known to last as long as other shingles in regions with regular temperature fluctuations. Not to mention, the shingles are prone to cracking or warping too. The material is also not recommended on roofs with a steeper slope.
Other Types of Shingles to Consider for Your Portland Home
Asphalt shingles aren't the only option in choosing shingles for your residential roofing needs. Below, we discuss the different shingle types for you to consider.
True to its name, fiberglass shingles are created with a fiberglass base. Several layers are then overlain to be bound with an adhesive. Then, the material is coated with asphalt (made with different mineral fillers) to give it a waterproof seal.
What we love about fiberglass shingles:
Another option to consider is organic shingles. These are commonly created from recycled materials such as old cardboard, paper, rags, and wood chips. It is also an inexpensive shingle roofing material, but it's notorious for being saturated and accumulating moisture. As a result, it may lead to different problems, especially in areas with freezing temperatures or high humidity levels.
Saturation and moisture may cause the shingles to degrade and deteriorate even before 20 years of good use, which is their average life expectancy. You'll find that it's common for Portland homeowners to replace organic shingles with fiberglass material instead.
Three-tab Asphalt Shingles
Another roof shingle type to consider is the three-tab shingles. Most contractors in Portland specify some asphalt-based shingle roofing material as "three-tab" since they are composed of three individual tabs measuring a foot wide.
The material is considerably inexpensive yet thin. But, they are surprisingly long-lasting (up to 30 years) given proper maintenance.
Wood shingles are the most environment-friendly shingle type you can consider. The material is also known to be long-lasting, for up to 50 years. You can purchase either cedar or redwood shingles, which are both durable and energy-efficient.
The downside? Wood shingles are the most prone to catching fire compared to other shingle types. You will also need to follow necessary precautions so it won't be damaged by mold or termites so soon.
In most cases, wood shingles are repaired when cracked, warped, or missing. Instead, your contractor may opt to replace the wood shingles, as fixing them will only be costly and troublesome.
What we love about wood shingles:
Slate or Tile Shingles
Some historic homes and buildings in the Portland area were made using natural slate or tile roofs for their architectural style. The material is known to be long-lasting, but it is also notably heavy to work with compared to other roof types. It is also more prone to chipping and cracking and may be challenging to repair.
Natural slate and tile shingle roofing materials are readily available if you want period-accurate materials in your Portland home. But, you may also consider alternatives such as manufactured tile or slate. They take on the same appearance but make the installation more accessible and cheaper.
Important Note: Both options are considered the most labor-intensive and expensive shingle materials.
What we love about tile or slate shingles:
What are the Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles?
Now that we've covered the different shingle roofing types, we'll revert to asphalt shingles as the primary shingle material for clarity. As previously mentioned, asphalt roof shingles are increasingly widespread thanks to their cost-effectiveness and reliability.
If you're still on the fence about using asphalt shingles for your residential roofing needs, let's take a detailed look at its pros and cons.
The Good: Pros of Asphalt Shingles for Your Portland Home Roofing Needs
Why do Portland homeowners continue to use asphalt shingles for their roofing needs? Well, here are a few benefits to consider.
The Bad: Cons of Asphalt Shingles for Your Portland Home Roofing Needs
Of course, asphalt shingles also have their drawbacks to consider carefully. Here are the most common ones:
There you have it! Since we've discussed the pros and cons of using asphalt shingles for your Portland home, ensure to keep the key points in mind as you decide.
Choosing the Best Asphalt Shingle for Your Portland Roof
When selecting the shingles for your roof, you have three main options. The 3-tab shingles are considered the most basic and affordable option—a lightweight shingle with a fiberglass base and mineral granules that will last for around 20 years. An architectural shingle is a slightly more costly alternative that combines two layers of shingle. Aside from its premium durability, architectural shingles also provide an elevated appearance to the roof.
Because of its 3D effect with varying patterns and tones, architectural shingles are more aesthetically pleasing but a bit more expensive. It can also imitate the looks of other shingles, such as wood or slate. Architectural shingles are also more weatherproof compared to 3-tab shingles.
Lastly, there's the luxury shingle, a shingle style meant to appear like natural slate but at a more affordable price range.
Which Underlayment Is the Best Option?
You'll need to consult with your Portland roofers to determine the best of two underlayment options for your new shingle roof. Usually, this entails deciding whether to use synthetic or felt paper underlayment as the base layer of material on top of the roof deck but underneath your new shingles.
Unfortunately, the felt paper option is much more likely the ones used during art class, which tends to tear apart easily. It is also not the best option against the wet climate of Portland, OR, because it does not stand up well to rain.
The more popular choice for Portland roofers is synthetic underlayment. To reduce wear, fiberglass is woven into the fabric, and it performs considerably better in the weather. Although this improvement comes at a higher cost, the benefits make it worthwhile.
Overall Verdict: Are Shingles Roofs Good for Portland Homes?
Asphalt shingles are an excellent starter choice if you want nothing but the best roofing material for your Portland home. It’s the most commonly used roof material for plenty of good reasons. Compared to other materials, it has a relatively affordable price range. If you’re working on a budget, this is your safest bet! The material also comes in various style options, from granular to colored ones.
Note that asphalt shingles aren’t as durable and long-lasting as their counterparts. However, it serves as a great middle-ground and can still last you long years given proper maintenance and upkeep.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why are asphalt shingles so popular?
Some excellent reasons why asphalt shingle roofs continue to soar in popularity are: they are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, sizes, and thickness, they are durable, they can be maintained and repaired and lastly, they can resist fire.
How long will an asphalt roof last?
Generally, asphalt roofs can last up to 20 years, but your property's environment will also determine its lifespan. If there's moss or fungus growth or tree debris left lying around for long, this may just cut the lifespan of your asphalt roof.