What Do 80% of Our Homes Have In Common?

I’ll give you a hint it is on top of your house… that’s right. Many houses have some form of asphalt shingles on their roof. That’s a pretty strong showing if roofing was in a popularity contest. Asphalt shingles in general consist of two types; fiberglass shingle and organic. The shingles are similar on the surface since they both have an asphalt surface, however, the base is different. The base of organic shingles is sometimes made from a paper product and a fiberglass shingle has a fiberglass matt.

So what is the difference, which is better? They both have their unique advantages and disadvantages.

Fiberglass shingles are more fire resistant than organic shingles and they are lighter so easier to handle and therefore less expensive to install. But since they are lighter they do not hold up as well as an organic asphalt shingle, which is heavier (because they have more asphalt) and will hold up better in extremely cold winter regions. However, despite its durability, it comes with a drawback. The organic shingles are more prone to warping due to wet weather conditions because they actually absorb water! Wow for a minute there I was thinking I should go with the organic but for this region, it seems to make sense to stick to fiberglass shingles.

Not only do the roofing shingles differ in the actual composite of materials they also differ in durability and styles. These shingles are typically broken down into two types; three-tab (or strip) and architectural. Three-tab shingles are the least expensive and most likely the least popular. They don’t have much style and are used as an inexpensive way to get a new roof that may not last as long as you would like. Developers who are building spec homes may sometimes use these to cut costs. The architectural shingle is a heavier grade of roofing product giving you a more durable roof. In addition, it has style! They are dimensional giving them the look of a shake shingle which is the name for a wood shingle that has been sawn and has a unique appearance or a slate look.

So when I specify a roof shingle it is typically an architectural fiberglass shingle. Times, when that is not the case, if the roof does not have enough pitch (slope) or if the owner wants a metal roof (the other 20%). You may be wondering about the torfbær roof. Sadly I never get that request.