The asphalt shingle is one of the most common roofing material on residential sloped roofs. This is due to their affordability, ease of installation, durability, and wide range of colors and shapes. The basic design of an asphalt shingle is a rectangular mat, made of either fiberglass or organic materials, that is coated with layers of asphalt and colored mineral granules embedded in the surface layer. There is a strip of sealant on the back of each shingle that allows for bonding to occur between each course of shingles to the course below and above. This helps the shingles to keep from blowing off during high wind. While there are many various styles of asphalt shingles, coming in multiple colors and shapes, from a number of manufacturers, shingles can be put in three categories.
The first category are called strip shingles, also known as three tab shingles. This shingle is typically 12 inches wide and 36 inches long, with three tabs separated by cutouts.
The second type of shingles are called laminated shingles, also known as dimensional shingles or architectural shingle. This category of shingles has two or more shingles fused together to give a three dimensional look, often mimicking wood shake or slate. These are becoming more popular for their aesthetic qualities, as well as increased durability.
The third is what is called designer shingles. These are usually dimensional shingles that come in a variety of styles, shapes, and colors to add a more decorative look to your roof. Some have added thickness to be used in areas susceptible to storms and hurricanes, such as the Outer Banks. This category of shingle is typically more expensive, however may be worth the investment depending on your area and added value to your property.