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What Is An Architectural Shingles?

Architectural shingles, Dimensional shingles, or Laminated shingles are all terms that describe the same type of shingle. These shingles are thicker than a three-tab shingle because they have multiple layers adhered together to make one whole shingle.

Architectural shingles also come with a textured look to make them stand out. Some shingle manufacturers will offer two or three lines of architectural shingles that serve different purposes. For example, the Duration Designer Shingle has a pronounced pop in color compared to the regular Duration shingle. 

How To Pick The Best Architectural Shingle

Not every architectural shingle is equal. Some come with better warranties or stronger material. Some are built for hail resistance and others for cold weather installations. 

Below is a list of things to consider when choosing the best architectural shingle. 

Warranty, Enhanced or Basic?

There is a warranty that you get from the manufacturer when you take the bundle of shingles off the shelf but this warranty is very limited in coverage. 

Enhanced Warranties, compared to the basic, have greater coverage for the material themselves and will include a workmanship warranty from the manufacturer. 

The catch is, only certified installers can provide you with the Enhanced Warranties and there are different levels of Enhanced warranties. 

Nail Strip, Does it overlap enough?

Often an overlooked part of your Architectural shingle, the nailing strip is very important. Since the shingle is made of multiple layers, it is important that the layers overlap enough so that the nail can easily go through both layers of the shingle.

What often happens is that since the layers in most brands don’t overlap enough, a nail is installed but it only goes through one of the two layers. Meaning the shingle is more likely to blow off in high winds.

There is only one brand of architectural shingles that has three layers overlapping each other, making the strongest hold for an architectural shingle. All other manufacturers only have two layers. The architectural single with three layers is the Owens Corning Duration shingle, which we will discuss further down on this page.

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Wind Resistance, What Is Not Covered.

Most of the larger shingle manufacturers will provide a wind warranty of 130mph. No matter what a manufacturer says about their shingle’s wind resistance, you will need to review the fine print of the warranty in regards to the wind. 

Again, you absolutely need a certified installer to get the full coverage for your wind resistance. If a roofer installs a shingle that has a wind resistance of 130mph but doesn’t nail it the appropriate way to get that warranty then you won’t be protected. Or if they don’t use the current shingle caps.

Each line of architectural shingle has specific requirements for nailing and specific type of caps designed for that shingle.

Is The Tar Strip Large Enough?

The tar strip is the first defense against wind. It is the sealant that holds the shingles together after they have been installed on your roof. The problem is that some manufacturers create shingles with smaller tar strips than others. So as a result they don’t adhere down very well or at all. So when the wind blows strong enough, the shingle comes right up. You also need to pay attention to what the tar strip is sticking to. If the tar strip is laying on the shingle below it and that portion of the shingle has granules or sand particles, then the tar will not adhere. The only shingle in the market that has both a large tar strip and a smooth surface for the tar to adhere to is the Owens Corning Duration Shingle.

Is Your Roofer A Certified Installer?

Not every roofer is certified even if they have a license to do roofing. The shingle manufacturers will certify installers to use their products and only then can the installer offer the Enhanced Warranty. If you get a proposal that says the contractor is providing you a shingle with a 50-year warranty, that doesn’t mean you are getting the Enhanced 50-warranty. You need to make sure your installer has been certified by the manufacturer.

Algae Resistance

All of the leading brands of architectural shingles will come with some level of resistance to algae so there isn’t much to be concerned about here. Just make sure to ask about it. Every roof will eventually become susceptible to algae because even with a level of resistance, it will wear off eventually and you will see as much when you review the warranty fine print.

Meet With Architectural Shingle Expert.

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