Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are by far the most common type of roofing material for residential homes in Northwest Arkansas. There are 3 types in the roofing industry that differ in materials, shape, size, color and thickness. Here is a small guide that will help you differentiate them and choose the type of shingle that best suits your building whether residential or commercial.


3-tab Shingles

The 3-tab asphalt shingles were created to mimic a slate roof with their uniform look once installed. They are made from a single layer, are the lightest on the market and have a lower wind resistance, around 60 mph. Although 3-tabs are the least expensive to buy, the installation method is more complex. For this reason, building a roof can be more expensive than if an architectural model is installed. 3-tab shingles are covered by a 25 year limited warranty that varies by manufacturer and model.




Architectural (Designer) Shingles

These laminated shingles were created to give a thicker and more dimensional appearance like a cedar shingle roof. The tabs of various shapes are what creates a look of depth on the roof, and they are much heavier than the 3-tab because they are made from two layers of fiberglass. The extra weight gives them a much higher wind resistance of up to 130 mph. Architectural laminate shingles currently dominate the markets in North America with their aesthetics, durability, warranty and ease of installation. They are covered by extended 30-year warranties.

Components of asphalt shingles

The asphalt shingle is made up of several layers:

The layer of granules or aggregates: The layer of granules represents the surface layer of the asphalt shingle. It gives color and protects from ultraviolet rays. The aggregates are composed of basalt and rhyolite, and is hard, tough and prevents sunlight from damaging the asphalt layer. Some granules have the property of reflecting heat, therefore keeping the roof cooler. Others contain additives that prevent the formation of mold.

The asphalt layer: The asphalt seals the shingle and makes it waterproof to protect the roof. The thickness of this layer determines the weight of the shingles. Architectural shingles consist of two layers of asphalt, between which is fiberglass.

The reinforcement layer: The material used for the reinforcement layer differentiates the type of shingle. The organic shingle layer consists of an asphalt-coated felt, while the fiberglass shingle consists of a fiberglass mat. This membrane serves as a frame, and holds the other layers together. It must be very resistant and remain stable despite changes in temperature.

Adhesive tape: The shingles are provided with adhesive strips that are activated by heat. You should never nail in the adhesive tape. This can prevent the shingles from sticking together.

Nailing tape: The shingles must be nailed and not stitched, which would make them more fragile to cracks. The head of the nails should be flush with the surface without sinking.

Other interesting features

Wind resistance: It is the combination of adhesive and nails that gives the shingle its wind resistance. Most asphalt shingles withstand wind speeds of over 60mph. High performance shingles provide wind protection and resistance up to 130mph. In the event that your roof has been damaged by the wind, we can usually repair the affected area rather than replace the entire roof.

The reflection index: New technologies allow the shingles to reflect the sun’s rays and thus keep the attics cooler. The granules that are exposed reflect the rays without affecting the color of the coating. The benefits of asphalt shingle roofing

Affordable cost. Significant strength of the roof with asphalt shingles. Wide choice and availability of the product in all its forms, sizes, styles and colors. Guarantees of 25 years to the lifetime, depends on the manufacturing industry and the quality of shingles used. providing the customer with security and peace of mind. 

Criteria for choosing your asphalt shingle

The degree of slope of your roof and the style of your home. The traditional 3-tab shingle is suitable for gently pitched roofs, while a high-pitched roof has the advantage of being covered with an architectural shingle whose many layers provide optimal protection.

The warranty, which varies according to the weight of the shingle. As a rule, a heavy shingle has a longer warranty period. Remember, if an architectural shingle is a bit more expensive than a 3-tab shingle it can last longer.

The color of your shingle. A difficult step considering the wide choice of colors available! A little advice: start by eliminating colors that do not please you. Then walk around your neighborhood to pick up the exterior cladding combinations and roof coverings you like, then compare them with our samples.  Many problems related to asphalt shingles and their premature wear can be avoided by respecting the rules of installation. This is why shingles must be installed by professional roofers!


Responsible Roofer

We always recycle your old shingles. It’s a tremendous savings on our landfills and we feel it is our responsibility. Arrowhead Building Supply makes it easy for us with their recycling bins. They are the only shingle supply company in Northwest Arkansas that recycles their shingles, and that is why they are the only provider that we work with. The shingles are ground up and used mostly in new roads, though new uses are being explored.

Trust Southwest Roofing NWA for your residential roofing project and you’ll see why homeowners in Rogers, Bentonville, Springdale, and Fayetteville choose us!