Last month, we discussed several reasons why asphalt shingles are so popular. We explained what these shingles are made of and discussed the pros and cons of the two main types of asphalt shingles. We also talked about their affordability and wide-ranging appeal. But there is much more to your asphalt shingle roof than meets the eye—more than the space of a single post allows. So, to ensure we share with you everything you need to know about asphalt shingle roofs, we promised to bring you a second post with more information.

All About Designer Asphalt Shingles

Today, we’ll tell you about designer asphalt shingles, which look like natural materials such as slate and tile, and we’ll explain why asphalt lookalikes are better than the real thing. In addition, we’ll discuss asphalt shingle warranties and fill you in on some other benefits and options you may not have known about! Read on to learn everything you need to know about asphalt shingle roofs!  

Did you know that asphalt shingles can look like slate, wood shake, and even clay tile? It’s true; industry-leading manufacturers like GAF, our primary roofing materials supplier and the largest shingle maker in the U.S., already offered slate and wood shake lookalikes. But late last year, GAF made roofing industry history when it introduced the industry’s first-ever “clay-tile” asphalt shingle.

This is exciting for homeowners who covet the rustic charm of slate or wood shake or the Old-World appeal of clay tile, but who prefer asphalt shingles for their many obvious benefits. Let’s dive a little deeper and explore the reasons why more and more homeowners are forgoing the real thing in favor of their asphalt-shingle doppelgangers.

Price Comparison of Natural Materials vs. Asphalt Shingles

The price of these real natural materials is steep, and not only are the materials themselves pricey, but the labor costs for installing them are significantly higher. Why? Installing these materials take a great deal of experience and skill and the process itself is very labor intensive.

By contrast, asphalt shingles are affordable and, because they are much easier to install, labor costs are much more reasonable. Enter the designer roofing shingle, which combines the low cost of asphalt shingles with the aesthetic appeal of the natural materials they mimic.

Other Advantages of Asphalt Shingles Over Natural Materials

Asphalt shingles beat out slate, clay tile, and wood shake in other ways too. Both slate and clay tile are fragile materials that can easily crack or break when trod upon, while wood can rot and decay. Clay tile can stain a roof and wood shake can attract pests. Plus, both clay tile and slate are very heavy, and existing homes may not be able to support their weight. Wood is also more combustible than other roofing materials. Upkeep is also more challenging, more time-consuming, and costlier with natural materials.

By contrast, asphalt shingles are durable, easy to handle, and can be walked upon. They resist rot and decay, don’t attract pests, have an excellent fire rating, and can last for decades. Asphalt shingles also require very little maintenance, especially as compare to their natural counterparts.

Designer asphalt shingles that are made to look like slate, clay tile, and wood shake have many obvious benefits in price, convenience, and performance over the real thing. Homeowners looking to add charm to a new house or bring modern performance to a historic home can’t go wrong in choosing designer asphalt shingles.

Other Asphalt Shingle News

The asphalt shingle just keeps getting better! Some homeowners who opt for asphalt shingles worry about moss growth, especially if their homes are in a shady area or wet climate. Luckily, asphalt shingles are now available with a special built-in algae resistance! The ceramic granules on each shingle are coated with leachable copper to prevent discoloration and discourage algae and moss growth.

What’s more, the asphalt shingle, which, admittedly, is not as an environmentally friendly as its natural counterparts, is actually recyclable. Thanks to recycling programs that are growing in popularity, old roofing shingles are being repurposed. The materials are broken down and used to build—what else?—new roads and highways.

Now that you know all there is to know about asphalt shingles, you might be thinking about getting a new asphalt shingle roof for your home. Here at George J Keller and Sons, we have over 35 years of experience working with asphalt shingles, working with products from all the major manufacturers, including GAF, Certainteed, Owens Corning, and more. If you’ve got your eye on asphalt shingles that look like slate, clay tile, or wood shake, you can count on us to know how to work with and properly install those materials. And because we hold GAF’s MasterElite certification, we’ve even received special training on handling their designer asphalt shingles. Ready to schedule your free estimate? Contact us today at 973-927-0963!

P.S. We think we covered everything you need to know about asphalt shingles, but if we missed an important fact or bit of news, please let us know!