Uh-oh—you have found a few shingles from your roof strewn about your backyard. Or you noticed many shingles curling up in the corners, which is a sure sign your roof is old or failing and might need to be attended to. Or worse, water is leaking through the roof. Or simply, you want a new look and roof functionality for your house.
In any of these scenarios, your home might be primed for a roof replacement. Moreover, you may be thinking of going with a different type of shingle from what you had previously. The options available for you are plenty, and researching what may work best for your home and your budget is important. Here are seven types of roof shingles that are best suited for Maryland and D.C.:
1. Fiberglass asphalt shingles
The standard asphalt roof shingle usually comes with a base made of one of two materials. Most commonly, this base is a layer of woven fiberglass mat. Fiberglass is durable but also lightweight—a terrific combination for modern roofs in the DMV. The fiberglass mat is covered with asphalt and a coat of ceramic granules to complete the shingle.
2. Organic asphalt shingles
Organic shingles are composed of recycled materials (e.g., paper, wood fiber) saturated in asphalt to form the felt base of the shingle. They are heavier, less fire-resistant, and more expensive than fiberglass shingles and don’t withstand heat quite as well, but they are sturdier and more flexible. And don’t let the name fool you—organic shingles are not environmentally green and, in fact, use more asphalt than a fiberglass shingle.
3. Three-tab shingles
Most roofers today prefer architectural shingles—thick, durable pieces that offer a textured, three-dimensional look. However, three-tab shingles are still an option for homeowners looking for a solid, more economical roof. This type of shingle appears divided into individual shingles but actually comprises three side-by-side tabs.
4. Designer shingles
Designer shingles are asphalt but stray from the norm to give homes a truly unique look. They may be installed in layers to present a multi-dimensional appearance—even more so than a standard architectural shingle. Or they can give the elegant appearance of wood or slate shingles (more on both choices to follow) at a fraction of the cost.
5. Cedar shakes
If you want to move beyond the traditional asphalt shingle, red cedar is a classy, rustic route you can take with your roof. Cedar shakes, harvested under a sustained forest policy, provide the same multi-dimensional look as designer and architectural shingles but with an even more unique cut. Shakes are split from the wood rather than sawed, so no two pieces are alike in terms of thickness and texture—one shake may be uneven, while the next is relatively flat. Also, cedar shakes are highly energy-efficient, resistant to hail, and can last 50 years or more.
6. Cedar shingles
Cedar shingles differ from shakes in that they are cut thinner and more symmetrically and generally are more uniform in appearance—similar to a typical shingle.
Slate is a natural material—metamorphic rock—that can be cut into shingles and can provide a long-lasting, incredibly durable roof that, quite simply, is beautiful atop homes. These shingles do cost more and require an expert contractor to install, but considering slate’s insulation capabilities, high resistance to storms, ability to prevent algae or moss growth, and fireproof characteristics, the investment is well worth it.
For DMV homeowners thinking about a new roof, the shingle options presented here offer much to consider. Working with a qualified roofer is the best course of action to take next as you research which kind of shingles you want to put atop your home. The best contractors will inspect your roof and advise you which materials might work best, can walk you through the options available and what will be involved with installation, and can expertly answer all your questions.
Are you happy with the shingles currently on your roof?