No more guessing what type of roof shingles is the best for RGV
When determining what type of roof shingles is the best to use for your South Texas home or commercial building, there are many factors to consider.
It is important to consider roofing materials, roof pitch, and the RVG weather conditions.
As a roofing contractor, I explain the various types of roof shingles, their pros and cons, and which ones are best for your structure.
TYPES OF ROOFING SHINGLES
There are several types of roofing shingles designed to suit your styles and needs.
Here in the Rio Grande Valley, the roofing materials you choose must withstand our weather conditions.
Let’s look at the roofing shingle options along with their pros and cons.
Asphalt roofing shingles, also known as laminated shingles or impact-resistant roofing shingles, are the most common roof covering installed in the Rio Grande Valley.
The reasons they are so popular are because of their durability and affordability.
Asphalt shingles come with factory-applied adhesive to speed up installation time.
They install quickly, saving labor costs since there is no need for a separate underlayment layer between plywood sheets and shingles, thus cutting down your roof project time.
They will also resist roof damage from high winds.
They also offer a low-profile roof design that keeps your roofline intact, preserving the overall look of your roof and structure.
However, you can expect asphalt shingles to last between 10 and 20 years, depending on their exposure to sun exposure and rain.
There are three types of asphalt shingles available on the market:
Architectural shingles, also called dimensional shingles, have a sloped shape that makes them perfect for most roofs.
We can install them in either a self-sealing or self-adhesive fashion, making them easy to install and providing a watertight seal.
They make architecture roof shingles from quality materials and have a sloped shape, ideal for most roofs.
In addition, they are self-sealing or can be installed in a self-adhesive fashion, which makes them easy to install and provides a watertight seal.
This type of roof shingle has a varied range of styles and colors to choose from. This means that you’ll be able to find the roof shingles that best fit your home’s exterior.
They’re also affordable and are offered by many roof installation companies with warranties. These shingles will last up to 20 years before they need to be replaced.
This type of roof shingle comprises three pieces that fit together and overlap like scales.
3-tab asphalt shingles make it easy to match the color of your roof if you don’t want the exposed tab visible.
3-tab asphalt shingles make it easy to line up and overlap like scales. This roofing material comprises three pieces that fit together and overlap to create a soffit, fascia, and ridge cap.
3-tab asphalt shingles will last 20 years before needing replacement because they are made from quality materials and are offered by many roof installation companies with warranties. They come in a variety of colors and styles, too.
Designer or luxury shingles are much like architectural shingles but are often made from materials that add a stylish look to your home’s exterior.
The designer or luxury shingle is similar to the architectural shingle, but it provides a more upscale look and style.
You’ll find this type of roofing material in the same colors and styles as most 3-tab shingles. However, they’re usually made with a higher quality material that makes them more durable, long-lasting, and attractive.
Asphalt Shingles Pros:
- Affordable roof shingle option; great for budget-minded consumers.
- Quick installation time saves on labor costs.
- Adhesive factory applied on shingles help speed up install time even more!
Asphalt Shingles Cons:
- The limited warranty may disappoint some homeowners.
- In addition, asphalt roof shingles are not very wind-resistant, so you need to consider roof design.
- They will lose their color over time and require power washing every few years if you want them to maintain a lighter shade.
Wood shingles are another kind of great shingles that can last for decades.
Packaged as bundles made up of 3-5 tabs, wood shingles, such as cedar, are known for their natural beauty and ability to resist rot and insects.
Wood shingles are often made from cedar planks that have been hand split into thin slats then kiln dried to create a smooth surface on each piece of wood.
However, wood shingles are more expensive than asphalt because they are less durable and require more maintenance.
Wood shingles Pros:
- Wood shakes are an aesthetically pleasing roof shingle option.
- Highly durable roof material, making it very reliable for long-term use.
- Eco-friendly roofing products since they come from a renewable source and help maintain biodiversity.
Wood shingles Cons:
- Installation of wood shingles involves the extra step of installing an underlayment before you can install your roof tiles, which adds to labor costs.
- Expensive roof shingle option; not suitable for budget-conscious consumers.
- Requires regular maintenance, such as staining and sealing regularly if you want them to last a decade or more past their warranty period
Slate roofs are made from natural stone.
A slate roof comes with some incredible benefits, such as lasting longer than other types of roofing materials, fireproof qualities, and extreme weather resistance.
A slate roll is up to 7 inches thick and has a jagged edge that helps it resist wind uplift forces.
Each piece used for roof installation comes marked with letters along the backside showing which direction the grooves should be pointing.
Slate roofs, which are not very common in the RGV, are more expensive than roofing materials such as asphalt roof tiles and wood shakes.
Slate shingles Pros:
- Extremely durable roof option; can last up to 100 years if maintained properly.
- Lightweight roof shingle option, so it is easier to install compared to other heavy roof types.
- Can be used on low-pitched roofs with no extra layer of underlayment before installation.
Slate shingles Cons:
- Expensive shingles option. Price is anywhere from $600 to $1,000 per square foot.
- Requires precise roof installation requirements.
- Since slate shingles are thin, roof installation requires precision to avoid any damage.
Metal roofing shingles are more expensive than other types of shingles but can last a lifetime.
However, a metal roof requires special installation and can be dented and scratched easily.
Metal shingles don’t allow air to pass through the roof, trapping heat and increasing energy costs.
Like wood shakes, metal roofing must be replaced when damaged or, typically after 20-30 years because of rust.
Metal shingles Pros:
- Metal roof shingles are extremely durable.
- Metal roofs are lightweight roof shingle options, making them easier to install.
- A metal roof does not spark or catch fire.
Metal shingles Cons:
- Metal shingles are an expensive option. Price is from $7 – $11 per square foot.
- Metal roofs can have exposed fasteners that increase the risk of roof leaks and damage.
- The color of metal roofs can become an issue because of roofing material’s vulnerability to rust.
Although tile roofing shingles are more expensive than other types and don’t last as long, roof tiles come in various roof styles and are available with green roofing material.
Tile roofing shingles like clay roof tiles require special installation because they should be laid over felt or tar paper to prevent moisture from seeping into the home.
Tile shingles Pros:
- A tile roof is environmentally friendly and made from recyclable materials
- Variety of roof styles like Spanish, Mission, and Victorian-style
Tile shingles Cons
- A tile roof is more expensive
- Requires special installation
- Gutters installed on a tile roof can have problems
Rubber (EPDM) shingles
Another option for great shingles is a type of rubber roof shingles called EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer).
EPDM shingles come in various colors and styles and have become popular due to their price.
EPDM shingles can last for 30 years and are resistant to fire, impact, and moisture.
EPDM shingles Pros:
- Low-maintenance. There is no need for sealing or painting.
- Reflects sunlight to slow down heat absorption into the home’s attic area, so energy bills stay lower during hot summer months.
- Can last for 30 years
EPDM shingles Cons:
- Is easily punctured.
- Not very attractive.
- Not suitable for roof slopes that exceed 10 degrees.
Other questions to consider about the type of shingles that are the best:
1) What are the longest-lasting shingles?
Slate roofing shingles are the longest-lasting.
They are also expensive.
They are the most expensive shingles on this list, so they will be more difficult to purchase if you are on a budget.
The second longest-lasting type of roofing material is metal roofing.
2) What roof type reflects sunlight and heat?
An asphalt shingle roof has granules that reflect light and generate heat with their colored coating.
Therefore, asphalt shingle brands are typically darker when compared to other roof types as tile or metal roof shingles.
3) What roof type is the best for your roof’s pitch?
The best roof type for steeper roofs is a metal roof because it does not need an additional layer of felt underlayment as required by slate roof tiles.
Roof tiles might also be a good roof shingle option for steeper roof pitches.
4) What roof type is the least expensive?
An asphalt shingles roof costs less than other types of roofing material.
5) What are some benefits of choosing rubber shingles over asphalt?
Rubber roof shingles are much more durable than asphalt because they are made from EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer).
Asphalt shingles reflect sunlight and heat. Rubber roofs do not reflect light or heat.
Asphalt shingles are very flammable. Rubber shingles are fireproof.
6) What roofing material should you consider if you want an eco-friendly roof?
Tile roofing shingles have the most negligible environmental impact.
Tile shingles also last a long time because they have an abrasion-resistant surface.
Metal roofing materials are the roof type with the second-lowest impact on the environment.
The rubber roof shingle roof is environmentally friendly because it does not reflect light or heat, so it will help you and your family save money on your energy bills.
Rubber shingles are also resistant to moisture, making them a suitable roof type for flat roofs.
7) Are there different roofing shingles grades?
Yes, shingles are graded A-D.
Shingles with a higher grade last longer than roof shingles with a lower grade.
It is also important to consider solar shingles that are Energy Star rated, which meet strict qualifications and guidelines for roofing energy efficiency.
8) What roof type is the most durable?
Rubber shingles are the most durable roof type on the market.
Metal roofing shingles are the second most durable roof type.
9) What roof type should I choose if my home’s roof faces south?
Choose a metal roof because it will not absorb sunlight and heat like asphalt or tile.
10) What is the best material for flat roofs?
Rubber shingles made from EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) are the best material for flat roofs. Installing this type of roof will save money on energy bills.
EPDM shingles are resistant to moisture and fire, too.
11) What are the best residential roofing shingles for high winds?
A metal roof is the best roof type for high winds because they are the most durable shingles on the market.
12) What roof type needs to be replaced the least often?
Rubber roofs will need to be replaced the least often. The roof shingles made from EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) can last for 30 years.
Metal roofing materials also have a lifespan of between 20 and 40 years, so they’re also an excellent long-lasting choice.
13) Are there different shapes of roof tiles?
Yes, roof tiles can be square, interlocking, or cedar shake.
Wood shakes are typically triangular shapes and interlock for added protection against wind gusts and heavy downpours.
Square roof tiles are the roof type with the least amount of movement.
Interlocking roof tiles are more expensive than square ones, but they provide added strength and support for high wind areas.
14) What roof type is fireproof?
Rubber shingles made from EPDM withstand flames better than asphalt shingles because they do not reflect light or heat as much.
A metal roof is also fireproof as long as an added protective layer to the material during installation.
15) What is the most popular roof material in America today?
The most popular roof material in America today is asphalt shingles for several reasons:
First, asphalt shingles are very affordable and provide a roof that is energy efficient and environmentally safe.
Second, roof shingles have a varied range of styles and colors, so you’ll be able to find roof shingles that fit your home’s exterior perfectly.
Last, asphalt shingles are offered by many roof installation companies with warranties.
16) What color roof is the most energy-efficient?
Lighter color roofs are more energy-efficient than darker roof shingles, like asphalt, because of the albedo effect.
The albedo effect means that roof surfaces reflect light and heat, which reduces the amount of solar radiation they absorb.
So white roofs are more efficient at reducing a roof’s heat load than roof colors like black that absorb a lot of sunlight—perfect for the Rio Grande Valley!
17) Can you install new shingles over old ones?
You can, but we wouldn’t recommend it. You should remove old shingles before new ones are installed.
You should remove old shingles because old roof shingles hold moisture on the roof that can lead to roof damage underneath new roof shingles.
Suppose you install new roof shingles over old ones. In that case, you’ll likely need to replace roof tiles sooner than expected because many roof replacement companies won’t warranty work done on roofs with two layers of shingle material.
To avoid this problem, we remove roof shingles down to the roof deck before installing new roof shingles.
18) How do I know how many roof shingles I’ll need?
To determine how many roof shingles you’ll need, start by measuring your roof’s length and width and then multiplying those numbers together.
You should add 15% more to compensate for waste.
For example, if your roof shingles roof measures 100 feet and 20 feet, you’ll need about 2,400 roof shingles for roof replacement.
However, since roof shingles are roof sold by bundles of 12-tab roof shingles each (which is equivalent to one per square foot), you will need approximately 297 bundles or almost 3½ tons of roof shingling materials for your roof replacement project.
19) Does my roof need new roof shingles?
The best way to tell if your roof needs new roof shingles is to check from a distance.
A missing shingle here or there doesn’t show a significant problem, but you should contact us if:
You see many loose or missing roof shingles around the entire house.
You see roof shingles pulled up on the roof ridge.
Your roof leaks when it rains.
You have roof damage from high winds.
20) Are roof shingles roof types sustainable?
Asphalt shingles are the most sustainable roof materials used in America today.
This is because asphalt shingles are recyclable.
They recycle about 98 percent of asphalt shingles into new roofing tiles or pavement every year.
So it’s a greener solution than using brand-new roof tile materials for roof replacements when you don’t have to do so.
21) What are fiberglass asphalt shingles?
Fiberglass asphalt shingles are formed by combining a fiberglass mat and asphalt material.
They are more durable and longer-lasting than regular asphalt shingles, but they cost more money and rarely last as long.
Fiberglass shingles can last from 25 to 40 years on a roof if you use high-quality fiberglass made with UV inhibitors.
22) Why should I pay extra for designer or luxury roof shingles?
Designer or luxury roof shingles are all the rage today because of their variety of styles, colors, and durability compared to regular 3-tab or basic asphalt shingles.
These types of roofs provide more design options than standard roof tiles do.
For example, you can get designer roofs in slate styles or shake designs that look like wood roof shingles, but they won’t crack because they are made from fiberglass or plastic.
But you should keep in mind that the price for designer roof shingles is usually much higher than the cost of regular roofs tiles.
23) What are the benefits of metal roofs?
Metal roofs provide low-maintenance durability that lasts a lifetime and reduces energy needs.
This is because metal shingles don’t break down, corrode, rot, get dirty quickly or burn and have an insulating factor in lowering your cooling bills during summer months.
Also, if you choose to install solar panels on your roof with a metal tile shingle (as opposed to asphalt shingle), it will help increase your home’s energy efficiency.
24) What is a roof shingle warranty?
A roofing warranty is included with every new roof installation by a licensed and insured roofing contractor.
Always ask if they are offering a warranty on their labor as well.
Many contractors will offer warranties that cover faulty materials for up to five years, but they may require you to pay for all repairs upfront before making the repairs at no charge to you.
So it’s essential to always read the fine print on these types of warranties so you understand what’s covered and what’s not.
Every homeowner and commercial business deserves to have the proper knowledge to make the most appropriate roof decision.
Without understanding the different shingles, you can make mistakes, and roof replacement projects can go very wrong quickly.
There’s so much more to shingles than roof types, styles, and colors.
If money is no object, a clay tile roof in the RGV is an excellent choice for protection from wind and small hail.
The additional air space in the clay tile roof also helps air circulation and keeps the attic and house cooler.
A metal roof is also an excellent choice to defend against wind and hail. Just make sure there is a good underlayment of plywood to avoid dents.
Most of the roofs you see in South Texas are asphalt because of the low costs. Just realize, though, it is likely you will need repairs or a roof replacement from hail.
But that’s what insurance is for, right?
We recommend installing a light color roof to reflect the sun to keep the heat down in our area, but it’s also imperative you have as much insulation as you can in the attic.
The bottom line?
High budget: Go with clay.
Medium budget: Go with metal.
Low budget: Go with asphalt
As an Edinburg, TX roofing contractor, I encourage you to learn about roof materials and their differences before your roof replacement or installation project.
We will show you how choosing the right type of shingles can save you money on your next roof project.
What type of shingles does your roof have? Are you happy with them? What has been your experience?
Let us know in the comments below.