When most people hear the term “asphalt shingles”, they naturally picture the standard variety installed on four out of five U.S. homes. There actually exist three primary types of residential shingles, however. The one you choose for your home will vary depending on your budget and structural needs.
3 Tab Shingles
The basic type of shingle seen practically everywhere is actually the 3 tab shingle. These shingles receive their name and benefit from a cut-out design that improves protection against leaks and assists with water run-off. The 3 tab design also has aesthetic advantages, as it provides for a layered look with depth. For the money, you cannot find better roofing than 3 tab shingles.
An improvement over 3 tab shingles, architectural shingles benefit from a multi-layer composition. Whereas 3 tab shingles are just one layer of asphalt affixed to an under-layer of glass, architectural shingles have multiple layers of material. This added thickness greatly improves durability and resilience to environmental threats. Architectural shingles can also be installed in three-dimensional arrangements for a pleasing visual effect.
Ideal for areas prone to heavy hailstorms, impact-resistant shingles can prove a lifesaver to a roof. These shingles get manufactured specifically to resist heavy impacts. To qualify as impact-resistant, shingles must achieve the highest grade of impact resistance: Grade 4. Hail that would destroy a standard shingle will have virtually no impact on this variety.