The basics of an asphalt shingle roof

Asphalt roofs are generally more affordable than metal or tile roofs, and they are extremely versatile. Most homes are built to support an asphalt roof, whereas other options like tile, require a reinforced roofing structual system to support the additional weight.

Different Types of Roof Shingles

There are three main types of shingle material available today – asphalt, clay tiles, and metal. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but all are durable and weatherproof. The type of shingle you choose will depend on what you want from your roof. For example, if you like the look of wood shakes, then you should probably stick to asphalt shingles. If you prefer a smooth finish, then you might want to go for clay tiles. Metal shingles are great because they last longer than any other type of roofing. Tile roofs are beautiful, but they can be difficult to clean and replace. Other options beyond asphalt, clay, and metal may be options to consider. Slate roofs are very durable, but they can be expensive to install. Wood shake roofs are inexpensive, but they tend to leak, and they are not a good choice for dry, fire-prone regions like Colorado. Composition shingle roofs are made from recycled plastic bottles and are environmentally friendly.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are made out of bitumen which is a natural tar-like substance found in coal. Bitumen is mixed with sand and gravel and heated to form sheets of asphalt. These sheets are then cut into strips and applied to the roof using special tools called applicators. Once installed, asphalt shingles are waterproof and fireproof. This makes them ideal for roofs exposed to weather, especially rain. They are also resistant to most forms of decay.

There are two types of asphalt shingles: standard and fiberglass. Standard asphalt shingles are made from mixtures of asphalt, cement, sand, and gravel. Fiberglass shingles are made by coating glass fibers with asphalt. The fiberglass gives the shingle its strength and durability. Both types come in three different styles: shakes, tiles, and panels. Shakes are small pieces of asphalt that resemble crushed stone. Tiles are large squares of asphalt. Panels are long rectangular sections of asphalt.

How long do Asphalt Shingle Roofs Last?

A shingle roof will last between 20 and 30 years, depending on the type of material used, and the conditions the roof is exposed to. If you live in an area that has high winds or hail storms like Colorado Springs, having a quality roof installed by a trustworthy roofing contractor is of utmost importance.

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Best Asphalt Roof for Snow and Ice

Here in Colorado, we have extreme snow and ice conditions throughout winter and spring. We recommend WeatherLock® Flex Flexible Self-Sealing Ice & Water Barrier from Owens Corning. This additional barrier adds additional protection in the most vulnerable parts of your roof. 

Do Asphalt Roofs Hold Up to Hail?

Prime Roofing offers Class 4 and Hail Resistat Asphalt Roofs in Colorado. Most insurance companies offer a 20 – 30% discount for a Class 4 rated roof. If you plan to stay in your house for 10 years, upgrading to a Class 4 roof makes sense for most homeowners. Ask your insurance carrier for guidance. In some cases, the cost to upgrade your roof when doing a full roof replacement can be very minimal, and sometimes at no additional charge. Call our office to ask about your best options for a class 4 roof. 


The versatility of an asphalt shingle roof makes it ideal for a wide range of applications. It can be installed quickly and easily by professionals who specialize in this kind of construction. Prime Roofing, a quality roofing contractor based in Colorado Springs, can advise you on the right choice that meets your budget. 

Warranty Information

Warranties vary depending on the type of roof installed. Owens Corning asphalt shingles can be supported by up to a Limited Lifetime Warranty. It is important you discuss warranty information with your roofer to understand what to expect from each product.

Prime Roofing is your local roofing company that you can count on the best quality materials, skilled work, and outstanding customer service.