If your current roof needs replacing and cost is the primary concern for you, asphalt is significantly less costly than other materials such as metal, tile, or wooden shakes. Asphalt roofing shingles continue to be the most popular choice among homeowners. Their high-volume production combined with efficient installation results in a relatively low cost when compared with other roofing products. But while many asphalt roofing products are durable as well as beautiful, there are many factors to keep in mind when choosing a manufacturer and an installer so that a great price doesn't end up to be a poor value. Some things to look for:
- Flammability: Asphalt shingles come rated with three levels of fire resistance, with Class A having the lowest flammability.
- Wind Resistance: Some are also rated according to wind resistance, which is of special importance to Twin Cities area homeowners. The high winds and tornadoes of Minnesota's often unpredictable climate can wreak havoc on asphalt shingles.
- Warranty: Check the warranty on the shingles you're considering - all warranties are not created equal. Some are not transferrable to a subsequent owner. Also check to see if the warranty covers materials only or also installation labor costs. And then there's the warranty period - 30 years, 40 years, 50 years, or even lifetime.
- Experienced Installer: Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install compared to other roofing products, but it's important that the installer be a contractor who's not only an experienced roofing professional but is also a certified installer of the particular manufacturer. That way you can be confident that your shingles will be installed according to the manufacturer's specifications.
- How Green Is It? Asphalt shingles can be made with either an organic or polyester base mat. If you have ecological concerns, you'll want to choose the natural base.