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Why Are Asphalt Shingles So Popular? (& Top Competitors)

Posted on December 2, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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Why Are Asphalt Shingles So Popular? (& Top Competitors)

With a 2.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), asphalt shingles are expected to reach a market size of $8551.14 million by 2030. More importantly, 80% of North American homes have asphalt shingles installed. 

This continuous growth of asphalt shingles on the market led us to answer the question, why are asphalt shingles so popular? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the details behind why asphalt shingles have become the go to choice for homeowners and contractors alike. From their historical roots to their modern popularity, we’ll explore the factors that make asphalt shingles so widely preferred.

Asphalt Shingles

So, What’s The Story? 

Asphalt shingles have a long history that dates back to the early 20th century when they first gained popularity as an affordable and durable roofing option. Initially introduced as a practical solution, these shingles quickly became the alternative to the roofing options of the time and captured the market due to their versatility and cost effectiveness.

Moreover, the composition of asphalt shingles played a significant role in their success as a roofing material. Asphalt shingles are made of fiberglass or organic mat coated with asphalt, which is embedded with granules to increase their effectiveness. This construction not only ensures durability but also provides an aesthetic appeal that complements various architectural styles. 

The balance of functionality and visual appeal offered by asphalt shingles attracted homeowners to choose them as a roofing option. Since then, asphalt shingles have gained immense attention and popularity, especially for their affordability, ease of installation, and versatility. Today, you will find a wide range of asphalt shingles in different types, colors, and styles. 

What Was Used Before Asphalt Shingles? 

The materials used in roofing before asphalt shingles is also the reason behind its popularity. And this is mainly because asphalt shingles could provide homeowners with what they wanted from a roofing material.

1. Wood Shingles

Wood Shingles

Before the invention of asphalt shingles, wood shingles were a common choice among homeowners. While they provided a rustic and charming look, they were susceptible to rot, insects, fire, and undoubtedly, major problems. 

2. Slate Tiles

Slate Tiles

Slate, one of the expensive roofing materials to date, was also popular before asphalt shingles. Made from natural stone, this roofing material offers durability and a distinctive appearance. However, limited access in certain regions and the cost of installation are some of the drawbacks.  

Reasons Why Asphalt Shingles Are So Popular

The benefits asphalt shingles offered homeowners became the reason for their continued growth and popularity. 

1. Durability

One of the primary reasons behind the popularity of asphalt shingles is their durability. These shingles can withstand various weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, and intense sunlight. Moreover, the composition of asphalt shingles also has added styrene butadiene styrene (SBS), sometimes called modified or rubberized asphalt. This additive makes the shingles resistant to thermal cracking and hail damage.

2. Affordability

In the roofing industry, cost plays a pivotal role in deciding which materials to install. Asphalt shingles offer an excellent balance between cost and quality. They provide a cost effective roofing solution without compromising on durability and aesthetics. This affordability makes them an attractive option for a wide range of homeowners. Depending on the material, roof size, location, and the roofers, the cost of asphalt shingles installation can vary from $3 to $5 per square foot. 

3. Variety of Styles and Colors

Asphalt shingles come in a plethora of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to customize their roofs to match their preferences and the architectural style of their homes. Some of the asphalt shingle styles include 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and luxury shingles. Whether you prefer a traditional look or a more modern aesthetic, there’s an asphalt shingle that suits your taste.

4. Ease of Installation

Another factor contributing to their popularity is the ease of installation. Unlike some alternative roofing materials, asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install. This not only reduces labor costs but also minimizes the time required for the roofing project, causing less disruption to the homeowners’ daily lives.

5. Sustainability

While asphalt itself is not inherently an eco-friendly material due to its petroleum base, continuous efforts have been made to enhance the sustainability of asphalt shingles. Seeing the increasing population of asphalt shingles in landfills, many manufacturers and recycling companies have initiated asphalt shingle recycling programs to reduce the environmental impact. These companies incorporate recycled shingles into the manufacturing process. 

Additionally, advancements in technology have led to the development of cool roof asphalt shingles, which reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat, contributing to energy efficiency and reducing the urban heat island effect.

Top Competitors of Asphalt Shingles

Apart from the wood and slate shingles, the following roofing materials are used widely across the U.S.

1. Metal Roofs

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs have been used since before the invention of asphalt shingles and are now regaining popularity among homeowners for their longevity and durability. 

Metal roofs can withstand extreme weather conditions and have a longer lifespan compared to asphalt shingles. However, due to the higher upfront cost, some homeowners hesitate to install them. Metal roofs may seem a costly investment at first, but they have been proven to save you up to 40% on your annual energy costs. 

2. Clay Tiles

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are a durable and fire-resistant option that adds a touch of elegance to any home. They are resistant to insect damage and provide excellent insulation. However, like slate, clay tiles can be heavy and may require additional structural support.

3. Composite Shingles

Composite roofing shingles, often made from a combination of plastics, rubber, and recycled materials, provide a lightweight and environmentally friendly option. They mimic the look of other roofing materials offering versatility in design.

4. Cedar Shakes

Cedar shakes, like wood shingles, provide a natural and rustic appearance. They are resistant to insects and have good insulation properties. However, similar to wood shingles, they require regular maintenance to prevent issues such as moss and algae growth.

What’s Next? 

The rise in the stats of metal roofing is noticeable. The metal roofing market is expected to grow at a rate of 3.5% CAGR from 2020 to 2030. Moreover, they are supposed to reach a market value of $33.5 billion by 2030. With the rise of metal roofs, you may assume the fall of asphalt shingles as people are looking for more environment friendly and energy-efficient options.

Metal roofs have their own set of advantages, including longevity and resistance to fire and pests. But the higher upfront cost and complexity of installation are two setbacks. With their balance of cost and performance, asphalt shingles continue to dominate the residential roofing market. Though metal roofs can win over asphalt in a few ways, the adaptability of asphalt shingles is unbeatable.

Moreover, a new type of asphalt shingles, impact-resistant shingles, has introduced the world to the enhanced protection of shingle roofs. They also helped dispel rumors that asphalt shingles aren’t durable or long lasting. 

Can Homeowners Install Asphalt Shingles? 

Though asphalt shingles are lightweight, affordable, and easy to work with, installing them is generally not recommended to homeowners. If you are thinking about installing asphalt shingles on your roof, consulting professional roofers is the way to longevity and proper installation. 

Consult Professional Roofers In Tulsa, OK, For Asphalt Shingle Roof Installation 

Do you want to install an asphalt shingle roof on your home or commercial building in Tulsa, OK? Consult A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing! The roofers at the company are experts at installing any type of roof, including asphalt, metal, slate, tile, and commercial roofs. 
Contact us today at (918) 402-7167!