Asphalt Shingle Roof Systems Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used type of shingle across North America. Today’s asphalt shingles are reinforced with a fiberglass mat or an organic material such as paper or wood fiber, and can range in life expectancy from 10 to 20 years for a typical shingle. Great improvements to the asphalt shingle have been made, resulting in a more durable product know as laminated shingles. Laminate shingles are also known as “dimensional” or “architectural” shingles.
Laminate shingles are also made of asphalt but differ from the “three tab” shingle in design. They were designed to add character, color and depth to the roof aesthetics. They are made of multiple staggered layers of material, with a range of durability, typically 15 to 50 years. Laminate shingles are thicker and heavier than “three tab” shingles, thus are more resistant to wind. From a distance, some of the high grade (high quality) laminated shingles have the look of an expensive slate or shake material, by incorporating angled or rounded tabs, shadow lines and variant color patterns.