If your home's roofing material needs to be replaced, you'll likely be deciding between two different types of roofing materials. Architectural and 3-tab shingles are two popular options for residential homes, and it helps to know the major differences between them when choosing between them.
When you purchase 3-tab shingles, you are getting a roofing material where every single shingle is going to be identical. The shingles are about a foot wide and are known by the three tabs that are used to hold them in place. Many homeowners pick 3-tab shingles because they cost less than architectural shingles, and it is easy to repair individual shingles that become damaged over the years. There is also a wide variety of colors to pick from, so you'll be sure to pick something that matches your home's existing look.
The drawbacks to 3-tab shingles are that the material doesn't do a great job against the wind and the material is more likely to tear during really strong storms. The material can also trap moisture underneath the material, and the lifespan of 3-tab shingles is shorter than its architectural counterpart.
The first thing you'll notice about architectural shingles is that they are not all uniform in size. They actually vary in width, which gives them a unique look compared to 3-tab shingles. The shingles are also much more durable because there are multiple layers of materials, so they will last longer when compared to 3-tab shingles. The weight of the architectural shingles is also heavier due to those additional layers, and the thickness prevents them from ripping.
You'll find that the downside to 3-tab shingles is that they have a higher cost for the material and installation. However, an unexpected drawback can also be how you will handle your next roof and how they can be more expensive as well.
If you are looking to rip off and replace your current roof, rather than do a layover, be aware that you cannot install a second layer of roofing material over architectural shingles. This is because architectural shingles don't lie completely flat, so you can't layer a new material on top of it. While you could easily put on a second layer of 3-tab shingles on top of the old 3-tab shingles, you'll need to do a complete roof replacement when you have architectural shingles on your home.
Talk to a roofing contractor for personalized shingle recommendations.