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If you’re considering a roof replacement, there’s a good chance you’ll choose a shingle roofing option, since 80% of American homes have shingle roofs. But what kind of shingle will you use? While shingles are a popular roofing option, architectural shingles are a unique roofing material with its own benefits. And understanding these features is key to making an informed choice about your roof.
That’s why we’re going to help! We’re Classic Roofing & Construction, and we’re your local experts on all things concerning architectural shingles. But let’s start off with the basics: What are architectural shingles, exactly?
What Are Architectural Shingles?
Architectural shingles are a type of asphalt shingle option. Asphalt shingles are composed of a base layer for water protection, which is then coated in asphalt and covered in mineral granules to provide durability and longevity to your roof. And while this is true for all asphalt shingles, architectural shingles are a special case.
Where 3-tab shingles are composed of a single, thin layer, architectural shingles are much stronger. Their building materials are thicker and more built up, which comes with two key advantages. The first is in increased safety, since the thicker materials are sturdier and better able to protect your roof against damage. But the other benefit is in aesthetics: By being thicker, architectural shingles are more dimensional and add a lot of visual interest to your roof. This is why architectural shingles are sometimes called dimensional shingles.
Now that we’ve covered architectural shingles 101, let’s look at what you can expect from your architectural shingle roof in Florida.
Performance and Specifications
As a homeowner, there are certain pieces of information you need to know about potential roofing materials. Here’s what you can expect when you choose architectural shingles for your roof replacement:
- Longevity: Assuming proper maintenance and no overwhelming weather damage, architectural shingles can last between 20 and 30 years.
- Fire Resistance: Almost all asphalt shingles have a Class A fire rating, meaning that they’re extremely resistant to fire and fire damage.
- Wind Resistance: Most architectural shingles can withstand winds of 120mph without sustaining any damage.
- Water Resistance: While they are not 100% waterproof, shingle roofs are heavily water-resistant thanks to their asphalt coatings and can almost always stand up to Florida’s heavy rains.
- Cost: Architectural shingle costs vary depending on a lot of factors, but in general, they cost $400-700 per square (100 square feet). This is more than 3-tab shingles, but much less than luxury shingles, giving architectural shingles a nice, medium price point.
More than just knowing how architectural shingles work, you also need experienced contractors to install them. And Classic has been installing and repairing architectural shingle roofs in Florida for 20 years. So we have some strong opinions on what is and isn’t a quality shingle product.
Using the Best Types of Architectural Shingles
At Classic, we partner with several different architectural shingle manufacturers. But one of our favorite shingle manufacturers is GAF. They’ve been in the roofing material business since 1886, and they’re now the leading shingle manufacturer in North America. And they have two extremely competitive lines of architectural shingles: HDZ and UHDZ.
GAF HDZ Shingles
All GAF architectural shingles come with the standard benefits outlined above. But they also come with exciting new GAF roofing technology that makes them superior to other types of dimensional shingles.
For example, GAF HDZ shingles come with patented LayerLock technology, which secures the shingles more firmly to your roof. This can make it harder for Florida’s high winds to remove or damage your shingle roof. This is then further reinforced with GAF’s DuraGrip Sealant to make sure that wind cannot get beneath your shingles and lift them from the roof.
But GAF’s HDZ architectural shingles aren’t just more securely attached. They’re also more algae-resistant—something that matters a lot in humid Florida. They accomplish this through StainGuard Plus technology, which slowly releases copper and zinc to prevent algae from growing. This means a stronger roof with a longer lifetime, which is exactly what you want in hurricane-prone Florida.
GAF UHDZ Shingles
GAF’s UHDZ shingles are an improvement upon their HDZ line. As such, these architectural shingles contain all the features of HDZ shingles, as well as a few entirely new additions.
Some of the changes are improvements on old designs—for instance, UHDZ shingles come with 10% more copper and zinc than HDZ shingles, which means more long-lasting algae protection. UHDZ shingles are also thicker than HDZ shingles, meaning that they are hardier and more resistant to wind and other forms of weather damage.
But one noteworthy new feature of GAF UHDZ shingles is their Dual Shadow Line technology. This creates a strong, distinctive shadow line at all hours of the day, which greatly increases curb appeal for your home. For this reason, GAF UHDZ shingles are a great architectural shingle option whether you’re planning on staying and enjoying the additional protection or selling your home and attracting potential buyers with a gorgeous roof.
But for both HDZ and UHDZ architectural shingles, it’s not just about which shingle you pick. It’s also about which roofing company you choose to install your shingles.
Finding the Best Warranties for Architectural Shingles
When selecting your architectural shingles, even picking top-of-the-line GAF shingles doesn’t guarantee the best results for your roof. You also need to consider the warranty for your new roofing materials. And if you choose a GAF product, then you want to go with a roofing company that has GAF Master Elite certification—something that only the top two percent of roofers in North America have.
But Classic is proud to hold GAF Master Elite certification, which requires us every year to prove that we’re following the best industry performance and safety guidelines. And more than that, it allows us to pass along the best products and warranties from GAF to our Florida customers.
Specifically, we offer both Silver Pledge and Golden Pledge warranties on our GAF shingle products. These warranties do require purchasing a certain number of roofing accessories from GAF (like roof caps, leak barrier products, etc.), but they also provide lasting protection against wind, algae, and other factors that routinely damage roofs in Florida. If you’re considering an architectural shingle roof, then these warranties can do a lot to protect your home for the lifetime of your roof.
Choose Trusted Florida Roofers
When you’re ready to get your architectural shingle roof installation started, the Classic crew is here to help. With the best products backed by the strongest warranties, we routinely deliver incredible roofing results. That’s how we’ve earned hundreds of reviews over our 20 years of service in the Greater Tampa Bay area, with an average rating of 4.8 stars.
We earned that rating with our friendly, in-house crew, our 100% happiness guarantee, and our top-rated architectural shingles. And we’re proud to say that the process of starting your roof replacement has never been easier. All you have to do is schedule your free estimate online. Then one of our roofing experts will come to your home, inspect your roof, and create an estimate that covers the full scope of work required to create your new architectural shingle roof.
So why wait? Set up your free, no-obligation estimate and see why Florida loves our Classic way of doing business!