Asphalt shingle is by far the most popular residential roofing system used today. And it helps that architectural shingles now carry a limited lifetime warranty.
Introduced to the U.S. in the mid 1970s, modified bitumen membranes are roofing sheets made of asphalt that has been modified with either rubber (SBS) or plastic (APP) to offer greater stretch and flexibility. Similar to BUR, modified bitumen is installed in multiple plies, typically 2-3. Torches are used to join material body and seams, creating a watertight system. Modified bitumen can also serve as the cap sheet of a BUR roofing system. (This is commonly referred to as a “hybrid” roof system.)
One of the biggest drawbacks to modified bitumen is that extreme heat is needed to properly weld sheet seams, unless using cold-process adhesives. Heat is typically applied with open-flame torches, but if not used properly, these flames can start fires on the roof and in the underlying structure.
Asphalt shingles are available in three profiles: 3-Tab (basic and least costly), Laminated (Architectural or Dimensional), and Premium. In addition to the style/design options, there are up to 20-25 different colors to choose from. With such a wide range of available options, you are sure to find a perfect match.
By far the greatest advantage of composition shingles roofing is its relatively low upfront cost. This is the most affordable roofing option in the short term, which is why so many homeowners favor it. In most cases, a properly installed asphalt shingles roof will provide your home with a decent level of protection with an average lifespan of 12 to 17 years, all for a modest upfront cost.
A shingle roof system installation takes much less time and expertise than installation of other materials, such as metal and tile roofs, making them more cost efficient as well. A relatively easy installation process results in reduced labor costs and therefore a less expensive overall roofing system.