Your roof serves several functions. Not only is it the first line of defense against rain and other weather elements it can also increase or decrease your home’s curb appeal. The roof is one of the first things others notice about a home and it makes sense to have one that makes your house look its best. For this reason, you should learn all you can about different roofing materials before deciding on which one to use in your home.

Shingles are among the most common roofing materials in Georgia. But did you know that there are different types of shingles? The two main ones are dimensional and 3-tab shingles.

What Are Dimensional Shingles?

To describe dimensional shingles, we have to get into a little history. Before dimensional shingles, 3-Tab asphalt shingles were the only ones on the roofing scene. These would lay flat, giving a roof a flat look and no depth. Homeowners wanted something different, so roofers started putting additional layers of shingles on top of the first layer to add dimension to the roof. Eventually, around the 1970s, dimensional shingles came into existence. The term dimensional shingles is often used interchangeably with architectural or laminated shingles.

Dimensional shingles consist of two layers of shingle material that are bonded together for a three-dimensional look. This gives these shingles a good-looking random pattern that can be adapted to stimulate different looks e.g. a wood shake roof.

Like 3-tab shingles, they are also made from fiberglass and asphalt with a top layer of granules. Adhesives are also added for adherence. However, dimensional shingles contain higher-quality asphalt, as well as an increased number of granules on the surface, along with a thicker base and stronger adhesives. All these make them more durable and weather resistant.

Dimensional shingles come in different shapes and sizes, making them more appealing for homeowners, as they can fit most building styles.

Differences between Dimensional and 3-tab Shingles

Three-tab shingles are so named because of the three regularly-spaced asphalt tabs that are on every single strip. Unlike dimensional roofs that suggest volume and depth thanks to the two layers of shingle material, 3-tabs give the roof a flat, repetitive pattern.

The main difference between dimensional and 3-tab shingles lies in the quality of materials used. Generally, dimensional shingles are made from higher-quality asphalt, adhesives, and granules. They are also made thicker and heavier than 3-tabs. This gives the shingles better strength and endurance allowing them to better withstand high wind speeds and other inclement weather.

While three-tabs are durable, compared to dimensional shingles they are weaker and have a shorter lifespan. They also don’t last as long in areas that are prone to hail, heavy wind, or other extreme weather conditions.

When it comes to cost, dimensional shingles are about 15% more expensive on average than 3-tab shingles. They come with a 30-year warranty from the manufacturer compared to the 25-year warranty for three-tab shingles.

The Pros and Cons of Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles come with plenty of advantages which make them a better choice than 3-tab shingles. Some of these advantages include:

  • Durability – Thanks to the way they are made, combined with the high-quality materials used in making them, dimensional shingles are quite durable. They have an average lifespan of 30 years and with proper care, can last longer than that.
  • Weather-resistant – Due to their thickness and double-bonded layer, dimensional shingles can withstand bad weather with minimal damage. They provide excellent protection against severe weather such as hail and high wind speeds.
  • Aesthetic appeal – these shingles come in a plethora of colors, giving homeowners plenty of options to choose from. This makes it easy for you to select dimensional shingles that complement the exterior of your home. Additionally, they are available in different shapes and sizes so you can choose those that will make your home stand out and increase its curb appeal.
  • Heavy construction – the type of materials used when making dimensional shingles ensures that they are tough and durable. Not only does this make them more resistant to severe weather, but it also makes them less likely to warp or curl, increasing their lifespan.
  • A lengthy warrant – Most manufacturers know the quality of their dimensional shingles and are willing to stand by their product. These shingles often come with lengthy warranties of about 30 years and it’s common to find warranties of 40 years or more.
  • They’re readily available – Because dimensional shingles look so good and are durable, they are in high demand. This has the added advantage of making them more readily available than other roofing materials.
  • They’re fairly easy to install – Just like other types of shingles, dimensional shingles can be quickly and easily installed. Ensure that you secure the services of experienced and professional roofers to get the job done right.

Cons of Dimensional Shingles

  • They are expensive – the double layer of dimensional shingles adds an extra 20% to their cost, making them more expensive than 3-tab shingles. However, paying more for these shingles is worth it thanks to their durability and lengthy lifespan.
  • They are susceptible to algae and mildew- the notches found in dimensional shingles as well as the organic materials used in their construction are susceptible to mold and algae. To prevent mildew or mold damage, ensure that you get professional roofers to conduct a roof inspection regularly. This way problems can be spotted early enough before they become major issues.

Let Us Help You Make the Right Choice

Picking out the right shingles can be a challenging task. That’s why it’s advisable to work with professional roofers who can help you choose the right material for your roof.

The team at Christian Brothers Roofing has provided residents of Georgia with quality roofing services since 1983. We take great pride in our workmanship and are always satisfied to receive good feedback from our clients.

Get in contact with us today and we can help you choose the right shingles for your roofing project.

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