The roof is perhaps the most important structural element of your home. Your roof keeps out the rains of spring, the snows of winter, the chill of autumn. And yet, we don’t usually think about the roof of our home—certainly not on a daily basis. That is, we don’t think about it unless something goes wrong, and by then, it’s far too late. A leaky roof can lead to all kinds of additional damages in your home. The best way to prevent a leaky roof is to make sure that it’s in good condition. Just as with your car or truck, a roof requires regular maintenance.
A roof is more complex, after all, than a simple slab of wood that goes over your head. To help protect against the elements, most roofs are covered in shingles—small pieces of material that overlap, offering protection from the elements, including the arch nemesis of the health of your home: water. In Minnesota, asphalt shingles are the most common type of shingle available. If you look on your roof and you thin brown or black shingles, chances are they’re asphalt shingles.
For our climate, asphalt shingles make a lot of sense. They’re relatively durable and fire resistant and they help reduce air conditioning costs in the summer by being reflective. (In the winter, black asphalt shingles will have the opposite effect.) Generally, asphalt shingles will last for around 20 years—although, that’s under ideal circumstances. Ice dams or storm damage, such as hail, can take years off the life of your roof, so it’s a good idea to inspect your roof elements periodically.
There are two basic types of asphalt shingles, and they each have their own advantages and drawbacks.
Organic: We’re used to thinking of “organic” as something that’s good for you to eat. Well, organic shingles are pretty good too. Essentially, organic shingles are composed of roughly 40% asphalt. The rest is usually plant material—wood, for example, or other cellulose-based products. Organic asphalt shingles are relatively rare today, however, some customers may have organic shingles installed on their roofs already. If you already have organic shingles on your roof, and they date back to the 1980s, it’s possible they contain asbestos. Most homeowners today choose instead to employ fiberglass shingles.
Fiberglass: The modern standard in asphalt shingles is the fiberglass shingle. These shingles resist the spread of fire and hold up to the elements better than organic shingles. They get their name because each shingle has a fiberglass base, around which asphalt is applied. This, in part, helps gives fiberglass asphalt shingles their class A fire rating. Most modern homes have fiberglass asphalt shingles, and older homes are switching over to this shingle type all the time. They’re more energy-efficient, safer, and more robust than organic asphalt shingles, so the switch makes a lot of sense.
Because of their uniformity, durability, and general affordability, asphalt shingles are a popular option for townhomes and townhouses all across Minnesota. Even apartment buildings will often choose to use asphalt shingles. Because of the unique challenges of these projects, it is always helpful to have a contractor who specializes in installing asphalt shingles on townhouses in the Twin Cities.
There is no set cost for any roofing job because there are so many variables involved. Because asphalt shingles are susceptible to damage from hail storms, often the bulk of the cost will fall on the insurance company (after all, that’s why you pay insurance). Generally, however, the cost of repairing the roof will depend on several things:
To get a detailed and accurate estimate of the cost of replacing the shingles on your roof with asphalt shingles, contact us at Exterior Contract, Inc, your resource for residential exterior contracting in the Twin Cities. We have experience installing asphalt shingles in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and all across the Metro area.
Don’t let your roof spring a leak. Contact us today.