The Ultimate Guide to Asphalt Shingles

Many homes in San Antonio and the rest of the US have asphalt shingles on their roof. This is because an asphalt shingle roof is affordable, durable, and offers a wide range of colors. You change your home’s exterior in any way you want.

But how much do you understand asphalt roof shingles? While most homeowners will want these architectural shingles as their preferred material, not many know what it is and how it works.

This guide will introduce these popular roofing materials, with details of types and costs. Keep reading.

What are Asphalt Shingles?

In the world of roofing and general construction, architectural asphalt shingles remain one of the most popular materials, especially for residential homes.

An asphalt shingle features a continuous fiberglass mat that makes it strong and tear-resistant. This is the first stage of making them.

Once the hot shingle is fortified, it undergoes a strengthening process. It’s oxidized using hot air, increasing its viscosity and creating firm architectural roof shingles. A waterproof barrier is then created by bonding the material to the top and bottom of the mat layer.

The material is embedded with crushed and screened granules to finish an asphalt shingle, making it heat resistant. A new asphalt shingle roof is now ready for installation. It can withstand heat damage, UV rays, and degradation while offering an incredible color choice.

The asphalt roll roofing material is then transported to the owner to create a leak-proof barrier on their buildings. Shingles don’t only allow water to flow safely down off the ridge caps, and they can also withstand winds and other elements.

Types of Asphalt Roof Shingles

Technology has led to the creation of different types of shingles. There seem to be shingles for flat roofs and pitched roofs. Here are the main types:

Three-tab shingles

If you are looking for the most affordable shingles, go for the three-tab asphalt. They are the thinnest but offer great water and wind resistance.

Fiberglass asphalt

As the name suggests, the shingles have fiberglass mat instead of wood. That means they are heavier than wood shingles, stronger, and a bit more expensive. However, a roofing contractor will still recommend them as one of the most affordable roofing options.

Architectural asphalt shingles

Are you looking for the highest quality roof? Architectural is just the shingles you need. They feature heavy fiberglass mat containing ceramic-coated minerals in water-resistant asphalt. You will find them in various colors and shapes.

Designer shingles

There are more choices for roofing materials than ever. Technological advancement has created a new category of architectural and composite shingles.

A designer roof shingle is a premium option for modern homeowners. They mimic wood shake, scalloped slate, roofing tiles, or other incredible designs. They can be created to fit a rubber roof or a flat roof or serve as dimensional shingles.

What Goes Into A Complete Asphalt Shingle Roof System?

Asphalt seems to be a more complex material than metal roofing materials. A proper shingle installation will feature the following components:

Proper attic insulation

To reduce AC costs, adequate attic ventilation is required, especially with composition shingles.

Roof decking

A roof deck is crucial for any roofing material as it creates the foundation for strength and durability.

A ventilation system

A newly shingled roof must have proper ventilation to allow for air circulation.

Ice and water barriers

This will keep water from leaking through the shingles.

Ridge cap shingles

Ridge shingles are a finishing that defends against leaks at the hips and ridges. They come with hip caps, too, and are recommended even for hip roofs.

Drip edge

A drip edge lets water flow smoothly off the roofs and to the ground. It’s something you don’t want to miss on your roof. You need good water-shedding material for this.

Synthetic roof underlayment

You cannot install asphalt shingles without a proper roof underlayment. This is the part that holds the roofs in place.

Starter shingles

Standard shingles require a starter layer. Professional roofers recommend starter strips on the rake edges to create a straight edge from which the courses can start.


A roof shingle requires the shingles. You can choose laminated shingles or any other option mentioned above.

Gutter drainage system

This will direct water from the roof to where you want it.

Roof shingle installation starts at the eaves and extends up to the roofs. You need a professional roofer here because every shingle layer plays a crucial role and must be done properly. The materials are installed courses (overlapping rows).

Each shingle course overlaps the seams and nail heads of the previous course. They must be properly fastened in place to hold against high winds and other elements that may affect the integrity.

A heat-activated sticky sealant is used in each course to increase wind resistance and overall strength. Since the shingles have reflective granules, they are protected against UV and heat damage.

The Ultimate Guide to Asphalt Shingles – Step-by-Step Procedure

Always let professionals like Bison Roofing handle all your roof replacement and new roof installations. This will not only ensure quality but will guarantee a claim for asphalt shingle warranties in case of anything. If you still want to try it yourself, follow these simplified steps:

  • Prepare the rood deck. Remove the old shingles if you are replacing it, and check to ensure the deck is ready for new shingles.
  • Start at the bottom. Apply the drip edge to protect it from water damage, and then work your way up.
  • Install the underlayment for your new roof. You can use an asphalt-saturated felt or a synthetic roof. This promises an extra layer of protection.,
  • Cover the joints and valleys. This will prevent leaks, especially on a flat roof.
  • Flashing. A step flashing must be embedded in plastic cement. you can use metal flashing with shingles for this.
  • Install the shingles starting at the bottom and working your way up.
  • Install the ridge vents. The ridges protect the roof against water and wind damage.

Your roofing project is now complete. Ensure you have fastened the shingles properly in place, or high winds will blow them away. And that is why we recommend hiring professional roofing services.

How much Does Asphalt Roofing Cost?

The exact cost depends on the specific type you are buying. On average, expect to spend $100 to #$1,800 per square foot. Generally, asphalt shingles are an affordable material.


All shingles lose granules over time due to heavy rain, falling debris, snow and ice, and similar conditions. Even the highest quality ceramic granules face the same. Check the warranty to ensure this does not happen too soon.

Choose the Best Asphalt Roof Shingle Expert

Bison Roofing uses Owens Corning shingles to offer high-quality services. You can be sure to get the best roof over your property with a guarantee of strength and durability. Call now if you have any questions or need a new roof.