There are a variety of roofing options out there. And while it’s not as important as it used to be, people still wonder which roofing options tend to be lighter.
Assuming we’re talking about a residential roof, let’s take a look.
What are the different types of roofing?
There are three primary types of asphalt shingles. The first is a 3-tab shingle. Most come with a limited warranty from the product manufacturer. They are usually rated for 20 or 25-year life. Of course, bad weather—especially hail—can shorten the lifespan drastically.
Next is a laminated shingle, sometimes known as architectural style shingles. They actually start out as a 3-tab shingle, then additional material is added to make it have a specific look. Obviously, that makes it thicker as well. They are often rated for a 30-year life or more.
You can also get class 4 impact-resistant shingles. They are much thicker than the other two to make them more impact resistant. They also have special additives in the asphalt that makes them more resistant to the hail. That’s great if you live in an area that’s prone to hail.
Which roof shingle is best?
It’s probably pretty obvious which of the three options is the lightest. The 3-tab shingle is the one with the least material, and therefore the option that is the lightest.
But does that make it the best? And why does weight even matter?
In years gone by, when architects or engineers drew up plans for houses, they were required to engineer the roof for a load of three layers of shingles, plus a load of snow.
For houses today, code won’t even allow for more than two layers of shingles on the roof at a time. So, the weight of the material doesn’t make nearly as much difference as it did in the ’70s or ’80s, when a roof might have had four or five layers of roofing material on it.
That being said, the lightest material is definitely a 3-tab shingle. It does not have as much thickness as the other two options. But as far as which one is best, that will depend on your priorities.