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Charleston Roofing: Article About Choosing The Right Three-tab Shingles

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Three-tab asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material used when installing new roofs and partial roofs for Charleston roofing customers. It is often an easy decision on the surface because this type of shingle is in use throughout the country, widely available and proven effective, and it is often available at very attractive prices and with an outstanding warranty that protects the consumer.

Nevertheless, choosing to install three-tab shingles is not the final decision. These shingles are available from more than a dozen distinct major shingle manufacturers in the U.S., and many of these manufacturers offer more than one three-tab asphalt product. These products are available in a range of colors, styles and designs, and the warranty and extended warranty details vary from one product and manufacturer to the next.

Consumers should start by focusing on manufacturers who are established in the industry. This provides them certainty that the product will be of high quality. If the homeowner needs to make a claim on the warranty in 5 years or extended warranty in 20 years, they can feel assured that manufacturer will still be there to stand by its guarantee and will do so in an upstanding manner.

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The next point of focus should be the warranty. The basic warranty available on three-tab shingles can be as short as 3 to 5 years and as long as 12 to 15 years. Anything greater than 10 years is very good, but such shingles will usually come at a premium. Extended warranties on three-tab shingles are usually provided for 20 years, which includes the basic warranty term. Consumers should pay particular attention to what is covered. Material defects will at least be under warranty, but many manufacturers are providing additional coverage, including labor, as a way of distinguishing themselves in a competitive market.

Once the consumer has settled on a manufacturer and product line, the final choice should be made based on color and design. Color beyond the aesthetical value is not an inconsequential choice. In fact, roof color can affect attic temperature by as much as 40 degrees, so lighter colors are generally recommended in warmer climates and on homes that will get a lot of direct sunlight. In a colder climate, a black or darker shingle can trap heat, warm the attic and lower energy bills during winter. The concern with three-tab shingle design is thickness, called gauge. Homeowners in climates that experience strong winds and storms should opt for a higher gauge.

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