What are Architectural Shingles? Your Guide to the Most Popular Type of Asphalt Shingle

What are Architectural Shingles? Your Guide to the Most Popular Type of Asphalt Shingle

May 31, 2023

Whether you’re building a home or in the market for some roofing work, choosing the right type of roofing material is crucial. If you’re doing your research, you may have stumbled across architectural shingles, a popular roofing choice for many home and business owners alike. In this guide, we’ll explain what architectural shingles are, explore their history, highlight their distinguishing features and perks compared to other types of shingles, and discuss their typical lifespan. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about architectural shingles!

What are Architectural Shingles?

Architectural shingles, also known as laminated or high-definition shingles, are a type of asphalt shingle widely used for residential, and sometimes commercial, roofing. They are designed to add more definition to roofs, contrary to the flat appearance of traditional 3-tab shingles.

Some architectural shingles are known for their ability to emulate the dimension of other roofing materials like wood shake or slate roofs without coming in at such a high price. This look is achieved using randomized patterns of color and thicker shingles that add depth to the roof.

A closeup of a grey architectural roof

History of Asphalt Shingles

Architectural shingles, and all asphalt shingles, have a rich history that dates back over a century. In the early 1900s, demand grew for a more durable and affordable roofing material. This led to the invention of asphalt shingles. Initially, these shingles were made from a single layer of asphalt-saturated organic felt. Now, advancements in technology have created architectural shingles using materials like fiberglass and limestone. Instead of the thin, traditional asphalt shingle, architectural shingles are usually different colors and are laminated together. This gives them the dimensional attraction they’re known for. 

Architectural Shingles: Distinguishing Features

Architectural shingles are different from traditional asphalt shingles in a couple of ways. Firstly, their construction involves multiple layers of asphalt and fiberglass. This means they are thicker, more durable, and more dimensional. Second, much like traditional 3-tab shingles, they come in a wide variety of colors. This makes them versatile and suitable for many architectural styles on buildings. 

Maintenance Tips for Architectural Shingle Roofs

There are a few things you can do to help maintain your architectural single roof and ensure it lasts. By following these tips, you can maintain your investment and keep your roof in optimal condition throughout the years:

  1. Regular roof inspections: Ideally, you should have your roof inspected at least once a year. In addition to this, you should check up on your roof after any severe weather events such as hail, thunderstorms, high winds, or heavy snow. Keep an eye out for signs of damage, such as cracked, loose, or missing shingles, as well as any issues with flashings and vents. Inspections help you catch problems early and prevent them from worsening.
  2. Clean debris: Debris like leaves, branches, and dirt can retain moisture and cause mold and premature shingle deterioration. You can use a soft broom or leaf blower to gently remove debris from your roof. If you are unable to safely remove debris from your roof on your own, always call a professional.
  3. Gutter cleaning: Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and overflow onto your roof, potentially causing damage. Regularly clean out your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water flow and prevent water from pooling on your roof.
  4. Address moss and algae growth: Moss and algae can thrive on roofs, particularly in areas with high humidity or shade. Keep an eye out for moss and algae growth and hire a professional to clean your shingles if needed.
  5. Trim overhanging branches: Overhanging tree branches can scrape against your roof, which can lead to shingle damage and potential leaks. Trim any branches that come into contact with your roof to prevent unnecessary wear and tear.
  6. Address rook leaks promptly: If you notice signs of a leaking roof, such as stains on your ceiling or damp areas in your attic, don’t wait for the problem to worsen! Call a professional roofing company promptly for repair to prevent further damage.

Also note: roof maintenance and repairs can be difficult and in some cases unsafe to do yourself. Safety should always be a top priority when performing roof maintenance. If you are unsure about performing any sort of maintenance on your roof, it is always best to hire a professional who can perform necessary repairs safely and effectively.

By following these maintenance tips, you can protect the integrity of your architectural roof, maximize its lifespan, and prevent the need for costly repairs in the long run. Regular upkeep and proactive care will be beneficial for your roof in the long run!

Lifespan of Architectural Shingles

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing your roofing materials is how long they will last, or their lifespan. This can depend on various factors such as weather conditions, proper installation, and regular maintenance. This means it’s important to choose the right roofing company for the job to ensure your roof is installed properly and built to last. 

To ensure the longevity of your architectural shingles, performing regular inspections, keeping the roof clear of debris, and addressing maintenance issues promptly are key. Consulting with a professional roofing company can help you identify any potential problems and ensure proper care for your shingles, maximizing their lifespan.


Architectural shingles are known for their ideal combination of aesthetic appeal, versatility, and affordability. Their unique, dimensional design makes them a popular choice of asphalt shingles for residential and commercial roofing. Because of their ability to withstand harsh winds, rain, and hail, they are a great choice for roofing that can hold up against Oklahoma's severe weather conditions.

If you’re interested in getting an architectural roof installed on your home or building, call Statewide Roofing first for a free quote. We can walk you through your options, tell you more about our roofing materials, and make sure you choose the right roofing for your project. 

Have more questions? Read our FAQ to learn more, or reach out to us on our contact page. Check out our residential and commercial services, and view our portfolio of previous work. When you need the best roofing services in Oklahoma, call Statewide!

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Call Statewide Roofing for a free quote for all your roofing and home improvement needs. We specialize in all kinds of roofing systems for both commercial and residential buildings. Browse of list of services by visiting our commercial and residential pages, and take a look at our portfolio for some example work and projects our team is proud of.

Let us know if you have any questions about us, our services, financing, repairs, or our process. Our team is here to answer any of your questions and get your the information you're looking for for any of your roofing needs. We're happy to help! For immediate assistance, give us a call to speak with one of our professionals and get started with Statewide.

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