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Strengths and Weaknesses of Architectural Shingles in Florida

Florida’s climate makes it a special needs case for roofers. Florida gets intense heat, and 221 sunny days every year, leaving the roofs to the mercy of UV rays all year round. In addition, coastal regions are prone to storms, hurricanes, and high winds that can catastrophically damage roofs. In the face of these challenges, architectural roofing shingles stand out as an outstanding choice for roofing materials. Here are some of the merits and flaws of architectural roof shingles in Florida.

What Is an Architectural Shingle?

Simply put, architectural shingles are the high-end, more durable version of asphalt shingles. Also known as laminate or dimensional shingles, these roofing materials are made of an asphalt-coated fiberglass mat base that is laminated with layer upon layer of waterproof asphalt.

Strengths of Architectural Roof Shingles in FL


As mentioned before, the climate in Florida needs a roofing type with herculean strength to withstand the brutal forces of nature. When it comes to our architectural roofing shingles, durability is the primary focus, and they are a significant step up over traditional 3-tab asphalt shingles. Data by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (IACHI) shows that architectural roof shingles in Florida can last up to 20 years, better than asphalt shingles that are rated for just 12 years.

Wind Resistance

The durability of asphalt roof shingles under hurricanes results from their asphalt layers. The multiplex asphalt layering in their structure enables them to withstand strong winds of up to 120 mph. Standard 3-tab asphalt shingles often peel back or are damaged when the wind exceeds 80 mph.

Fire Resistance

The fiberglass reinforcement on the shingles provides a fire-resistant surface. Fiberglass is inorganic and non-combustible. This roofing material, therefore, gets a Class A fire-resistant rating. That is the same category of incombustible roofing materials like slates and metals. While this rating doesn’t guarantee that your roof will never catch fire, it can bring some sense of comfort. Given that there are 355,400 structure fire incidences that occur in the US every year, and that roof integrity is a major barrier to fires rapidly expanding, this is an under-appreciated consideration.

Impact Resistance

The other advantage of architectural roofing shingles over a traditional 3-tab shingle is their high impact resistance. Though it’s a rare occurrence, Florida does get hailstorms at times, and when that happens, you will want your roof to bear the brunt without caving in. High windstorms, common in Florida, can also blow debris and even branches out of trees. While nothing is impervious to Mother Nature, architectural shingles in Florida can withstand Class 4 impacts which, again is the highest rating in the category.

Energy Efficiency

The extra sunny days in Florida means that you usually have to keep the AC running. When it comes to architectural roof shingles, though, their high solar reflectance could be a blessing. Light-colored shingles reflect away much of the UV radiation, and most of these shingles again have higher ratings than their traditional 3-tab counterparts. In the process, less heat is absorbed, and that means less energy spent on cooling your home.

Curb Appeal

An architectural shingle has an attractive appearance, not unlike slate roofing. It’s a good thing that the shingles come in a wide variety of patterns, texture, and color choices. Their appearance adds age and character to a new home and an ageless appeal to an older home. They are also easy to match to other structures, such as garages and sheds that might be on the property.


There is a lot to be said for metal roofs and tile roofs in Florida. However, metal roofs and roof tiles are expensive. Architectural roofing shingles are a much more affordable, but nonetheless durable, option. Even though architectural shingles are costlier than traditional 3-tab asphalt shingles, they excel in strength and durability, and typically make a better long-term investment. It is also worth noting that architectural roofing tiles are so rugged that some manufacturers even offer decades-long warranties.

For a more complete understanding of other options, we would be happy to consult with you on any of the following options:

Weaknesses of Architectural Roofing Shingles in FL

Not Eco-friendly

Slate, clay, and metal roofs are known as ‘green’ roofing materials because their production is environmentally friendly. An architectural shingle is not as sustainable. Their asphalt component is petroleum-based, and many greenhouse gasses are produced in the manufacturing process.

Thermal Splitting

The thermal cracking problem is more prone in asphalt shingles, but architectural roofing shingles are not immune either. Florida’s temperature fluctuates widely, with rainy weather turning to hot and oppressive sunshine at the drop of a hat. The resultant expansion and contraction can cause shingles to crack over time. As such, even though an architectural shingle is significantly more rugged than a traditional 3-tab asphalt shingle, they are not as durable as many tile or metal roofing systems.


Architectural shingles are common-place and do not add much to the resell value of a home. Unlike metal and tile roofs, there is little eye-catching or remarkable about them.

Full-Service Roofing, Restoration, and Recovery Contracting

One of the major advantages of working with Protect Preserve is that we can help you with all of the issues associated with leaks and roof damage, from placing a tarp after a storm to a roof replacement and everything in between. We also work with all insurance companies.

Here is a list of our most commonly provided services:

Serving All of Florida

Protect Preserve is proud to serve most of Florida, with multiple hubs across the state. Learn more about:

Conclusion About Architectural Roof Shingles in Florida

Architectural shingles in Florida are the most common roofing type for new homes, but others like clay, metal, and concrete offer unique advantages too. The advantages of architectural roof shingles in Florida include durability, low initial costs, fire resistance, and versatility. Please call us at 833-PP-ROOFING (833-777-6634) to discuss your options and get a free quote.