If you own a house in Florida, you’ve probably wondered what the best roof shingles for your home would be. 

Florida can have crazy weather: wet and full of hurricanes one season, then scorching hot and incredibly humid the next! With all the extreme changes in weather, it’s no wonder that roof repair and residential roof shingle replacement are such common occurrences in South Florida. 

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Best Shingles for Florida Roofs 

For the best roof shingles in Florida, we’ve written a brief FAQ on asphalt shingles that will help you and the rest of our clients fully understand their best options. 

What are the benefits of choosing asphalt shingles? 

The benefits of asphalt shingles are numerous! They are a great choice for Florida roofs and are one of the best roof shingles because they exhibit safety, versatility, and a wide variety of designs: 

Asphalt shingles can achieve the highest fire rating (Class A) possible with the addition of a fiberglass mat. 

Asphalt shingle roofing offers a large degree of soundproofing when compared to other materials (according to a study performed by The Acoustic Group). 

Asphalt roofing shingles are manufactured to meet stringent impact-resistant Class 4 impact codes and can also be rated for ASTM D7158 Class H and Class F wind ratings, which include 110mph to 130mph. 

Asphalt shingles provide excellent cost-effectiveness and are suitable for a wide variety of roofs. 

Asphalt shingles are surprisingly customizable, incredibly versatile, and offer a wide array of stunning color palettes.

2. How long do asphalt roofs last?

While asphalt shingles sold in previous decades did not last very long, today’s premium asphalt shingles have a general lifespan of about 30 years. Obviously, this will depend on the amount of extreme weather your roof is hit by, but 30 years is a good rule of thumb (pending something catastrophic). Wood roofs tend to last the same amount of time, but cost 6x more than that.

3. How long can you expect a shingle roof to last in Florida?

This depends on how hard your roof is hit by inclement weather. It also depends on how old your roof is when it gets hit by a strong storm. For example, 30% to 50% of roofs require reroofing if they are hit by a storm over 120mph. This dramatically reduces the statewide average, which is about 12 years for 3-tab asphalt shingles and 15-20 years for better-quality and more-expensive architectural shingles.

4. When should an asphalt roof be replaced?

Check your attic. If you are seeing beams of light come through the roof (very bad) or stains and streaks (not as bad), it may be time for a new roof. Or at least a roof repair. 

Check the home repair records. Hopefully, the previous owners know when the roof was replaced if you do not. If it’s been over 15 years, make sure to get an expert out there. 

Check the shingles. It’s not too hard to do. If your shingles are cracked, damaged, or buckling, you’ll need to repair this, as broken shingles can lead to leaks, mold, and structural damage. 

If your roof is sagging, your roof is rotting. 

Is your roof a breeding ground for moss? 

3-tab asphalt shingles are a great choice for Florida Roofs because they are cost-effective, they provide adequate protection, and they are very customizable. However, 3-tab asphalt shingles have been on a slight decline in the market due to architectural shingles. 

Architectural Shingles for Roofs in Florida

Architectural shingles, otherwise known as laminate shingles or dimensional shingles, differ from the look of the traditional 3-tab asphalt shingle. Architectural shingles consist of various shapes and sizes to give them a more layered (dimensional) look. While they are more expensive than regular 3-tab asphalt shingles, they provide a greater degree of protection. 

Since they have more of a dimensional look, architectural shingles look more like wood shake. They also weigh more than traditional shingles. Because of this weight, they provide greater protection (they weigh almost 50% more!). They almost always have a minimum 30-year guarantee and are rated to resist higher rates of wind than 3-tab traditional asphalt shingles. 

Architectural shingles will also raise the value of any home and are becoming more and more popular in today’s market. We suggest architectural shingles for people who are looking to get the most out of their residential roof in South Florida. 

Wood Shake Roof Shingles 

wood shake shingles

Wood shake roofs look like wooden shingle roofs, except they are hand-split with power tools. This gives them an uneven, hand-made appearance that can be absolutely stunning. The issue with wood shake roofs is that they often cost 5-6 times more than traditional 3-tab asphalt shingle roofs. Wood shake roofs are very popular in areas such as Naples.

Wood shake roofs can work for certain areas, especially coastal living. Cedar shake is known to weather saltwater and salt air very well. A thick, textured appearance provides many ridges, grooves, and varying grain patterns to give the roof a rugged appearance. Shingles are much more uniform, flat, and smooth in appearance. Due to the risk of fire, many communities and building codes outright prohibit the use of wood shake and wood shingle roofs. 

While wood shake looks beautiful, it also costs a lot to maintain. Pre-treating for burn resistance, insect infestation, and general upkeep will cost much more than 3-tab asphalt shingle maintenance or dimensional shingle maintenance. Shake is more expensive than regular wooden shingles because much more material is used for the wooden shake.

Metal Roof Replacements

Aluminum, zinc, and galvalume, and galvanized steel are popular choices for those looking for metal roofing options. Metal roofing can even be coated to look like real clay or asphalt tiles, without the same amount of upkeep or price. 

For a seaside living, they offer great corrosion resistance, but often don’t fit in with the traditional look that many seaside homeowners are going for. Metal roofing can be rated between 110mph to 160mph and can last a very long time. Metal roofs can last 50 years or more, so it’s no wonder that metal roofs are becoming more and more popular with more houses that boast a modern, minimalistic design. 

Slate Shingles Roof

Natural slate shingles can be very heavy, very costly, and very hard to install. However, they offer tremendous protection against rain, wind, and extreme weather. Slate roofing looks wonderful, with the average life expectancy nearly twice of regular 3-tab asphalt shingles. This gorgeous roofing material is available in a variety of colors and has been held in high regard by architects for centuries. 

The main issue is that the slate is cost-prohibitive and incredibly heavy. For example, 100 square feet of asphalt shingles will weigh around 250 pounds. 100 square feet of slate roofing, on the other hand, can weigh between 800-1000 pounds. 

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What Are The Best Shingles for Florida Roofs

The answer to this question comes down to your preference and your budget. Nearly 75% of all roofs in Florida are made out of asphalt due to their durability, style, and cost-effectiveness. If money is not a huge concern of yours, slate roofing and dimensional roofing are fantastic choices. Metal roofing also boasts a large degree of durability and wind-resistance, but many homeowners prefer a classic-looking roof. Wood shake offers more protection than wooden shingles, but they are also prohibited in many communities due to fire hazards. Always remember to check your local building permits to make sure your roofing plans are good to go!

We are Tornado Roofing, a respected and reputable roofing company in South Florida. We typically work in the cities around Fort Lauderdale. For more information, visit our contact page or give us a call at (239) 325-8748 for our Naples office and (954) 968-8155 for our office in Fort Lauderdale.