Understanding Asphalt Shingle Roofs

An asphalt shingle roof is a popular choice in Auckland, including in areas like Onehunga, offering both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Here’s a detailed look at what it entails:

Key Components

  • Roof Decking: The foundational layer over which everything else is placed.
  • Roof Flashing: Helps direct water away from critical areas.
  • Underlayment: Provides an additional layer of protection from water.
  • Drip Edge: Prevents water from getting under the shingles at the edges.
  • Ice and Water Shield: Protects against water damage in vulnerable areas.
  • Shingles: The visible outermost layer of the roof.
  • Ridge Capping: Seals the joints where two roof planes meet.
  • Roof Vents and Pipe Boots: Essential for proper roof ventilation and sealing around pipes​​.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

  • Architectural Shingles: Thicker, more durable, with a lifespan of 24-30 years.
  • Three-Tab Shingles: Flatter, more uniform, lighter, and typically last 15-18 years​​.

Durability and Maintenance

Asphalt shingles are known for their resilience, but regular maintenance is key to longevity.

Maintenance Needs

  • Inspection: Regular checks for damage like cracks or missing shingles.
  • Ventilation: Ensuring proper attic ventilation to prevent heat buildup.
  • Debris Removal: Keeping the roof clear of leaves and branches​​​​.

Environmental and Aesthetic Considerations

While offering versatile style options, asphalt shingles do have some environmental drawbacks.

Environmental Impact

  • Petroleum-Based: Their production consumes energy and emits greenhouse gases.
  • Non-Biodegradable: Contributes to landfill waste.

Aesthetic Flexibility

  • Style Variety: Available in various colors and styles to match different home designs.
  • Mimicking Capabilities: Can mimic the look of slate, wood shakes, or tile​​​​.

Cost, Lifespan, and Efficiency


  • Affordable: Generally a cost-effective option compared to other materials.
  • Variable Lifespan: Ranges from 15 to 30 years, depending on the shingle type and environmental conditions​​​​.

Energy Efficiency

  • Insulation Limitation: Not the most energy-efficient option.
  • Noise Reduction: Good sound dampening capabilities​​.

Mitigation Strategies for Limitations

Addressing the limitations of asphalt shingles can enhance their performance.

Mitigation Measures

  • Regular Checks and Repairs: Promptly address any signs of wear or damage.
  • Energy-Efficient Shingles: Opt for shingles with higher energy efficiency ratings.
  • Proper Ventilation: Essential for reducing heat buildup and prolonging roof life​​​​.


For Aucklanders, especially in Onehunga, an asphalt shingle roof offers a blend of aesthetic flexibility, durability, and cost-effectiveness. While it stands out for its variety in style and relatively easy maintenance, it’s important to be aware of its environmental impact and insulation limitations.

Key Takeaways

  • Cost-Effective and Durable: A sensible choice for those seeking a balance between price and longevity.
  • Style Versatility: Wide range of colors and styles suitable for different architectural designs.
  • Maintenance: Regular upkeep is crucial for extending the life of the roof.
  • Environmental Impact: Consider the ecological footprint and explore greener options if sustainability is a priority.
  • Energy Efficiency: Be mindful of the insulation and energy efficiency aspects, especially in Auckland’s varied climate.

Making an Informed Decision

Understanding these aspects helps in making an informed decision about whether an asphalt shingle roof is right for your property in Onehunga or elsewhere in Auckland. For tailored advice and professional roofing services, consulting with experts like My Roofers Auckland can provide the specific guidance and expertise needed for your roofing project.

Comprehensive Guide to Asphalt Shingle Roofing: FAQs

What Are Asphalt Shingles Made Of?
Asphalt shingles are primarily made from a fiberglass mat, coated with asphalt and topped with mineral granules. This composition provides durability and weather resistance.

How Long Do Asphalt Shingles Last?
The lifespan of asphalt shingles typically ranges from 15 to 30 years. Factors like installation quality, climate, and maintenance play significant roles in their longevity.

Are Asphalt Shingles Environmentally Friendly?
Asphalt shingles are not the most environmentally friendly option. They are a petroleum-based product and not biodegradable, contributing to landfill waste. However, some recycling programs do exist for asphalt shingles.

Can Asphalt Shingles Be Recycled?
Yes, asphalt shingles can be recycled. They are often repurposed for road construction and other applications, although recycling facilities and programs vary by location.

Do Asphalt Shingles Require Much Maintenance?
Asphalt shingles require regular maintenance, including inspections for damage, cleaning to remove debris, and ensuring proper attic ventilation to prevent heat buildup.

How Do Weather Conditions Affect Asphalt Shingles?
Extreme weather conditions, like high winds, hail, and severe heat, can damage asphalt shingles. Regular inspections after such events are important to identify and repair any damage.

What Is the Cost of an Asphalt Shingle Roof?
The cost of an asphalt shingle roof varies based on factors like material quality, roof size, and labor costs. On average, it’s considered a cost-effective roofing option.

Are There Different Styles of Asphalt Shingles?
Yes, asphalt shingles come in various styles, including three-tab, dimensional, and luxury shingles, offering a range of aesthetic choices to suit different architectural styles.

How Are Asphalt Shingles Installed?
Asphalt shingles are installed over a solidly sheathed deck, starting from the roof’s bottom edge, with each successive row overlapping the one below it to create a water-resistant barrier.

Can I Install Asphalt Shingles on a Low-Sloping Roof?
Asphalt shingles are typically not recommended for very low-sloping roofs due to increased risk of water penetration. They are best suited for roofs with a slope of at least 17%.

Do Asphalt Shingles Offer Good Insulation?
Asphalt shingles themselves do not provide significant insulation. The overall insulation of a roof depends on various factors including underlayment and attic insulation.

What Are the Fire Resistance Ratings for Asphalt Shingles?
Asphalt shingles are available with different fire resistance ratings, with Class A being the highest. This rating indicates better performance in fire resistance tests.

Can Asphalt Shingle Colors Fade Over Time?
Yes, the color of asphalt shingles can fade over time due to exposure to sunlight and weather elements. This fading is typically gradual and may vary depending on the shingle’s quality and color.