Does Roof Above Door Or Window Need Asphalt Shingles?

Most homeowners are not familiar with roofing materials especially when we're talking about the little roofs over the front door and windows. So, if you're also wondering if you should get asphalt shingles for these parts, we've got you covered. We asked the roof experts and here's what they have to say.

You may or may not use asphalt shingles on the roof above your door or windows. The choice is up to you. But experts suggest that your chosen material should match the materials used on the roof of your house. This would enhance the curb appeal of the exterior portion of your house.

Continue reading to find out more about the roofing materials used for these portions of your house. We'll also tell you the advantages and disadvantages of using asphalt shingles and how long they are expected to last. Let's get down to business!

A high end town homes against a stark blue sky, Does Roof Above Door Or Window Need Asphalt Shingles?

Should you put asphalt shingles on the roof above your door or window?

Not all houses are created equal. Some have roofs over their front doors and windows while some do not.

While these little roofs aren't required, you can't deny that they increase the house's curb appeal and add to its overall look and charm.

Brick house with red shingle roof

But aside from the aesthetics, these roofs are also functional. They protect your door and window from the elements and make their materials and paint last longer. They also shield your home from intense heat and heavy downpours.

And when you go out of the door or look out the window, you have a roof to protect you from the weather.

The roof over your front door is called a portico while the one above your windows is called different things such as a shed roof, sun shade slab, canopy, or awning.

But since these roofs are not part of the main roof on the top of your house, it's understandable if you're confused or unsure about what materials you should use on them.

We've got news for you! Experts say that the main materials for the roof are entirely up to you! It's your choice if you want to put asphalt shingles on these roofs or not. You can also use other materials such as metal, concrete, or clay shingles. It's simply a matter of preference.

But since we all want our houses to look good, the rule of thumb is that your roofing materials on the portico or shed roof should at least match the materials on your main roof. These would give a cohesive look to the exterior portion of your house which makes it easy to look at and pleasing to the eyes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of asphalt shingles?

Roof shingles with garret house on top of the house among a lot of trees

It is good to know more about the particular roofing materials that you're planning to buy so that you can make an informed choice. After all, these are investments on your part and the right choice will help protect you and your home from changing weather conditions.

You also don't want to end up incurring more expenses when it turns out that the materials you chose won't last long or they are difficult to maintain.

Asphalt shingles are one of the most common roofing materials in the market. Like everything else, they have their fair share of benefits and drawbacks upon usage.

Pros of Using Asphalt Shingles

House with asphalt shingle roof and snow

Here are the advantages of using asphalt shingles.

  • Affordability. Asphalt shingles are one of the most inexpensive roofing materials on the market. But there are high-end asphalt shingles also. This means that there's an asphalt shingle out there for every budget.
  • Design. There are different colors and designs to choose from - laminated, 3-tabs, or architectural. You can choose one that'll suit the overall look of your house.
  • Ease of Installation. These roofing materials don't require too much prep work before installation. They are also light and easy to cut. That's why it won't take a long time to have asphalt shingles installed on your roof.
  • Cost of Repair and Replacement. When the roof gets damaged, you can just replace the particular shingles that have been affected. And since asphalt shingles are affordable, the replacement cost won't hurt your pocket unlike with other roofing materials wherein you would need to replace the whole roof.

Cons of Using Asphalt Shingles

Here are the drawbacks of having asphalt shingles on your roof.

  • Common. 80% of houses have asphalt shingles installed on their roofs so using these roofing materials won't really make your house stand out from the rest of the neighborhood.
  • Vulnerability. Since asphalt shingles are light and thin, they are prone to cracks and damage. They might not be able to stand up well to varying temperatures and environmental conditions. Once they get broken, your roof would possibly leak and cause moisture or water issues inside your home.

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of using asphalt shingles, you are in a better position to say if these roofing materials are right for you. If you live in an area with a mild climate, these could be the perfect choice for you since they won't be subjected to severe weather conditions.

How long do asphalt shingles last?

Close up view on asphalt roofing shingles

To protect your house from the elements, your roof takes the full force of the prevailing conditions in your immediate environment. It is your first line of defense against the UV rays and intense heat of the sun as well as the heavy rains and snow.

As such, it is prone to faster deterioration than other parts of your house.

Knowing how long a roofing material would last would help manage your expectations. It is an important consideration so that you would know if your investment is worth it.

In the case of asphalt shingles, their expected life expectancy is between 15 and 30 years. Manufacturers offer warranties for their products so you can gauge their lifespan based on how long their warranties last.

Asphalt shingles have two components - the base and its asphalt coating. The base can either be made of fiberglass or organic materials such as cellulose. As asphalt is exposed to the sun's heat, it softens and binds itself to its base to form an impermeable seal.

Fiberglass asphalt shingles are lightweight and more affordable. However, they are not as strong and stable as organic ones. Organic asphalt shingles are covered with a thicker layer of asphalt which makes them very durable but they can be quite pricey.

If you don't mind the higher upfront cost of organic asphalt shingles, these are the better choice for you since they will last longer.

Will a roof leak without shingles?

Damage roof shingles

When one or two shingles are missing on the roof, does this immediately mean that the roof will leak when it rains? Not necessarily. It would depend on the location of the missing shingles.

If it so happens that the shingles were located in a seam between two other shingles, then missing these pieces would make your roof vulnerable to leaks especially when the seams aren't sealed properly or the seal has worn out already.

When there's no proper sealing, water would be able to enter the roof. You also have to remember that there are other parts of the roof aside from the shingles. Each one does its part in protecting your house from the weather and other elements.

But just the same, it would be in your best interest to have the shingles replaced as soon as possible to avoid water or moisture issues.

Final Thoughts

It is your choice if you want to put asphalt shingles in your portico or shed roof. They are a practical choice that would add another layer of protection to these roofs. But make sure that it matches your main roof to give a cohesive look to your house.

To read more about roofs, feel free to visit the following posts:

Are Roofs Waterproof?

Can You Walk On A Zinc Roof?