Should You Get a 3-Tab Shingle Roof Replacement?

3-Tab Shingle Roof Replacement in Florida
May 7, 2024

If you need an affordable shingle roof replacement, then you’re probably considering 3-tab shingles. For years, these asphalt shingles were the most popular roofing material in North America. But have new advances in roofing technology made this classic option outdated in today’s Florida?

We’re PITCH Roofing, and today we’re answering all of your questions about 3-tab asphalt shingles. As experienced Florida roofers, we know exactly how tough local roofs need to be, so let’s see if this shingle option has what it takes to protect your home in Florida.

What Are 3-Tab Shingles?

What Are 3-Tab Shingles

3-tab shingles are named for the three tabs on each shingle strip, creating the look of multiple shingles where there’s only one. This gives these asphalt shingles a distinctive, flat look that is easy to identify.

These shingles are made from a fiberglass baseboard that is coated in asphalt and given a topping of protective granules. The idea is for the fiberglass to provide structural stability while the asphalt is waterproofing. The mineral granules serve dual purposes of both providing color to the shingle and reducing damage from UV rays.

Invented in 1935, 3-tab shingles have a long history in North America. But do they hold up to modern roofing standards? To answer that, we’ll have to look at how these shingles perform.

Are 3-Tab Shingles Strong Enough for Florida Homes?

Few places in the US need stronger roofs than Florida. With hurricanes and tropical storms as an annual threat, your home needs to have strong protection against the wind and rain. And since we’re in the Sunshine State, you’ll also want a roofing material that the sun won’t wear down.

Let’s see if 3-tab shingles have what it takes to stand up to all of these local roofing hazards!

Wind Resistance

In Florida, hurricanes can whip up winds exceeding 140 mph. And even a tropical storm can create winds of up to 73 mph. Given these numbers, many homeowners are surprised to learn that 3-tab shingles are only rated for winds of up to 60 mph.

Does that mean that a roof with 3-tab shingles will be blown away by any hurricane that goes by? Not necessarily. But you can bet that when your area gets winds over 60 mph, you’re going to start losing shingles. When that happens during a hurricane, it could lead to extensive water damage that will not be cheap to fix and may even require another roof replacement.

Water Resistance

In theory, 3-tab shingles can keep water out of your home. However, these shingles are remarkably thin. As a result, they can become soaked through even with their water-resistant features like asphalt and protective coatings.

Another issue with the water resistance of a 3-tab shingle roof in Florida is related to its wind resistance. If a passing storm blows a shingle or two loose, you might not immediately notice. You might only see a problem when the damage is done, after the water has made its way in and caused leaks or roof sagging.

UV Resistance

While we often think of wind and rain as the big roof killers, the sun can be just as harmful. With shingles, it can lead to drying and cracking, which can ruin the shingle’s functionality. Thankfully, to some extent, 3-tab shingles can resist UV rays thanks to protective coatings and their granules.

The problem, though, is that we now have other shingles with granules that come more tightly packed. Whereas they’re loosely scattered on 3-tab shingles, they’re much more clumped together on modern shingles. This provides better UV resistance and prevents shingles from prematurely drying on your roof.

Why Do People Choose 3-Tab Shingles?

As you can see, 3-tab shingles don’t have too much going for them. Yes, they can technically withstand high winds and rains and UV rays, but only up to a certain point. And across the board, there are always shingle options that do all these things better.

So what’s the appeal of 3-tab shingles? Why do people keep choosing them, even as more and more roofers stop offering 3-tab shingle roof replacements?

In a word: price. 3-tab shingles have remarkably low up-front costs. In fact, you can often get 3-tab shingles installed for two or three dollars per square foot. That’s hands-down the cheapest roofing material on the market, at least when it comes to initial roof replacement costs.

We specify this because 3-tab shingles are not cheap in the long run. When you have something that thin and cheap to manufacture on your roof, it won’t stay for long. In the best-case scenario, it might last for 15 years, but there’s every possibility that your roof will fail before that date, especially in Florida where any major storm could seriously damage your roof.

At Pitch, we don’t offer 3-tab shingle roof replacements anymore. With so many better options on the market, it would be irresponsible to give you a roof that we knew couldn’t stand up to local weather patterns. But we’re happy to say that we can still give you an affordable shingle roof replacement that will last!

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The Best Alternative to 3-Tab Shingles

The Best Alternative to 3-Tab Shingles

3-tab shingles used to be the most popular asphalt shingle option, but in 2024 it’s safe to say that architectural shingles are king. These improved shingles follow the same basic formulation as 3-tab, but they’re made up of much thicker, hardier layers to provide better protection.

This improves their resistance to wind, rain, and UV rays, but it’s not the only improvement. We also call these laminate shingles because of their protective laminate coatings to fight water and UV rays.

When it comes to aesthetics, architectural shingles are also known as dimensional shingles thanks to their unique patterning that creates dimension and depth on your roof that is greatly superior to the dull, flat look of 3-tab shingles.

There is one looming issue though, and that’s how much architectural shingles cost. We have good news on that front, too: Architectural shingles only cost four to six dollars per square foot. While this is more than 3-tab shingles, it’s still much more affordable than almost any other roofing material.

If you need an affordable shingle roof replacement, don’t choose 3-tab shingles. The cost may be low up-front, but you’ll pay for it across the lifetime of your roof. Instead, choose architectural shingles for a roof that will last 20-25 years and keep your home safe throughout its lifetime.

Get Your Free Shingle Roof Replacement Estimate

At the end of the day, a 3-tab shingle roof probably isn’t right for a Florida home. But that doesn’t mean we can’t help. Pitch has veteran roofers who know the local roofing scene better than anyone, and we’re ready to get you set up with an affordable shingle roof that’s built to last.

To get your free estimate, call us at 727-607-4553 or go ahead and schedule your appointment online. Or, if you don’t want to talk about your roofing options, get an online-only estimate! We know that getting a new roof can generally be a pain, but we do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for our customers.

Reach out to our team and see what a great price we can get you for your new shingle roof. 3-tab shingles may not be the right option, but we’ll work with you to find a better shingle roofing option at a price you’ll love!

Last Updated:May 31, 2024