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The Top Reasons Why 3-Tab Shingles are Being Replaced With Better Options

Posted on September 20, 2023

The Top Reasons Why 3-Tab Shingles are Being Replaced With Better Options

As a homeowner, you may want to know why 3-tab shingles, once a staple for residential properties, are now facing less than favorable views. This blog post will explore the top reasons that are driving the transition from these traditional shingles to superior roofing options.

Durability is a significant factor in this shift. Homeowners seek roofs that stand the test of time, withstand all types of weather, and require minimal maintenance. Energy efficiency is another driving force, as modern roofing materials offer superior insulation, leading to energy savings and helping the environment. 

Before jumping into more detail, let’s go over what 3-tab shingles are and why they became so popular for homes across the U.S. 

What Are 3-Tab Shingles?

3-Tab shingles are the classic go-to roofing material for homes across the country. They got their name from their design, which features three tabs that create a uniform appearance when installed. Homeowners love them because they keep it simple and are less expensive, which is perfect if you’re watching your budget. Usually made from asphalt, these shingles come in a variety of colors to match your home’s aesthetic. But here’s the deal: they are not as durable and long-lasting as other roofing options. Their lifespan is shorter than other shingles, like luxury or architectural shingles, but if you properly install and maintain them, they’ll still do their job and keep your home cozy and dry.

Also Read: Common Issues That Can Destroy An Asphalt Roof & What To Do About It

Now that we have gone over what 3-tab shingles are, you might be wondering how they are installed.

How To Install 3-Tab Shingles:

1. Gear Up: Gather your shingles, nails, tools, and safety gear.

2. Prep the Roof: Make sure to work on a clean surface and lay down roofing felt for protection.

3. Start Low: Begin at the bottom, overhanging the shingles slightly.

4. Begin Nailing: Secure with nails following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

5. Stagger and Repeat: Overlap the tabs on each row.

6. Trim and Add Flashing: Trim the top row of shingles if needed and add flashing.

7. Cap It: Finish with ridge caps at the peak for a professional finish. And always remember, safety first. If you ever have any doubts or need expert advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at ReNew Roofing! Your roof deserves the best.

3-tab shingle

Why 3-Tab Shingles are Being Replaced 

If your roof is made of 3-tab shingles, it is essential to consider replacing them with a more durable and energy-efficient option. This will help to protect your home from leaks and save you money on your energy bills. Though these shingles do a decent job at keeping your roof protected, let’s look into the reasons why homeowners are increasingly choosing other roofing materials over 3-tab shingles.

Ready to upgrade your roof? Explore our guide for top-notch options that offer enhanced durability: 7 Best Luxury Asphalt Shingle Brands to Spruce Up Your Home

Reason 1: Aging and Weathering

Over the years, 3-tab shingles age and start to show signs of wear and tear due to many factors, including weather and time. Sunny days can also cause shingles to fade and lose their original look and color. Extreme temperature swings can even cause shingles to expand, crack, and lose their protective granules.

  • Sunlight Exposure: Sunlight is not kind to shingles. It speeds up their aging process, making them weaker and less durable.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: Shingles can’t handle extreme temperature changes as well as other roofing materials. They expand and contract, leading to cracks and warping. 

Accelerated aging and weathering make the shingles more susceptible to problems, like leaks, mold and mildew growth, and even structural damage. Damaged or missing shingles allow water and moisture to enter the attic and roof structure, leading to major issues. 

Reason 2: Curling Shingles

Curling is a common problem that occurs with 3-tab shingles. It is vital to understand why the shingles are curling and when it’s time to fully replace them.

  • Roof Structural Movements: When your roof deck or other underlying materials shift or move, the shingles may start to curl due to the change in the orientation of the structure. 
  • Not Enough Fresh Air: If your attic isn’t getting enough ventilation, the temperature of the space can rise, causing the shingles to warp and curl.

Curling shingles impact your home’s energy efficiency, leading to higher bills and discomfort. Plus, they age faster and need replacement sooner.

Reason 3: Granule Loss

The granules on your 3-tab shingles are an added protective layer to the roofing system. But as time passes, they can wear down from exposure to UV rays and extreme temperature changes. If you start noticing that granules are missing, it’s time to think about getting new shingles.

  • Poor Quality and Messy Installs: All 3-tab shingles are not made equal, and if you install lower quality shingles, they may lose granules faster than other brands. Also, if your shingles were not nailed down properly during installation, it can speed up granule loss.
  • Rough Cleaning: If you’re too rough when cleaning your roof, you might accidentally knock some granules loose.

While your 3-tab shingles shield your home, the granules protect your shingles from UV rays and severe weather. Without them, the asphalt base dries up, cracks, and is more susceptible to premature aging. 

Along with protecting against the sun, the granules also add a layer of waterproofing to the shingles. If your roof is missing granules, it is more prone to leaks and water intrusion. Plus, granules increase the fire resistance of your roof. So as they come off, your roof’s fire-proof properties also decrease. Overall, the granules on your 3-tab shingles are crucial for the health of your roofing system and if you start to notice some are missing, it might be time for a full roof replacement. 

Reason 4: Moss and Algae Growth

When you have moss and algae growing on your roof, it’s not a pretty sight. But you can usually take care of these unwanted guests without replacing your shingles.

  • Wet or Moist Roof Surface: Algae and moss thrive in wet conditions, so if your roof is constantly soaked from rain or has poor drainage, it’s likely you will see them growing.
  • Shade Seekers: Both moss and algae prefer shade to direct sun, so they’re more likely to grow if you have lots of shade from trees or branches.
  • Build Up of Debris: When your roof collects leaves, twigs, or dirt, it creates the perfect environment for moss and algae growth.

Moss and algae growth on your shingle roof causes more than just aesthetic issues. Like anything that sits on your roof’s surface, moss and algae can impact drainage and cause leaks. Plus, the dark spots they leave behind indicate weak points and can lead to increased heat absorption, causing your cooling system to work overtime to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. 

If moss or algae begins to grow under your shingles, it could also mean you need a complete shingle replacement.

Reason 5: Wind Troubles

Wind can be a big headache for 3-tab shingles. Strong winds can dislodge shingles or tear them off completely, but this likely depends on the shape and design of your roof. The more the shingles are at risk, the more likely you’ll need to repair or replace them.

  • Roof Style Matters: If your roof is steep or has multiple angles, it’s like an open invitation for the wind to wreak havoc. If the flashing or underlayment isn’t properly installed, your shingles are also more likely to come loose.
  • Gap Trouble: Missing shingles leave gaps on the roof’s surface, making it more likely that wind gusts could dislodge other shingles nearby. 

Shingles that have become loose or have been torn off completely allow water and outside air into the roof structure. This can lead to leaks, moisture damage, and higher energy bills. As outdoor air comes inside, your heating and cooling systems will have to go into overdrive to maintain interior temperatures. So, if you’re seeing those bills skyrocket, it might be time to upgrade from 3-tab shingles.


These were only some of the reasons why homeowners are leveling up their roofing game. While 3-tab shingles are budget-friendly and get the job done, they do not last nearly as long as other options, such as architectural shingles.

Architectural shingles boast a unique style with their excellent designs and texture. Plus, they’re more durable, which means they can stand up to wind, rain, and whatever Mother Nature throws their way. They are also more energy efficient than 3-tab shingles. 

So, if you’re thinking about making the switch, give us a call. We’re ReNew Roofing, and we’ve got your back. Hire the right contractor for your roof repair or replacement in Wisconsin today. Call us at (813) 400-3329, and we’ll help you take your roof to the next level. 

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