Comparing Three-Tab & Architectural Roofing Shingles

Texas towns are subject to a wide variety of weather. Many of the storms that impact this region make their force known upon rooftops, power lines and trees. Residents should know the differences in the two main types of roofing shingles used in the area. Choosing the right option to replace a roof is essential to withstanding wind, rain and hailstorms more effectively, and extending the life of your new roof.

Stonewater Roofing’s trained and certified technicians understand storm damage and how different shingles handle weather phenomena. They can guide you through the selection process and determine what is best for your roofing needs.

What is a three-tab shingle?

Three-Tab Shingles

Three equal cutouts, or tabs, made along the shingle’s bottom edge characterize a three-tab shingle. Three-tabs are only available in one size and shape with a uniform look. Three-tab shingles are simpler and lighter because they consist of fewer materials. These shingles usually cost less than architectural shingles, which is why some homeowners prefer them. Three-tab shingles are a cost effective choice if you have a low budget.

What is an architectural shingle?

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, which allows them to give off a dimensional look. These shingles are thicker and weigh double to triple the weight of a three-tab shingle. Due to their thickness and excellent composition, these shingles come with longer lasting warranties. Designer shingles can be made to mimic tile, cedar shake, stone and other roofing types, and tend to weigh the most.

The Shingle Showdown

Let’s see how three-tab and architectural shingles stack up in most scenarios. We looked at our own data along with industry data to showcase 10 direct comparisons.

  Three-Tab Architectural
Life Expectancy 20-25 Years 40-60 Years
Average Warranty Coverage 20 Years 50 Years
Ability to Shed Water Below Average Above Average
Curb Appeal Boost Little High
Return on Investment 44% 83%
Adds Value to Home No Yes
Handles High Winds Effectively No Yes
Handles Large Hail Effectively No Yes
Has Loads of Color Options No Yes
Overall Good Investment No Yes

In the battle of three-tab versus architectural shingles, there can only be one winner. Architectural shingles flat out win! They were engineered to perform longer and are more visually appealing on a home.

The professionals at Stonewater Roofing are highly skilled and experienced with exterior renovation, roofing assesment and installation. We can perform a free in-depth inspection of your roof, let you know its condition and provide a free estimate for its replacement.

Call 903-266-1205 today for a free damage assessment!

Protecting Your Multi-Family Housing Investment

Natural disasters such as hail, wind, tornadoes or hurricanes are a huge setback for the operational efficiency of a multi-family housing business. As soon as a roof damage is evident, it is important to take immediate measures to protect your buildings from additional damage. Owners or investors will require disaster roofing services to replace any damage on site. When employing a roofing contractor, there are certain focus areas which must be kept in mind. To help, this post outlines three critical focal points to consider when hiring a credible and trustworthy roofer specializing in this type of repair.

1. Avoid Fraudulent Contractors

Property owners/managers of multi-family housing who are looking for roofing replacement services can fall victim to scams and contractor fraud. Fraudulent contractors may steal money by offering inferior quality or incomplete repairs. Sometimes, they may complete the job, but charge an exorbitant cost for their services. Avoid scams by steering clear of:

  • Out-of-state contractors.
  • Companies that offer to absorb your deductible.
  • Storm chasers who show up right after natural disasters.

TIP: Be proactive and have your preferred roofing contractor ready before severe weather affects your multi-family housing.

2. Photograph The Natural Disaster’s Effect On Your Property

Photographs of the damaged property work as proof for the insurance claim. It is recommended that you take the photos immediately after the damage and before the beginning of the restoration work. Also, if the property is not yet damaged, you should take a complete set of photographs of your multi-family property in its current condition, which would serve as ‘before damage’ pictures in the case of a later disaster.

Tip: Be proactive and document your property as is.

3. Know Local Building Codes & Permit Requirements

In most states, it is illegal to perform demolition, permanent repairs or site developments without having the required permits. It is, therefore, important to obtain proper permits when undertaking any commercial projects. After assessing your property post-disaster, contact your local building authority for information on required permits. Building permits are often required for new roof installation. A qualified local roofing contractor should be familiar with local building codes and requirements. Hiring appropriately will streamline this process.

Tip: Be proactive and have a plan of action in place.

As soon as a natural disaster hits your property, you should contact a professional roofing contractor to assess your property. However, it’s best to have a maintenance and storm monitoring service already established with a qualified service provider.

The professionals at Stonewater Roofing are highly skilled and experienced with exterior renovation, roofing asset and installation. We can perform a free in-depth inspection of your roof, let you know its condition and provide a free estimate for its replacement.

Call 903-266-1205 today for a free damage assessment!

Comparing The Different Single-Ply Roofing Membranes

Commercial roofing managers and owners in the East Texas region are typically overwhelmed by the many options available for low-slope roofs. Single-ply roofing membranes have three main group types. All of them are fairly complex systems and some have complex names or abbreviations to cause even more confusion.

Group 1: Thermoset Membranes

The polymer materials in these single-ply roofing membranes chemically crosslink. This means that chemical adhesives applied at the seams cures or vulcanizes the membrane strips into one giant membrane. There are several players in this category, which is also defined as the synthetic rubber membrane group.

There are five common subcategories of thermoset roof membranes:

  • Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM)
  • Chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE)
  • Epichlorohydrin (ECH)
  • Neoprene (CR)
  • Polyisobutylene (PIB)

The most common thermoset roof membrane is EPDM. This frontrunner of the pack will be our comparison product. Note EPDMs main characteristics:

  • Sheet widths range from 7.5 feet to 50 feet wide.
  • Sheets are typically 45 millimeters and 60 millimeters thick.
  • Seams are sealed using liquid adhesives or special formulated tape.
  • The membranes commonly are black, but white is available.

Group 2: Thermoplastic Membranes

This family of single-ply roofing membranes are like the thermosets, but there’s no chemical cross-linking or vulcanization. The membrane strips are heat or chemical welded to create a single ply. Proper welds are as strong as the material. There are four common subcategories of thermoplastic roof membranes.

  • Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO)
  • Chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE)
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • PVC Alloys or Compounded Thermoplastics
    • Copolymer Alloy (CPA)
    • Ethylene Interpolymer (EIP)
    • Nitrile Alloys (NBP)
    • Tripolymer Alloy (TPA)

The most common thermoplastic roof membranes are PVC (chemical weld) and TPO (heat weld). PVC is common simply because it was the frontrunner until TPO came into its own with more adopters. Thus, for this group, we will look at TPO when comparing single-ply roofing membranes.

TPO membranes are produced by calendering with lamination, extrusion with lamination, or extrusion-coating techniques. TPO sheets are a blend of polypropylene and ethylene propylene polymers and usually are reinforced with polyester. Note EPDMs main characteristics:

  • Sheet widths range from 6 feet to 12 feet wide.
  • Sheets are typically 40 millimeters to 100 millimeters thick.
  • Seams are sealed by heat welding with hot air.
  • TPO membranes commonly are white, but can allow for a colorant.
  • Flame retardants are added.
  • UV absorbers and other proprietary substances are added as needed.

Group 3: Modified Bitumen Membranes

These membranes combine asphalt with modifiers and reinforcement materials. They are often a ‘sandwiched’ roofing material. These materials can perform well, but they are not as advanced as the other two groups. Many roofers refer to modified bitumens as ‘torch-down’ roofs because a large flame-throwing torch melts the asphalt so that seams can be joined together.

There are two types of modified bitumen (MB) roofing membranes:

  • SBS polymer-modified bitumen membranes commonly are installed via hot mopping asphalt (similar to BUR systems) or cold adhesive. Some SBS modified membranes are self-adhering and contain an adhesive backing.
  • APP polymer-modified bitumen membranes typically are heat-welded or torch-applied. Consumers should be cautioned that NRCA does not recommend torch-applying a modified bitumen membrane sheet directly to a wood deck.

Generally, APP modifiers impart a ‘plasticized’ quality to asphalt, and SBS modifiers impart a ‘rubberized’ quality to asphalt. MB membranes and EPDM, a thermoset membrane, often are confused by consumers because of colloquialisms used by roofing contractors. MB and EPDM membranes are sometimes called “rubber roofs.”

Modified bitumen is inexpensive, easy to apply in the case of SBS, and great for DIY types. This combines with its short lifespan make it a non-competitor for larger commercial roofing spaces.

Comparing TPO & EPDM

These two membrane types are the ones you’ve likely heard the most about. If you have a low-slope (flat) commercial roof, it most likely has a leading thermoset or thermoplastic membrane on it. Our head-to-head comparison takes into account a range of good-to-top tier products per each single-ply membrane type. We awarded each a +1 or -1 to give a final tally of overall prowess of each membrane type, if it gave more options or value, or had a deficit or negative detractor.

——————– EPDM TPO
Warranty Timespan 10-35 Years 10-35 Years
Warranty Value Average Wide
Cost Effective Yes Yes
Lifespan 20-50 Years 15-50 Years
Thickness 45-60 Millimeters 40-100 Millimeters +1
Maintenance Costs Medium -1 Low
Energy Savings Little to None Light to Significant +1
Summer Heat Buildup Yes -1 Little
Suitable Climate Colder -1 Most
Environmentally Friendly Yes: Recycled Materials Yes: 100% Recyclable
Color Options Black & White Many +1
Inexpensive Repairs Typically Yes +1
Track Record Solid +1 Short -1
Sheet Size Medium to Huge +1 Small to Medium
Chemical Resistance Very Poor -1 Excellent +1
Requires Skill to Install Yes Yes
Pollution From Runoff None None
Shrinkage With Heat Some Some
Failure After 10 Years Moderate to Low -1 Very Low to None
Installation Speed Average Below to Above Average -1
Weather Rating Average Average to Very Good
Final Tally -3 +3

When we’re comparing EPDM and TPO products, we get a six-point spread in favor of TPO. As a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor, Stonewater Roofing uses the top-rated TPO lines made by GAF. When you combine the best products, top notch installations and the best warranty, TPO picks up two or three more points over EPDM.


Call the commercial roofing professionals at Stonewater Roofing to learn more about upgrading your flat roofing to a TPO membrane from GAF. We can perform a free in-depth inspection of your roof, let you know its condition and provide a free estimate for its replacement.

Call 903-266-1205 today for a free damage assessment!

Got Hail Damage? What You Need To Know

What is hail damage?

Hail damage looks like dark spots, or bruises, where the roofing granules have been knocked away (look in the gutters for an accumulation of granules). In some cases, you may find holes, cracking or missing shingles on your roof.

Hail Damaged Roof Tiles

Where does hail damage happen?

Hail size distributions tend to be localized, with some roofs damaged and others not. Wind direction plays an important role, as well as roof pitch. A direct impact of hail on a shingle is more damaging than that of a glancing blow. Hail-damaged roof shingles show a ‘scouring’ effect in which larger, more irregularly shaped areas of shingle surface have lost granules.

Where is hail damage?

Start by looking in your roof gutters and on the ground for large amounts of mineral granules lost from the roof. Roofs are the most commonly damaged part of a home or business in hailstorms. A damaged shingle may allow water to seep through the roof, causing additional damage to the roof deck, support structure, interior walls or windows, and can cause leaking, staining on walls and flooding inside of your home.

Tips on preventing damage.

There really isn’t a way to prevent hail damage. Any roof is susceptible. Once your roof is damaged, it is imperative to get the damage assessed and repaired. If there was a hail event in your area, don’t wait! Stonewater Roofing can inspect your property and get you on the road to recovery.

Call 903-266-1205 today for a free damage assessment!

Tips For Finding The Best Roofing Company

With all of the pressure-filled sales pitches and roofers knocking on your door, it can be difficult to know who to hire. They all say that they are the experts, but how do you know if that’s actually true? Here are some tips for finding the best roofing company that meets your needs.

Make a list of questions to ask before hiring a roofer.

Ask detailed questions regarding the company’s methodology, and ensure you are satisfied with their responses. For example, ask about the number of nails that will be used for each shingle. Most of the time, more than three nails will be required for a good job. You don’t have to be a roofing expert, but you should do a little research to know what is necessary to get your job done.

Turn down offers made using pressure tactics.

Roofers who try to sell their product this way are not the people who you want to deal with your roof. Such shysters can be very aggressive, so do what is necessary to shut them down. Don’t let them pressure you into making a decision that makes you feel uncomfortable. Take the time to call around and learn more about them first.

Do some careful research before deciding which roofer to hire.

Never base your choice solely off of who is cheapest or who is the closest. You should be doing solid research and reading reviews about best roofing company in your area. You may utilize online resources or seek recommendations from those who you know and trust.

At Stonewater Roofing, we are thrilled to have a long list of happy customers. Check out a few of the reviews here!

Before hiring a roofer, check all credentials.

You may want to ask your friends or family for suggestions, if any of them have had their roofs done. You need to hire an excellent contractor. This is the best way to ensure that you aren’t looking at expensive repairs down the road.

Make sure credentials are up to date.

If you’re looking into hiring a roofer, you should be sure that they can provide complete credentials that are totally up to date. A license is required for roofers, generally. Check with local authorities to see of your roofer has theirs up to date. The company should also be fully insured and covered for worker’s compensation laws as well.

Call 903-266-1205 today for a free damage assessment!

Raffle Raises Money To End East Texas Poverty

Stonewater Roofing was one of several East Texas businesses that banded together to help raise money for People Attempting To Help (PATH), an organization that is dedicated to ending area poverty.

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q hosted a raffle with the help of Stonewater Roofing, Roast Social Kitchen and many more Tyler businesses. They will also soon host a concert featuring several national musicians who are originally from the East Texas area.

PATH is a poverty alleviation agency that is locally funded and governed to specifically serve East Texas.

Stonewater Roofing owner Roland Browne jumped at the opportunity to help out with the raffle. “I’ve had experience with other organizations like them, and the fact that I know that I’m doing something to contribute back to society makes me feel good,” he said. “It makes me sleep good at night.”

Tyler Families Surveying Damage After Thunderstorm

The Lynn family is one of many who suffered damage from Tuesday afternoon’s thunderstorm in Tyler. More specifically, a tree is now on top of their house. They immediately made a call to their insurance company who gave them some tips on using a reputable repair business.

Tyler Lynn was in his house when the tree hit. “I was in my room, which is right there where the tree’s kind of falling on, and all of a sudden I saw a flash of lightning and I heard a big crunch. Next thing I know, I come out and see that there’s a big tree laying on our house.”

After the shock wore off, he called his insurance company, who walked him through the next steps on finding a trustworthy repair company. “The insurance agent, when I talked to her yesterday, after we were done talking, she said to always make sure to ask for to see insurance papers because she said there’s a lot of unscrupulous people out there that come out of the woodwork after a storm, and that’s one thing I should look for.”

Roland Browne owns local company Stonewater Roofing. He said that if homeowners find themselves in this situation, they need to protect themselves. “You want to definitely use a reputable company, like Stonewater Roofing. You want to use someone that’s insured. In our case we’re insured up to $3 million. A lot of these guys, they don’t have any insurance, they don’t have any worker’s comp.”

Browne said that its also important to document everything for your insurance company. “I think one of the mistakes people make when this happens is they’ll go ahead and call a company out, take the tree off, and they will not have any photos of that prior to,” he added. “Your insurance company wants to see photos of the damage prior to you taking it off.”

You can always check with the Better Business Bureau if you’re unsure about a business or person that has approached you and offered services. Lynn said that his insurance agent also encouraged him to check with multiple companies for quotes on the repair.

A version of this article originally appeared on East Texas Matters.

How To Spot Door-To-Door Roofing Scammers

Springtime weather may be beautiful, but the severe storms we see during this time of year also means door-to-door scam artists are out and about, most acting like contractors.

About 8,000 complaints are reported each year to the Better Business Bureau about the roofing industry alone. It’s the number one scam during the spring. Lots of scam artists pose as roofing contractors, knocking on your door, promising to fix the damage from the last storm for a cheap price.

Some legitimate contractors also go door-to-door, but how can you tell if someone’s lying?

Mechele Mills with the Better Business Bureau of Tyler said, “If they have an unmarked vehicle, that’s something to be watchful for. Also, if it’s really hard to identify what company they’re with.”

Mills said that another red flag is if the person at your door doesn’t have a business card, or won’t give you contact information.

“You also want to check out their reputation, check out their track record,” Mills suggested.

Pay attention to how they’re asking you to pay for the service. “If they ask for money up front, if they ask for cash, be cautious with that.”

Lots of times, these scammers will take your money, and won’t come back.

Mills said, “The safest way to pay is to use a credit card, because you’ll have 60 days to dispute that transaction.”

The most important thing is your safety. If someone knocks on your door, you don’t have to answer it.

The City of Tyler has an ordinance in place saying that solicitors cannot come to your door before 10:00 a.m. or after dark. They also can’t come to your door at all if you have a no soliciting sign — something to keep in mind if you want to avoid these scammers altogether.

The BBB also says to look out for door-to-door scam artists posing as other types of contractors, like asphalt workers.

For more scam information, or to check out a specific business, head to the BBB of Tyler’s website.

A version of this article originally appeared on KYTX’s website.