Asphalt Roof – Tips and Tricks

When someone mentions asphalt roofing, they will have one of two categories in mind: Asphalt used in pitched roofing or the kind that is used on a flat roof often called bitumen.

In the case of flat roofing, this can mean the roll-on variety that adheres to the roof with the use of a blow torch, or with the help of pour-on bitumen, either of which option is often also used on industrial buildings;

In the case of a pitched roof variety, the asphalt used comes in the form of granule-impregnated tiles called shingles. These are flexible and resistant to the elements because of this elastic texture.

Suffice it to say, these are completely different items, and we will explain how best to find products in each category below.

Asphalt Products for the Flat Roof

The most budget-friendly option in this category is undoubtedly modified bitumen. It lasts for 15 years on average. Because it’s unsightly, it is perfect for non-visible flat roofing.

1. Roll-on Bitumen for the DIY Home Owner

Stores like Home Depot hold a variety of roll-on options which can be installed by the average home-owner. These are also a lot safer than the more professional alternative which involves a blow-torch. These products make use of an adhesive underside which can be joined to the surface of the roof provided it is clean and dry. Products in this area are gaining traction among home-owners as their technology continues to improve.

Traditional Torch-Down Bitumen

For a more professional finish that is better fixed to the roof, you will need to call in someone who is handy with a blow-torch. This is finicky and dangerous work and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone lacking the necessary experience.

Commercial Pour-On Bitumen

For larger industrial roofing, it makes sense from a time-saving point of view to avoid labour-intensive methods like the torch down bitumen sheets. Instead, bitumen adhesive is poured under the roll in this case, while another operative unrolls the sheets of bitumen. This is a specialized skill that is usually the domain of companies noted for this kind of work.

Asphalt for a Sloped Roof

There’s no escaping the fact that installing asphalt shingles on a pitched roof is a quite expensive operation, but this is all the more reason to invest in a high-quality product.

Although asphalt roofing can cost anywhere between £5000 and £15000, the quality and technology used in asphalt shingles have drastically improved over the years, meaning that your roof can last up to 50 years with some of the highest quality shingles on the market.

In other words, quality should be your prime consideration if you want to save money while using this kind of product. With that in mind, we’ve compiled the results of a recent test conducted by Roofing Insights, a YouTube channel dedicated to quality testing the best roofing products on the market.

When it comes to roofing shingles, here are their top 9 brands with the product models that best represent them:

Product:                          Total Score:

OC: Duration:                  46
Malarkey: Highlander      46
Tomko: Heritage              37
CT: Landmark                 42
BP: Vanguard                  40
Atlas: Pinnacle                46
IKO: Dynasty                  43
Pabco:  Premier               41

Roofing insights into asphalt shingle quality tests in the United Kingdom can be split into 10 major categories.

These include:

–     Weight

  • Nailing Zone
  • Pull Tests
  • Coverage
  • Count
  • Consistency of Bundles
  • Online Reputation
  • Granule Loss
  • Product Tests
  • Product Education

Here we felt it necessary to discuss the first of these three categories.


Weight is not an absolute criteria for shingles but suffices it to say, a paper-thin shingle will always be a poorly constructed one. Conversely, the products that offer the best quality are usually proud about offering bigger, thicker and weightier shingles than their counterparts who see it as unimportant. Some shingle bundles are heavier than others just as a bi-product of design, and heaviness is not the only parameter to keep in mind. That said, it usually counts positively toward the general results of the above quality rubric.

The top players in this category are:

-IKO Dynasty 5/5
-CT Landmark 5/5
-Atlas Pinnacle 5/5

Below average results went to:

None in this category

Nailing Zones

When warranties are accounted for, the inspectors will use nailing zones as a criterion for deciding if the warranty remains valid.

Why is this category so important? Because easy-to-miss nailing zones can also be an easy way out of fulfilling warranty claims. It’s become too simple for shingle companies to blame the installer for quality deficits. The area to be nailed must be big so that that counter-claims aren’t easily made by these companies. There are only a few players in the market which have ideal nailing zones.

The top players in this category are:

– OC Duration 5/5
-Malarkey Highlander 5/5 and IKO Dynasty 5/5 Below average results went to: Tamko Heritage 3/5

Pull Tests:

Roofing expos will often pit shingle producers against each other by seeing how easy their respective models are to tear off the roof.

The top players in this category are:

-OC Duration 5/5
– IKO Dynasty 5/5

Below average results went to: BP Vanguard: 3/5 and Tamco Heritage


All of the above products scored highly for bundle consistency, but one of the upsets of the test was the level of granule loss suffered by IKO Dynasty, for which the product scores only 1/5.

The three all-rounders in this test with the highest number of total points are tied. They are:

-OC Duration
-Malarkey Highlander  and Atlas Pinnacle