Cover Your Roof with the Right Products

When homeowners look to have their roofs replaced, they tend to focus on one thing: the shingles.

And that’s the one place you shouldn’t try to cut costs, says Steve Marangos, president of the Midwest division of Rooftop Designs.

His best advice is simple: invest in heavy, solid, architectural asphalt shingles that are at least 230 to 250 pounds per square (or a 10-by-10-foot area).

“That’s the difference between your roof lasting 10 to 15 years versus 40 to 50 years,” says Marangos. “The heavier the shingle is, the more resilient it is.”

The Midwest sees plenty of rain, snow and high winds, and the combination of those elements will degrade shingles, causing them to lose weight over the years, Marangos explains.
“They’ll become so lightweight over time, they’ll fail,” he adds.

In fact, Rooftop Designs won’t even offer commonly used three-tab asphalt shingles unless they’re absolutely required by a homeowners association. Those shingles are typically anywhere from 150 to 200 pounds per square, so homeowners end up replacing them every 15 to 20 years, Marangos says. Customers won’t get a warranty of more than 20 years with a system less than 250 pounds.

While that’s a good benchmark, customers can also upgrade to luxury shingles – asphalt shingles that look like cedar or slate and are even heavier, weighing up to 450 pounds per square.

“Yes, roofs can bear the weight – no problem,” Marangos says. “Roofs can bear upwards of 1,000 pounds per square.”

Shingles aren’t the only thing homeowners should pay attention to when it comes to roof replacement. Ice and water shield is a thicker underlayment that protects the roof decking from water buildup or melting ice. While Illinois code requires a 3-foot barrier around the edges of the roof and chimney, Rooftop Designs goes beyond.

“Three feet is code, but it should be 6 feet,” Marangos says. “Those ice dams build up – ice freezes under the shingles on a house – so we do it 6 feet up. For us, we have a reputation we like to uphold. We’d rather go the extra mile so people don’t have those issues.”

For an estimate, contact Rooftop Designs at (855) 703-0905 or