In the past asphalt shingles were the most popular when it came to choosing roofing for a building. In the past decade or so, composite shingles have started to become more popular specifically due to their durability. There are a number of differences between asphalt and composite shingles. Asphalt shingles are made from a fiberglass or paper mat layered with asphalt on top. The granulated asphalt offers UV protection and waterproofing. Depending on the quality used, these shingles can last from five years to around twenty years. 

Composite shingles are created from a variety of materials. This can include wood, plastic, shake, laminate and slate. The ingredients are layered and bonded using resins and laminates. Composite roofing is more durable than asphalt and can last from 30 to 50 years depending on the ingredients and quality purchased.

Composite shingles are less likely to split, crack, warp or peel, adding to their long-term durability. This also means you will not be replacing broken shingles as often as you would with asphalt.

When looking at durability, it is important to check how well the materials are able to stand up to weather and other outdoor elements. Composite shingles and asphalt shingles contain elements that resist UV damage and algae build-up. There may also be additives or coatings that help prevent cracking and fading.

They are fire resistant and moisture repellent. Composite shingles make use of many recycles materials, which helps reduce waste. Asphalt shingles may assist with less environmental damage by using paper backing, although some asphalt shingles use fiberglass which is a lot more harmful.

 Asphalt shingles are generally cheaper than composite shingles initially. The much longer life expectancy of the composite shingles means that they do not have to be replaced nearly as often as the asphalt.

Taking this in to account, the cost of the two evens out, making them around the same overall cost comparatively. Composite shingles are available in a variety of colors, shapes and styles which allows you to find the perfect blend for your home.

If you are flipping properties or do not intend to remain on a property for a long period of time and the rood needs to be redone or repaired, you may want to go with the cheaper option of an asphalt roof.

If you have purchased the property as a long-term investment or you intend for it to be your home for a long period of time, you may want to invest in composite shingles. The durability of these shingles over the long term may the initial higher cost worthwhile.

Are all composite shingles environmentally friendly?

There are “green” options that use materials such as hemp fibers or recycled plastic. Not all composite shingles are as environmentally friendly as others. You would need to check the make-up of the shingles. However, the much longer durability of these shingles make them a lot more “green” than products that have to be replaced a lot more often.

Compared to cedar or slate, how does composite roofing compare?

Slate shingles are a lot heavier than slate composite or other composite shingles. This means that composite shingles are easier to install and transport. Standard slate shingles need extra support and need special fasteners for the roof to hold up under the weight.

Slate composite or composites that emulate slate can look as good and not compromise the overall effect without requiring extra trusses to hold up the weight. Using composite cedar is a lot more environmentally friendly than standard cedar shingles. The composite shingles look similar but make use of recycled plastics, old tires, cedar shavings and other materials. They are also manufactured to be UV resistant and moisture resistant so that they last a lot longer than standard cedar shakes.

Why would you choose composite roofing?

While composite roofing takes a big step forward from the traditional materials used in roofing, they have a number of aspects that make them better than the standard materials. They are manufactured to be durable and contain products to reduce algae and mold as well as UV damage.

Most composite roofing is tested to withstand high winds of up to 100 mph, making them relatively hurricane resistant. Composite shingles will hold the heat better than some traditional materials such as cedar. This means lower power costs in winter.

Lighter color options are better for areas that get very hot in summer as they reflect heat as opposed to absorbing, keeping your home cooler.  Composite shingles are tested to ensure they are fire resistant to prevent the spread and ignition of roof fires. Composite shingles are also available with more specialized additives to prevent snow build-up on the roof or to resist damage from salt-air or for superior resistance to algae in areas where growth is prevalent.

Composite shingles allow you a wide variety of materials and options to suit your needs. You can choose the look, color, extra functions and so forth without compromising the overall look of your home.  Composite shingles have many benefits and should be considered when you next have a large roofing project to complete.

Composite shingles offer:

  • Durability: Reduce the number of times you need to replace your shingles as well as the extra labor costs by using composite shingles. Composite shingles are engineered to last 30 to 50 years as opposed to traditional materials that may need replacement in 5 to 20 years.
  • Wind resistance: Composite tiles are usually tested to withstand hurricane level winds. This means they should be able to withstand normal storms fairly easily.
  • Fire Resistance: Depending on the materials used in the composite shingles, the fire resistance may vary. Composite shingles generally have a much higher resistance than natural materials. They can also be treated to be flame retardant.
  • Impact Resistance: Composite shingles have a higher resistance to impact from hail than more traditional materials. Depending on the material used, composite shingles can have an impact resistance of up to a Class 4 qualification.
  • Fade Resistance: Most roofing shingles will fade due to exposure to the sun and other elements. Your home will lose the initial luster and the roof will start to look untidy and worn over a period of time. Even good quality roof treatments can offer a limited amount of resistance to materials such as cedar.                 Composite shingles can however be created with superior UV resistance, meaning there will be a lot less fading over time and the roof will stay new looking for longer.
  • Warranties: Due to the make-up of the composite tiles, the warranties will differ somewhat. Due to the higher strength, impact and fire damage resistance, composite shingles will usually have a much longer warranty than traditional shingles especially those made from natural materials.
  • Cost: Composite shingles are likely to be cheaper than natural materials such as wood and slate due to the extensive labor required in obtaining the materials. Natural shingles are also more likely to crack and break during transport and fitting. Composite shingles are more expensive than asphalt but make up the cost differential through the extended durability.
  • Eco-friendliness: Many composite shingles contain recycled materials and most of them can be recycled after they are removed from a roof as well. This reduces waste and is a lot more eco-friendly than many other types of shingles.
  • Maintenance: Composite roof tiles need very little maintenance. One of the issues that can occur is a build-up of moss on the tiles in some areas. This needs to be chemically treated and removed by a professional. Never power wash a composite shingle roof. There may be some algae build up in some areas as well which can be cleaned off with the right chemicals. Prevent excess growth of moss by removing decaying plant matter from your roof which can provide food for the moss. Remove branches overhanging the roof to prevent over-shading and accumulation of twigs and leaves on the roof.

Composite shingles made from high quality materials are certain to be durable and offer an extended warranty period. Check on the warranty period on your choice of composite shingle.

Some high-quality shingles can carry a lifetime guarantee. Make sure the shingles are laid by a professional roofer and you will not have to replace the roof again for many, many years barring an extreme natural disaster or similar event.