What Are Composition Shingles?
While homeowners have a wide range of choices when it comes to modern roofing, fiberglass composition shingles continue to be one of the most popular, making up nearly 85 percent of all home roofing systems. So what exactly are composition shingles? This type of roofing material features a fiberglass reinforcing mat at the center of the shingle, which is coated first with mineral fillers (that adhere to the fiberglass) and then with asphalt, which makes the shingle waterproof. The top surface of the shingle is then embedded with a layer of ceramic granules. Here’s a closer look at composition shingles and why this might be a good roofing choice for your home.
Types of Composition Shingles
Modern composition roofing generally falls into one of three major categories:
- 3-Tab Shingles: These are the most common types of shingles, as they are the easiest to maintain and among the least expensive of all roofing systems. This type of roofing appears as a one layer product with a distinct pattern of tabs (caused by vertical slots notched into the visible part of each shingle, splitting the lower half of the shingle into three tabs). Usually, 3-tab composition roofing comes with manufacturer’s warranties of 20, 25, or 30 years.
- Laminate shingles: Laminate shingles (also called dimensionals) have become a popular choice in composition roofing and are considered an upgrade to the 3-tab shingle. Laminates are similar to 3 tabs, except that they feature a second tabbed layer fused to the base shingle, which doubles the thickness of the material. Laminate composition shingles come with warranties of 30, 40, or 50 years.
- Architectural shingles: These shingles are considered top of the line in terms of composition roofing. These shingles are fashioned like slabs and laid on top of each other for a super strong roof. Architectural shingles are thicker, heavier, and physically larger than standard laminates, and often offer extra features like moss retardants. Architectural shingles come with manufacturer’s warranties of as long as 50 years or even lifetime.
Benefits of Composition Shingles
Here are just some of the advantages that composition shingles offer to homeowners.
- Composition shingles are affordable: In fact, the 3-tab composition shingles are one of the most affordable of all roofing types. In addition, composition shingles are very easy to replace, which can significantly cut down on repair costs.
- Composition shingles are highly durable: Unlike asphalt shingles, which have a much shorter lifespan (usually between 5 and 20 years at maximum), composition roofs will last up to 50 years. Composition shingles are an excellent investment in other ways, as they help shield homes from harmful UV rays, decrease energy costs and utility bill, provide a level of fire resistance, and even help prevent the growth of mold, algae, and fungus.
- Composition shingles come in a variety of colors, textures, and styles: These days, as roofing has become more and more of a factor in developing what realtors call “curb appeal,” the look of a roof has become as most as important as it functionality. With a wide range of shingle styles to choose from than span from simple to upscale, homeowners can select the roof that will best complement the architectural style and landscape elements of their home.
For more information on whether composition shingles are a good choice for your home, consult a construction company or roof building specialist.