Differences Between Asphalt and Composite Shingles

Differences Between Asphalt and Composite Shingles

Differences Between Asphalt and Composite Shingles

Asphalt shingles and composite shingles are two popular options for residential roofing. Asphalt shingles have been the traditional choice for homeowners for over 100 years due to their low cost and easy installation. They are made of fiberglass or paper mats covered with a layer of tar and granules.

On the other hand, composite shingles are made of a combination of materials like synthetic polymer, slate, laminate, and wood. They are designed to mimic the look of real slate or cedar shake roofs. While asphalt shingles are generally less expensive, composite shingles tend to last longer and offer better durability in harsh weather conditions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Asphalt shingles and composite shingles are popular options for residential roofing.
  • Asphalt shingles are made of fiberglass or paper mats covered with tar and granules.
  • Composite shingles are made of synthetic polymer, slate, laminate, and wood.
  • Asphalt shingles are generally less expensive, while composite shingles tend to last longer.
  • Composite shingles offer better durability in harsh weather conditions.

Cost and Material Differences

When comparing asphalt shingles and composite shingles, one of the key factors to consider is the cost. Asphalt shingles are generally more affordable, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners. On average, the cost of asphalt shingles is about half or even lower compared to composite shingles.

The lower cost of asphalt shingles can be attributed to the materials used in their production. Asphalt shingles are made primarily of asphalt, which is a widely available and inexpensive material. On the other hand, composite shingles are made of a combination of materials, such as synthetic polymers, slate, laminate, and wood.

These materials contribute to the higher cost of composite shingles. However, the cost difference can be justified by the additional benefits that composite shingles offer, such as better durability and a more authentic appearance.

Composite shingles are designed to resemble real slate or cedar shake roofs, providing a high-end aesthetic that can enhance the curb appeal of a home.

It’s important to weigh the cost against the desired features and longevity when making a decision between asphalt and composite shingles. While asphalt shingles may be more affordable in the short term, composite shingles tend to last longer and may offer better value in the long run due to their extended lifespan.

Here is a comparison table that highlights the cost and material differences between asphalt and composite shingles:

AspectAsphalt ShinglesComposite Shingles
CostLower cost, about half or even lower compared to composite shingles.Higher cost due to the combination of materials used.
MaterialMainly made of asphalt.Combination of materials like synthetic polymers, slate, laminate, and wood.

Weather Resistance and Lifespan

When it comes to weather resistance, both asphalt and composite shingles are designed to withstand the elements. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Weather Resistance of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are treated with special coatings to make them resistant to water and algae. This helps prevent leaks and keeps the roof looking clean and intact. However, asphalt shingles may not be as durable in extreme weather conditions.

High winds can cause the shingles to lift or even blow off, leaving the roof vulnerable to further damage. Additionally, prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause asphalt shingles to fade and deteriorate over time.

Weather Resistance of Composite Shingles

Composite shingles, on the other hand, are known for their exceptional weather resistance. They are designed to withstand strong winds, heavy rain, and even hail.

Composite shingles are often made with synthetic polymers and other durable materials, which offer better protection against extreme weather conditions. These shingles are also more resistant to UV rays, ensuring that they maintain their color and integrity for a longer period of time.

Lifespan Comparison

When it comes to lifespan, composite shingles generally outlast asphalt shingles. While asphalt shingles typically have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years with proper maintenance, composite shingles can last between 40 and 50 years.

This is due to the superior durability and weather resistance offered by composite shingles. However, it’s important to note that proper maintenance and regular inspections are crucial for ensuring the longevity of any type of roofing material.

AspectAsphalt ShinglesComposite Shingles
Weather ResistanceGoodExcellent
Lifespan20 to 30 years40 to 50 years
Main MaterialAsphaltSynthetic Polymers, Recycled Materials

Energy Efficiency and Warranty

When it comes to energy efficiency, the difference between asphalt and composite shingles becomes apparent. Asphalt shingles have a tendency to retain heat, which can be problematic during hot weather as it may increase the cooling load on your home.

On the other hand, composite shingles are designed with energy efficiency in mind. They are often more reflective and have insulation properties that help to regulate temperature, reducing the need for excessive air conditioning and ultimately lowering your energy bills.

Now let’s talk about warranties. Asphalt shingles typically come with a warranty that lasts between 20 to 30 years, offering some peace of mind regarding their longevity. However, composite shingles often come with a more substantial warranty, commonly known as a limited lifetime warranty.

This means that the manufacturer guarantees the shingles will last for the lifetime of your roof, which can provide added confidence in the investment you’re making for your home.

It’s important to note that the specifics of the warranty may vary depending on the manufacturer, so it’s crucial to review the terms and conditions before making your final decision. However, in general, composite shingles tend to offer more extensive warranty coverage compared to asphalt shingles.

 

FAQ

What are the differences between asphalt and composite shingles?

Asphalt shingles are made of fiberglass or paper mats covered with a layer of tar and granules, while composite shingles are made of a combination of materials like synthetic polymer, slate, laminate, and wood.

Which shingles are more affordable, asphalt or composite?

Asphalt shingles are generally more affordable, costing about half the price or even lower compared to composite shingles.

Are composite shingles more durable than asphalt shingles?

Yes, composite shingles tend to last longer and offer better durability in harsh weather conditions compared to asphalt shingles.

How long do asphalt shingles typically last?

Asphalt shingles typically last between 20 and 30 years if properly maintained.

What is the lifespan of composite shingles?

Composite shingles can last between 40 and 50 years if properly maintained.

Do asphalt shingles retain heat more than composite shingles?

Yes, asphalt shingles tend to retain heat and can transfer it into the home, making it more challenging to cool during hot weather.

Do composite shingles come with a longer warranty than asphalt shingles?

Yes, composite shingles often come with a limited lifetime warranty, while asphalt shingles usually come with a 20- to 30-year warranty.

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